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S. F. Spooner "sfspooner" (sheffield,england)
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Mahler: Complete Symphonies
Mahler: Complete Symphonies
Price: 31.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Good but get the live recordings, 25 Jun 2014
Klaus Tennstedt was perhaps the greatest Mahler conductor ever recorded. I know there was bruno walter Bernstein and Abbado whose fans might lay claim for their maestro but in the end of course it doesn't matter as they have all things to say. The reason for this review is to encourage people to get Tennstedt live wherever possible as it is like night and day. It is akin to Furtwangler whose live Beethoven 9th for example should keep you awake at night ! I would pick out the later symphonies in tennstedt's recordings of Mahler, the 6th,and 7th paticularly. I know getting all the symphonies separately involves a lot more cost but it is worth it. One symphony which is very difficult to get live is the 9th which holds a special place for me in Mahler's output. There is a live recording from Philadelphia conducted by Tennstedt available from Japan (Navikiese label) or listen to it first on youtube. It is a bit like the Furtwangler Beethoven 9th from wartime Berlin - 'rage,rage against the dieing of the light'.There is none of Abbado's resignation this is almost like an animal howling in pain and makes a very uncomfortable listen. Then when should Mahler ever be comfortable ?


Mahler: Symphony No.9 [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
Mahler: Symphony No.9 [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Price: 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An encounter with Death, 10 Feb 2014
All of the reviews for this disc relate to the 2004 performance with the Mahler Jugendorchester as i think Amazon has duplicated them wrongly. They are somewhat different performances. In the 1990's I went to the proms in London to hear Abbado conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in this piece and was overwhelmed by the third movement mostly - the anger at the approach of death was extra-ordinary. I didn't feel he had quite resolved the fourth movement yet. The 2004 performance on dvd is excellent but this one from Lucerne 2010 is in a different league altogether. Between london and Lucerne Abbado had most of his insides removed and he brought his near encounter with death into the concert hall in 2010. I have watched many people die in my career as a doctor and Mahler via abbado puts that into music.Other conductors seem to find a glimmer of hope at the end of this piece or just glide over the surface bringing beauty but no depth (Karajan) . Abbado is perhaps unique in what he has been able to portray. The dimming of the hall lights at the end seems only fitting as does the stunned silence of the festival audience. This disc is perhaps the most fitting tribute of all to Abbado, a truly wonderful musician who has given me so much pleasure over the years.


Mike Brodie - a Period of Juvenile Prosperity
Mike Brodie - a Period of Juvenile Prosperity
by Mike Brodie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 48.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 21 Jan 2014
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I bought this following a glowing review in the Observer newspaper. All the photographs seem to look into a secret world that otherwise we would never have the opportunity to see. The subject matter could be grim and Mike Brodie has painted his subjects with incredible honesty but his love and respect for them have given them great dignity. The boy hanging off the back of the tailgate giving us the finger is a real iconic image. There is nothing comfortable in this book of photographs of people on the run from something but for once let a book of photographs stir and disturb you. The people in it are not wearing calvin klein and are incredibly alive, a lot of them need a good wash but you want to hear their story first.


Before They Pass Away
Before They Pass Away
by Jimmy Nelson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 65.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok photographs, 21 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Before They Pass Away (Hardcover)
I bought the book unseen having read all the glowing reviews. I must say I am disappointed. Jimmy Nelson must have put in a prodigious effort to visit all these people(s). Sometimes he gets it right but I began to tire of the men arranged in a row brandishing guns / weapons. The colours are also rather muted and that seems to miss out for certain groups like the maasai and samburu, both of which I have spent time with. The book is a bit like a Salgado type of epic portrayal of something disappearing but without his eye or talent or a book of portraits from distant lands like McCurry but without his emotional impact. The book is rather expensive and I feel it is one to look at before buying.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2014 9:34 PM GMT


2013 Cuban Men Wall Calendar
2013 Cuban Men Wall Calendar
by Big Daddy
Edition: Calendar
Price: 10.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very sexy calender, 25 July 2012
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I am a somewhat biased reviewer as I have been a fan of the photographer, Kevin Slack, for sometime. These pictures are perhaps more obvious than his usual work which is notable for its subtlety and beautiful lighting. The calender is however a good introduction to his work which can be accessed better on his website where one can get prints. None of the pictures are disappointing when the amazon black blobs are no longer present and I recommend this to you.


Symphonies Nos 1 - 5, Pacific 231 & Rugby
Symphonies Nos 1 - 5, Pacific 231 & Rugby
Price: 7.99

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpieces, 27 Oct 2010
I agree absolutely with the above reviewer.i continue to be amazed at the neglect shown to these wonderful sumphonies. Honegger spent quite a lot of his life troubled by mental illness and you can tell from his music that he suffered in life, he can portray pain without getting the listener too depressed. There is often a sense of redemption just around the corner ( even more in his wonderful piece 'jeanne d'arc' where the music for Jeanne's death is as moving as anything by Wagner or R.strauss ). There isn't a fully satisfactory set of honegger symphonies perhaps somebody could prevail on Janssons to record the other four - (there is an excellent recording of no.3) with RCO .As a means of getting to know this wonderful music the dutoit set is as good as any. I also enjoy the Baudo set which has fairly primitive supraphon sound but a raw excitement that the dutoit set lacks.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2014 1:32 AM BST


Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935
Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935
Price: 7.32

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly Schubert, 2 Mar 2010
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I cannot play the piano but listen to it a lot. My favourite composer in this genre is probably Schubert and this is an important disc to me.I do not believe Schubert is about sunshine but also he is not just about pain. The mixture has to be just right.Sometimes i have the energy to listen to Richter - 'heavenly lengths' stretched to almost ridiculous limits. Sometimes I like the joyful approach of Kempff (nothing too complicated) or the more searching playing of Kovacevich but for the Schubert to be just right (for me)it needs to be Radu Lupu. This disc of the impromtus and the four disc set of sonatas are treasure indeed.Sometimes it seems as if you are listening to Lupu playing very privately as if the world outside doesn't exist. Sometimes it is the most beautiful music in the world and sometimes it is the most painful and sometimes it is both together.If ever there was desert island music it is Lupu playing Schubert.


Watermarks
Watermarks
by Mark Jenkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent photos, 2 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Watermarks (Hardcover)
Mark jenkins is a new photographer to me. His images are very refreshing - unforced,unmanipulated. The men are almost uniformally beautiful and are photographed in an incredibly erotic way. There are no blatantly sexual images, in fact there is very little sight of the mens' genitals unless they are covered in wet drapes or something similar. The lighting is excellent, every fold of skin, every muscle lovingly portrayed.
You also get the feeling he likes his models, he isn't taking advantage of them in any way whatsoever.This means the models are open in the photographs to our gaze and do not mind us looking.
The only change I would make to the book is to make it larger format, the photos deserve it.


Scherchen conducts Mahler: Symphony No. 6, Veni Creator from No. 8, Kindertotenlieder
Scherchen conducts Mahler: Symphony No. 6, Veni Creator from No. 8, Kindertotenlieder

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly honest and raw, 13 Nov 2009
I cannot talk about the technical aspects of his conducting. I haven't timed the cuts which Scherchen allowed. I can say that this is the most hair-raising mahler conducting I have ever heard. The symphony makes sense in a way that all the modern glitzy recordings don't approach by a mile. Yes, the likes of Rattle and Tilsson Thomas and Janssons all may be note perfect but this will tear your heart out. it isn't hysterical like Bernstein just raw, true and incredibly emotional


Moody: Passion and Resurrection
Moody: Passion and Resurrection
Price: 15.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving portrayal of the Passion story, 22 April 2009
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Initially I thought this was yet another crossover type of work and the snob in me suggested I stop listening. However, Moody soon hooked me with writing of great beauty which brought tears to my eyes.His language is deceptively simple and at times betrays his debt to his teacher John Tavener but perhaps that is no bad thing given the religious nature of the piece. I wonder if that is the key - would this appeal to someone without religious faith ? For me,as someone who tries to have faith ,it is a very moving portrayal of Christ's death and resurrection.The quality of the performance and recording is absolutely superb.


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