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Reviews Written by
Jeffrey Davis "jmd555555" (Sussex UK)
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Shostakovich: Symphony No.8
Shostakovich: Symphony No.8
Price: £21.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful performance - one of the best., 1 Jun. 2016
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Wonderful performance - one of the greatest of this symphony. Also great to have the return of the original LP cover image which is one of my favourites. Unfortunately, from my point of view, the booklet notes are all in Japanese.


Nielsen and Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
Nielsen and Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
Price: £14.61

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most anarchic side-drummer I have heard (Nielsen's 5th Symphony); terrific performance., 19 May 2016
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Mr Zubulake is right - this is a magnificent performance of the Nielsen; despite the limitations on the 1960 recording the urgency and power of the performance shines through. It is a gripping performance which had me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to hear this work at the Proms this year. Furthermore this performance features the most anarchic side-drummer I have heard - he doesn't let up for a moment. Strongly recommended (haven't listened to the Mahler yet as I keep replaying the Nielsen).


Mud Doll
Mud Doll
Price: £13.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful album - worth the wait!, 14 April 2016
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This review is from: Mud Doll (Audio CD)
This is the best, in my opinion, of Niraj Chag's albums to date although I like the earlier ones very much as well. I first came across him as the composer of the BBC's 'Power of Art' series episode on J M W Turner. I thought that the music was very soulful and moving and decided to try and find out more about the composer. I was delighted to hear on the current album the beautiful track 'The Land I Was Born On' which reminded me very much of the 'Turner music'. All the songs are memorable and often moving.


Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fat Knight/Serenade to Music/Henry V Overture [SACD HYBRID] multi-channel
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fat Knight/Serenade to Music/Henry V Overture [SACD HYBRID] multi-channel
Offered by Vocalion/Dutton Epoch Direct (Crazygreen8)
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable CD of 'lighter' Vaughan Williams., 24 Mar. 2016
All credit to Martin Yates and the RSNO for another enterprising disc. I suspect that other admirers of the composer will enjoy it more than I did and certainly it is a convenient way of hearing the music from 'Sir John in Love' without sitting through the entirety of the opera. I think that the music will appeal to those who (unlike myself) enjoy the incidental music from 'The Wasps' for example. I found it, especially in the early movements, rather too 'hey-nonny-no' for my liking - but that is my personal reaction and others may enjoy it more that I did. I liked the later movements more - the 'Ford and Mistress Ford' and 'Midnight in Windsor Forest' in particular. One section momentarily reminded me of Sibelius's 'The Swan of Tuonela'.
It was also good to hear the orchestral arrangement of the Henry V Overture (1934) which was the highpoint of the disc for me, although even here I didn't think that it added anything to the original version for Brass Band (already available on a Chandos CD entitled 'Brass from the Masters Volume 2'). I prefer the orchestral only version of the better known 'Serenade to Music' to the much-admired vocal version, which I have always found somewhat cloying and uncharacteristically self-congratulatory - although others will disagree. Vaughan Willams is one of my very favourite composers but I doubt that I will be playing this CD very often, especially compared with the magnificent recent release of the 1920 version of 'A London Symphony'. I wish that Dutton had recorded Ruth Gipps's magnificent 4th Symphony instead.


Atterberg:Orchestral Works 4 [Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi ] [CHANDOS : CHAN 10894]
Atterberg:Orchestral Works 4 [Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi ] [CHANDOS : CHAN 10894]
Price: £13.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful recording and fine performances., 26 Feb. 2016
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There have been some suggestions in reviews of earlier releases in this series and in other Chandos recordings conducted by Neeme Jarvi that the pace of the performances have been too brisk - Raff's Symphony 5 'Leonore' especially comes to mind. That is not, however, the case here. The opening of Atterberg's 3rd Symphony 'West Coast Pictures' is one of the most magical and atmospheric openings to any symphony and Jarvi, aided by a truly spectacular recording, takes it very slowly investing it with a gravity and poetry unlike any other version known to me, even the fine earlier recording by Sixten Ehrling. The symphony dates from 1915-16 and was not appreciated by the Swedish critics but became much more popular in Germany. Don't they say that artists are often not appreciated in their homeland? Together with the marvellous slow movement of Symphony 8 I think that it is my favourite moment in Atterberg's symphonic output although Symphony 5 'Funebre' remains my favourite symphony overall. The Third Symphony is really three atmospheric tone poems, composed at different times but they are wonderfully atmospheric seascapes, especially in this unmissable recording. I think that I will be listening to this CD many times with great emotional pleasure. The two other works on the disc are premiere recordings and I especially liked 'Vittorioso' from 1962, originally composed as a last movement of Atterberg's 7th Symphony (1942) but not utilised and later transformed into a new work. Altogether this is a sumptuous production with informative booklet notes by Stig Jacobsson and three fine photographs of the composer, including one with Shostakovich in c.1964. If you are collecting the Chandos Atterberg cycle this is obviously a mandatory release but it would also make a great entry point into Atterberg's symphonic oeuvre. Added 5th March 2016: I take the point made in the review below about the somewhat underpowered storm in the middle movement but I have no doubt that this is the most impressive of Jarvi's Atterberg cycle released so far.


Suchon:Symfonietta Rustica [Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi] [CHANDOS : CHAN 10849]
Suchon:Symfonietta Rustica [Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi] [CHANDOS : CHAN 10849]
Price: £14.65

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and worthwhile release., 18 Feb. 2016
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It is nice to see Chandos releasing off-the-beaten-track issues once again - although I have been enjoying their Atterberg symphonic cycle. Unlike his compatriot Moyzes (try his very moving symphony 7) Suchon (1908-1993) did not write symphonies. I often impulse buy a CD and then regret it - but not here. I played this melodic and lyrical music right through and then immediately wanted to play it again. I am not pretending that this is great music but it is not without depth either and is very enjoyable.There is quite a strong folk-music influence but integrated into compositions of some originality. Suchon was taught by V. Novak, who is one of my favourite composers and, I believe, a truly great one. If you like Novak's late Romantic music you should like this. The orchestration is often imaginative and I also sensed the influence of Ravel. I'm sure that this late-Romantic, tonal and melodic music will continue to grow on me. The notes are helpful and contain a tribute to the Estonian sound engineer who passed away comparatively young. The last movement of the Symfonietta Rustica (1955-56), the final track on the CD, is especially engaging.


Yosoo® Mini Two-Channel Battery Operated 27MHz Radio Remote Control RC Mouse Mice w/ Remote Controller Toy Gift for 3+ Year Kids Children Grey
Yosoo® Mini Two-Channel Battery Operated 27MHz Radio Remote Control RC Mouse Mice w/ Remote Controller Toy Gift for 3+ Year Kids Children Grey
Offered by huhushopuk
Price: £8.15

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cat was frightened of it!, 3 Feb. 2016
The good thing about this is that it works on carpet. I was expecting a mouse toy but instead it is a large black rat of bubonic plague proportions. When I first got it going our cat flew straight out of the cat flap! Works well though. Even my wife is frightened of it!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 6, 2016 8:49 PM GMT


War & Peace [DVD] [2016] [2015]
War & Peace [DVD] [2016] [2015]
Dvd ~ Paul Dano
Price: £12.00

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improves as it goes along., 2 Feb. 2016
I have at least read the book, which is more than can be said of a number of reviewers in the national press, and therefore would like to contribute my view. The soviet era film directed by and featuring Sergei Bondarchuk as Pierre is in a class of its own and features the best Pierre, Natascha and Andrei. I saw it when it first came out in c.1968. I was a child and my mother took me two weeks running to see the two consecutive parts at the Odeon Notting Hill Gate. As a young adult I saw it twice in all day showings at the South Bank - both great experiences. So far I have watched the first five episodes of the new BBC dramatisation. At first I thought that it was going to be a disaster with Pierre just featured as a buffoon, and an apparently lightweight Natascha straight from Cinderella. In fact the main characters were all overshadowed by smaller and older parts, Steven Rea, Rebecca Front and the marvellous Jim Broadbent (and the excellent Adrian Edmondson too). However, as the series has continued things have improved and Paul Dano's Pierre has now developed into a deeper, troubled and more nuanced performance - the spiritual centre of the drama. Also, I was wrong about Lily James who gives a convincing performance of Natascha, although I still prefer the Russian version heroine. Brian Cox is terrific as the wily Kutuzov and Jim Broadbent is best of all as the increasingly mad elder Bolkonsky; Princess Marya's is also a fine performance. I don't agree that Tuppence M is the weak link. I recently bought the earlier BBC version from the 1970s but found the production so dated and drab that I couldn't watch it. The Henry Fonda film is a disaster with both himself and Audrey Hepburn miscast. I have warmed more to the new version which should, however, have been spread out over at least eight or better still twelve episodes. Still, I have enjoyed this version more than before and the graphic images of the Battle of Borodino are startling in their gory detail. Also, unlike the soviet film this version does include Pierre's revelatory encounter with the Freemason. Added (10/02/16). I thought the final episode excellent with many moving scenes, not least the restored Pierre's encounter with the potato. I have the DVD too. The 'extras' are interesting but incredibly brief, which was a bit disappointing.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2016 6:52 PM GMT


Sainton:Moby Dick [Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William Stromberg] [NAXOS: 8573367]
Sainton:Moby Dick [Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William Stromberg] [NAXOS: 8573367]
Price: £7.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully atmospheric score., 15 Jan. 2016
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This was the first non American film score recorded by Marco Polo (the label on which it originally appeared) and you can understand why. It is a magnificent score in all respects and a wonderful tribute to its neglected composer Philip Sainton (whose short 'Nadir' issued on the Chandos label, is a masterpiece in my view). This is a most atmospheric score which I can play from beginning to end with much enjoyment. It features amongst the best 'sea music' that I have heard. Sainton always felt that he had a symphony inside him but financial and health worries prevented him from writing one - but maybe this is it! Like Auric's score for 'La Belle et La Bête' and Waxman's score for 'Rebecca' this is one of the best of the Naxos film music releases originally from Marco Polo. It comes with very detailed notes and only the photos from the film are missing from the Marco Polo release. Don't hesitate to hear this wonderfully atmospheric score which, like the ocean that it so effectively depicts, possesses great slumbering power.


Enescu:Symphony No 4 [NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Peter Ruzicka ] [CPO: 777966-2]
Enescu:Symphony No 4 [NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Peter Ruzicka ] [CPO: 777966-2]
Price: £15.30

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intermittently interesting., 23 Dec. 2015
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I read a review of this which compared Enescu's Symphony 4 to Vaughan Williams's Symphony 4, which interested me sufficiently to buy the CD. However, the symphony, to me, did not sound remotely like Vaughan Williams's masterpiece and the late Chamber Symphony also struck me as containing a lot of note-spinning. However, I loved the darkly atmospheric 'Autumn Clouds over the Forest' a haunting and poetic work but only lasting for eight and a half minutes out of a total of over one hour. Still, I keep going back to this Baxian work which I much prefer to anything else I have heard by Enescu.


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