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Robert A. Kensit "Robert" (Ipswich, England)
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Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf; Lieutenant Kijé / Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf; Lieutenant Kijé / Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good narration, 19 Nov 2013
A few years ago I collected as many different narrations of "Peter and the Wolf" as I could find, for a local radio Christmas special quiz. I was expecting the Sean Connery narration to the real turkey of the lot, but it turned out to be the best. Connery takes it seriously, he does not do a cute voice for children. He really makes you understand that being confronted by a wolf in the forest is frightening! Well done Sean.


Faraway So Close [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Faraway So Close [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Otto Sander
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £70.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first part, 21 Dec 2011
I am in a minority for regarding this film as if anything, better than the film it follows, "Wings of Desire" because it takes all of the themes of that film and then develops them further. As well as being an inevitable film, the first ending with "to be continued", it was also made necessary when the Berlin Wall came down - the first film being about Berlin before this event, an update was needed.

Having relatives who lived in Berlin during the Second World War, these two films strike deep with me. It needs to be remembered that this film is a fable, not a realistic story - nobody is expected to really beleive that angels are like this, although they may be closer to the real thing than most suspect.

As a moral and spiritual fable, this film is unsurpassed, and is one of very few films that leaves me weeping every time I watch it.


Trouble in Tahiti / Facsimile for Orchestra
Trouble in Tahiti / Facsimile for Orchestra
Offered by kevin26821
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected masterpiece, 18 Dec 2011
"Trouble in Tahiti" tends to be regarded as a bit of an oddity, especially as it was allegedly written while Bernstein was on his honeymoon and is about a couple whose marriage is breaking down. In fact, it shows Bernstein's wit and perception of social issues with razor-sharp vision. This work, while being genuinely funny, is a biting satire on the American dream of the perfect domestic home. Using occasional tunes based on advertising jingles, Bernstein places the piece in a specific time. Considering that this was written at the beginning of the 'fifties and not the end, it was way ahead of it's time.

Bernstein uses musical techniques to express ideas that would be almost impossible in plain speech, such as when the couple sing a duet, with both of them sitting alone at opposite ends of a diner, and at the end when they try depserately to disucss their relationship but continue to break down into argument. What is chilling about this work is how little the icons of the happy family life from 60 years ago have changed - the big TV, commuting to the office, the well-kept lawn, the designer kitchen and seeing the therapist seem all too contemporary.


Rhapsody in Blue / American Paris / Grand Canyon
Rhapsody in Blue / American Paris / Grand Canyon
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £7.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Best recording ever, 18 Dec 2011
I bought this because I was listening to Radio 3 and on came the best performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" that I had heard, and I didn't find out who was conducting until the end. Considering the umpteen recordings of this piece that have been released, for one to stand out so strongly shows that it is remarkable. Of course, Bernstein really understands what this music is about - as an American, and as a composer of both classical and popular music.


Staring Down The Brilliant Dream
Staring Down The Brilliant Dream
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £20.36

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long awaited live CD of recent work, 18 Dec 2011
Since discovering the Indigo Girls over 10 years ago and becoming an ardent fan, I have had the feeling that their more recent studio albums have gone a bit too soft and they were losing their fire. Hearing live versions of more recent songs puts that worry to rest, as all the energy is there. This is a group that is decidedly better live than in the studio, not only because of their energy but the quality of their playing which puts many well known live acts to shame. This duo could forget all their words and just play guitar all evening and they would still sound amazing. This album, a live collection of more recent work is long overdue.

There is one reason why this has four stars and not five - the cut off before and after songs is very abrupt, and there is almost no taling between songs, unlike their previous live album "1200 Curfews". Considering how important the duo's rapport is with their audience, this is a great shame.


Theology
Theology

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is the point, 9 Oct 2011
This review is from: Theology (Audio CD)
I don't think that I have ever bought an album and decided the next day to get rid of it, but I have with this one. I am a completist and so would be pretty forgiving of a poor album from a singer I like, but to call this mediocre is being polite. This album is a series of religious songs, most of which are taken from biblical texts. The only two songs that are at least pleasant are two of the three not written by O'Connor, and even they are not that great. The others are simply bland recitations of religious text with pointless musical backing. And I am a Christian of thirty years standing, so the religious content does not put me off, just its treatment. Ms O should have been reminded that there is a thriving Christian music culture with hundreds of singers able to do muxch better than this.


Bernstein: Wonderful Town
Bernstein: Wonderful Town
Price: £7.45

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful recording, 10 Sep 2011
I bought this to replace another version that had become unplayable, and this seemed the best bargain available. It is a truly wonderful recording, as Rattle has a real understanding of this kind of music, and brings over all the wit and fun of the musical. Most notably, Rattle uses his skill to make the musicians sparkle throughout, instead providing the backing as in many recordings of musicals. Only one quibble - what a boring cover photograph!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2014 12:44 PM BST


The Hunting of the Snark
The Hunting of the Snark
by Lewis Carroll
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.39

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jansonn genius!, 10 Sep 2011
At last Tove Jansson is being recognised as more than a writer of cute children's stories. It is wonderful to see this book reprinted, but to be honest I don't think it will have much appeal to you unless you are a keen Jansson fan - although there are a lot of us about. The story itself is pleasant enough, but it it is for the illustrations that most people will but this book. Jansson's work is wonderful, simple black and white woodcut-like drawings, and you can identify plenty of Moomin-style figures. Unfortunately, this is not a long book and the drawings are small, so you end up wishing that Jansson had done far more than she had room for.


Ricco 4GB Aluminum CAPSULE USB 2.0 Flash Pen Drive Memory Stick 4 GIG GB Metallic Pink Magenta - Great for Gift
Ricco 4GB Aluminum CAPSULE USB 2.0 Flash Pen Drive Memory Stick 4 GIG GB Metallic Pink Magenta - Great for Gift

4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy little item, 10 Sep 2011
I chose this memory stick because I am tired of having the USB connection on sticks break or buckle accidentally when in transit. This has a solid metal casing so is very sturdy. One drawback, which is inevitable for a screw-on top is that it does unscrew itself when left dangling for long enough - so on no circumstances should you use the keyring attachment to let it hang from your person, or you will eventually lose it!


Britten: Owen Wingrave
Britten: Owen Wingrave
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £41.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable and original work, 10 Sep 2011
This review is from: Britten: Owen Wingrave (Audio CD)
I do not have sufficient knowledge of the subject to comment on the quality of singing or performing on any opera recording, so will leave that to others. Like all of Britten's operas, this is a remarkably challenging and original work, and deserves far more attention than it gets. Typically for Britten, you get a lot of thought-provoking content, with a completely original story line and intelligent libretto. Unlike most operas, Britten's work has real depth. While it is true that this work is about pacifism, it is not simply an anti-war polemic, and deals with the rigidity and opressiveness within the families of the English ruling class, and the demands that are handed down through the generations. The portrayal of the female characters in this work is particularly striking, as they are far more pro-military than the men who acturally have to go off to fight.


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