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Profile for Reverend Andrew J. Howell > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Reverend Andrew J. Howell (Rochdale UK)
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Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 9
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 9
Price: £13.96

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was in tears at the end., 13 April 2015
As with a number of my Halle CD reviews, I was present at he live concert on this recording. I was in tears at the end. The final movement of this wonderful symphony contains such achingly beautiful music played here so wonderfully. The whole orchestra was on top form particularly the French horns. Sir Mark Elder has turned the Halle into a superb orchestra and this recording stands 2nd to Elgar's 'The Apostles'.


Shostakovich Symphony No.7 - Leningrad
Shostakovich Symphony No.7 - Leningrad
Price: £12.47

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I waited over 50 years and was not disappointed., 16 Jun. 2014
I waited over 50 years to hear a live performance of this great symphony and was not disappointed. As with a number of the Halle's 'own label' recordings,( Elgar's 'Apostles', Sibelius' 2nd Symphony, Bax's 'Spring Fire' and others) I was privileged to be present at the performance from which this recording comes.

The brass were in magnificent form and the famous repeated theme in the first movement was inexorably wound up to an almost unbearable climax. Magnificent.

It seemed to me that Sir Mark Elder had ignored all the stories about the genesis and history of the symphony, looked at what was in the score, and had shaped his interpretation from that. I am not surprised that all the reviews that I have read and heard have put this recording at or near the top of their favourite recordings. I will play this recording often.


Bax, Delius, Bridge - English Spring
Bax, Delius, Bridge - English Spring
Price: £10.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Spring has sprung, 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was present at the concert from which the recording of Bax's 'Spring Fire' comes. It was a piece I did not know but I liked it at first hearing and I am now getting to know well. Once again Sir Mark Elder and the Halle are in sparkling form. Besides 'Spring Fire'
there are other lovely English 'Spring' pieces. Listen to the :Idylle de Printemps' - a delightful miniature.


Jean Sibelius Pohjola's Daughter, The Oceanides Op.73 and Symphony No.2 in D Op.43
Jean Sibelius Pohjola's Daughter, The Oceanides Op.73 and Symphony No.2 in D Op.43
Price: £13.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb performance as good as when I heard it live., 30 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was privileged to be present at one of the performances from which this Sibelius 2nd symphony is taken. It was part of what was by far the best concert of the 2012/13 season. I have heard this symphony played so often but never as thrillingly as this. The performance has transferred to disc well and as good as I remembered it. It will rank high amongst my favourite recordings for a long time.

However this disc will go down for me as the best ever recording of Pohjola's Daughter. I have a number of recordings but none with attack, brilliant playing and wonderful music making as this. For example, the beautiful harp playing after the vision of Pohjola's daughter, the tremendous brass playing throughout. A truly revelatory recording coupled with a great description of the music in the notes.

Great stuff from a great Orchestra conducted by a insightful conductor. A combination which continues to thrill both in the concert hall and on disc in Sibelius and much, much more


Brucker: Symphony No. 8
Brucker: Symphony No. 8

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time and again, 31 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Brucker: Symphony No. 8 (Audio CD)
Time and again, I come back to this recording of what I consider to be the greatest symphony ever written. Every performance I hear both live and recorded, I judge against this recording. Its not perfect but the passion and commitment are so evident, it is compelling. A wonderful swansong from the conductor whom I saw once and was hooked forever on live classical music.


Edward Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius
Edward Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius
Price: £16.36

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Softly and gently, 1 April 2009
Sir John Barbirolli's classic recording will always be my favourite but this recording is an essential simply because of Alice Coote's 'Softly and gently'. I have played that one track time and time again. Better than Janet Baker and I never thought I'd ever write that.


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