Tahra is a tiny classical music record company in rural France. Small it may be, but Tahra has won some of the classical music industry’s most prestigious awards - out-gunning many of the big multinational conglomerates that dominate classical music today. And doing it with the quality of their sound as much as the performances themselves! From old 78s and tapes from radio broadcasts often sixty years old.
In the early 1980s, Julian had a weekly show on WBUR-FM in Boston called Historic Recordings. (Locals used to call it scratchy recordings) He was familiar with many of these recordings on dull-soundings LPs. He started collecting Tahra’s recordings almost as soon as they appeared. Indeed, one of his fonder memories is Bijoy Tivari driving him down from Mussourie and Dehra Dun in 1996, when recording Monsoon (see the India section in this website), while Julian enjoyed the Tahra set of Bruckner symphonies by Georg-Ludwig and Eugen Jochum (TAH 162-170) He was so bowled over by these and the first two Furtwängler recordings listed below he wrote to them and invited himself as editor of their English-language liner notes, something he still does even today.
National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition broadcast Julian’s portrait of Tahra on August 28, 2005. (right click to download the MP3 file)
The recordings featured in the program are:
Beethoven 9: Furtwängler (1954) FURT 1003 or FURT 1054-1057
Brahms Haydn Variations (1951) FURT 1054-1057
Mahler 3 (1961) TAH 497-498
Brahms 2 (1940) TAH 274-275
Classic Record Collector published a long interview with Myriam Scherchen in its Spring 2005 issue.
The other link is to Tahra’s website