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Geoffrey Bellamy "SamboGeoff" (Yorkshire, England)

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Walton: Belshazzar's Feast, Coronation Te Deum, Gloria
Walton: Belshazzar's Feast, Coronation Te Deum, Gloria
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 10.29

3.0 out of 5 stars A Very Anglican Belshazzar from Willcocks, 10 Aug 2014
An interesting recording this! Everything is crystal clear, clean-cut and refined in a very English way. The choir seems a tad small, or at least lacks intensity of tone at times. There is no lack of drive, and certain no sluggishness, but the cumulative effect is under-powering, compared with the best Belshazzars on CD. It is all too CofE for me. Walton himself wanted more passion, surely, as his own recording shows. Gwynne Howell is a fine soloist, though his tone is a bit fuzzy, as was his way. The Philharmonia plays superbly throughout.
The recorded sound is excellent, clear and focussed, if a tad lacking in fire power. This may be due to the performance style, however.
The two fillers, the Coronation Te Deum and the Gloria both go well and perhaps respond better to Willcock's typically English Cathedral School way.
Many listeners will like the Willcocks way with Belshazzar, but it's not for me, I'm afraid. Try Previn!

Grainger Edition (The Grainger Edition, Volumes 1-19)
Grainger Edition (The Grainger Edition, Volumes 1-19)
Price: 40.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Grainger Boxed Set, a Must Buy for any Serious Grainger Collector, and Recommended to any Lover of Good Music., 7 Aug 2014
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Anyone serious about Grainger's music will want this box. Not everything he wrote is here, but a good portion of it is. Grainger spent much of his later life revising and "dishing up" (his words) his pieces for different musical combinations. One would not expect some pieces to work for piano solo, or single voice, but they always seem to. Grainger was a master technician and inventive scorer.
Any proper collection must emphasise the oddities of the music, you are safe here! The quality of recorded sound is beyond criticism, the big orchestral pieces sound magnificent. These are not the older Bournemouth Sinfonietta recordings of the orchestral works, these are the BBC Phil ones under Hickox, much, much better in all respects. Penelope Thwaites occupies the piano stool for many tracks, a Grainger expert, as well as a fine pianist. She is in a different league from the often-rushed, facile playing on the old Nimbus disk of Martin Jones. The piano sound is excellent, focused and natural.
All the vocal soloists are very good, at least. The symphonic winds of the Royal Northern College are totally professional, and the recorded sound is superb, with huge range and depth.
What unites everything in this box is the passion and commitment the performers bring to the music. Grainger was a passionate, emotional man, if a very odd man, and that passion and expressivity is given full rein here.

Grainger: In a Nutshell
Grainger: In a Nutshell
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Grainger, as Good as it Gets!, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Grainger: In a Nutshell (Audio CD)
Superb playing, first rate recording, deep, warm and clear, and a master on the podium, sympathetic to Grainger's quirky style, and not underplaying the eccentricities built into the scores. Grainger recordings don't come better that this. The Lincolnshire Posy is, for me, the highlight here, performed in its proper symphonic winds version. Even if you have lots of Grainger recordings, and happily I have, this is a valuable addition to any collection.

Doitwiser ® Compatible Black High Capacity Toner For Epson M1400 MX14 MX14nf Aculaser - S050650 - Black High Yield 2,200 Pages
Doitwiser ® Compatible Black High Capacity Toner For Epson M1400 MX14 MX14nf Aculaser - S050650 - Black High Yield 2,200 Pages
Offered by DoitwiserUK
Price: 9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Good, very cheap printer cartridge., 7 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Does what it says, works A1. Incredibly cheap, when comparing with the maker's own brand.

Symphonie N 1 Ouverture `Portsmouth Point`
Symphonie N 1 Ouverture `Portsmouth Point`
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Fine Walton from Slatkin and the LPO., 7 Aug 2014
Very fine playing and clear, musical direction by Slatkin make this a recommendable recording. The sound quality is excellent, as usual from
Virgin. If you heard this live, you would return home rejoicing, frankly. I know the Previn LSO version, of course, and that has that stunning swagger and grip, but this version really is first rate on its own terms and, as always with Slatkin, the composer's score is central to the interpretation. There is nothing cool or detached here. Have a listen, you'll not be disappointed.

Tchaikovsky: Complete Piano Works for Piano and Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Complete Piano Works for Piano and Orchestra
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: 18.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Tchaikovsky Playing from a Superb Musician, 7 May 2014
Werner Haas had a formidable technique, seemingly able to play the most demanding repertoire with panache, bravura, but refined control of colour and texture.
These performances of all the piano and orchestra works display his artistry. He was famous also for his French repertoire, and those same qualities of refinement illuminate his Tchaikovsky.
Voice leading, pin-sharp articulation, explosive virtuosity and playing at the service of the composer all mark him out as a superb pianist.
The Philips recording was always very good, on the warm side of neutral. The piano is well forward in the mix, but the orchestra is still easy to hear, as was normal in recording made in the 70s. The Monte-Carlo orchestra are not the Berlin Phil, but they are committed under the under-rated baton of Eliahu Inbal.
At a very cheap price you have all three concertos, the Concert Fantasy and the Andante and Finale.
I had most of this on lp, and have bought the 2 cd set. I recommend Werner Haas' playing to you without reservation.

Beethoven: Symphonies & Overtures
Beethoven: Symphonies & Overtures
Price: 26.55

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Beethoven from a Great Musican, 1 Feb 2013
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There is nothing lukewarm about this review, or these performances. Everything is serious and dramatic. Klemperer was a towering musician, both physically and as a conductor of music from Bach to the Twentieth Century.
Central to this set is the series of stereo recordings made with the Philharmonia Orchestra in the late 1950s, in fine, big-boned sound, typical EMI of the time. In case some readers are already about to press the escape button, these are NOT slow performances, but they are on the grand scale, as Beethoven surely expected, given the drama he wrote into the music.

This was a time of great uprisings and debate in Europe, Beethoven was a passionate man and had deep thoughts on important subjects. He was not a man to invite to tea and fairy cakes, not unless you wanted a particularly vibrant tea, and were prepared to have your cakes thrown at you. Remember, Beethoven violently scratched out a dedication to Napoleon on the first page of his Third Symphony when Napoleon made himself Emperor. These things mattered to Beethoven, he was that type of man. His music should therefore be approached with that degree of intent and seriousness, if you want to reflect the man in his music, and you should.

Also in the box are the earlier 50s mono recordings of symphonies 3, 5 & 7. These are even more fiery than these later stereo remakes. There are some of Klemperer's last recordings, from the late 1960s. The big piece there is third recording of the Seventh Symphony. This is stately, certainly, but still extremely rugged and intense.

The playing throughout the set is beyond-compare excellent. Klemperer was a fierce man, but a great musician, and other musicians responded to his inherent musicianship with commitment to his vision. There was nothing "Flash Harry" about the man or his music.
Buy this whilst you can, you'll not be disappointed, I wasn't!

Mahler: Complete Symphonies Nos 1-9 (Decca Collectors Edition)
Mahler: Complete Symphonies Nos 1-9 (Decca Collectors Edition)
Price: 39.93

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic, Invigorating Mahler from Solti in Chicago, 2 Jan 2013
Solti recorded the first two symphonies in London in the 60s, then recorded them again, together with the rest, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
To begin with, the sound throughout is superb, the model of clarity and sonic range. This suits the hyper-dramatic approach taken by Sir Georg Solti.
Some will be expecting the music to be rushed off its feet and pounded to death by accents, as per the popular view of Solti. This is not the case, though. It is true that Solti ensures a fierce sense of rhythm, but that is only what is in the score. Solti was reacting against that European tradition of sloppiness, where what was written in the score was not central to how the music was played. Orchestras did not play together, and Solti was determined that they should. The Chicago orchestra was perfect in realising what he wanted, unanimous attack, clear phrasing and spot-on tuning.
There is often great gentleness and refinement of approach, so that the more powerful music comes across all the more dramatically. Solti does not go for the slow Mahler very fashionable at present, his speeds are more akin to those of the earlier interpreters, who were closer to Mahler and his time than many today. Bruno Watler, Fritz Reiner, Paul Kletzki and others always ensured forward momentum, Solti does that here.
I do love Bernstein's Mahler, but that doesn't prevent me loving Solti's Mahler as well. Both have more to say, I feel that the often-safe Rattle and Chailly.
If you want a good set of all the complete symphonies, this is a very good one, superbly recorded at a good price.

Brandenburg Concertos
Brandenburg Concertos

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine 1970s Bach from Davison and his outstanding players, 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Brandenburg Concertos (Audio CD)
Arthur Davison, a versatile and fine musician, was a mainstay of the Classics for Pleasure catalogue in its early days. His recordings were mainly with the LPO and the Virtuosi of England, a scratch ensemble of top London professionals.
These Brandenburg Concertos are lithe, athletic and superbly played. They avoid the heavy approach of earlier times, and the, often, spiky approach of the early period instrument players, before they settled into less bizarre ways of playing.
Speeds are always carefully considered, springy and focused, a major issue in these works. Davison does not rush the music off its feet, happily, nor is it too ponderous. Listen to the excellent playing in No 6, to see how exciting and intricate the part writing is when played as well as it is here. The more virtuosic part writing in, say, No 2 is a pleasure in itself when played like this - but these were superb musicians encouraged to play at their best by a fine conductor.
A bonus is the violin playing of Kenneth Sillito in the concertos included as a filler.
This set sold well in the 1970s, and it is more-than-welcome again now. Unless you are allergic to modern instruments playing Bach, this is an easy set to recommend.

Brahms: Symphonies Nos 1-4, Serenades Nos 1 & 2, Haydn Variations
Brahms: Symphonies Nos 1-4, Serenades Nos 1 & 2, Haydn Variations
Price: 23.75

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tip Top Brahms from Kertesz makes a Welcome Return to CD, 29 Dec 2012
These recordings, made in Vienna, largely, in excellent analogue sound, are very much welcomed back to the catalogue. Internet prices have been very high whilst they have been unavailable. The set focuses on the symphonies. Kertesz gets magnificent playing from the VPO, warm, clear and committed. The horns - vital in Brahms - have the Viennese brazen quality when blown hard, to cut through the texture without swamping the sound, but a sweet, mellow sound when playing quietly. The clarinets are suitably woody and the oboes tight and acidic. The Vienna strings are beautifully sweet and responsive, listen to the first five minutes of the Fourth Symphony to get what I mean.
The First Symphony is athletic, refined and musical. The Second, recorded before the rest, is superb, deeply felt and, ultimately, exciting as the tension increases in the last movement. The Third is thrilling, precise and moving. The Fourth is masterful, really, really gripping and sonically magnificent. I know of no better Fourth than this.
The "Haydn Variations" are very good, the latter part recorded without conductor as a tribute to Kertesz, who was tragically killed before the set was released on LP. The VPO clearly loved the man, as they play here with deep feeling, tears are hard to avoid as you hear them mourn the loss of a fine musician.
The Serenades, recorded in London with the LSO, are the best recordings of these lovely works. The horn solo playing in No 1 is outstanding - Barry Tuckwell?
All in all, this is a set to treasure, I cannot recommend it too warmly to you.
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