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Schubert: The Three Great Symphonies, Nos. 5, 8 & 9
Schubert: The Three Great Symphonies, Nos. 5, 8 & 9
Price: 7.64

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classical Classic, 21 Feb 2013
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I can't quite put my finger on the reason why I don't feel able to give this recording five stars - but I think it's just slightly lifeless. This may be a somewhat harsh opinion, bearing in mind that the recordings date from the early 1980’s when classical music tended to be interpreted with more reverence – perhaps simply an absence of ‘wow factor’.

Don’t, however, let that comment deter you – these are, without doubt, excellent performances of great music and are right up at the top of the available recordings for these three Schubert works.

As far as the recording quality is concerned, I have no complaints. The CD cover states the recording is ‘DDD’ – which surprised me as I was expecting a digital remaster. This is a great value double CD which will undoubtedly give much listening pleasure.


Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos
Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos
Offered by frontdog
Price: 34.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mendelssohn bonanza, 13 Feb 2013
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This is a digitally remastered recording of works originally performed in the 1950's so it will be no surprise ro discover that they are mono recordings. Don’t let that put you off though: this is not only a little bit of history but also superb music which – possibly thanks to the sound engineers – seems fresh and clear.

It comprises pieces performed by three different orchestras. On CD 1 Piano Concertos 1 and 2 are performed by Peter Katin and the LSO conducted by Anthony Collins, and the Capriccio Brilliant in B minor and Rondo Brilliant in E flat major performed again by Peter Katin; but this time with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jean Martinon.

On CD 2, Concerto in E major for two pianos and strings and Piano Concerto in A minor are played by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Neville Marriner with Brendan Lucas playing the piano on the E major and John Ogden on the A minor. The CD is rounded off with Rondo Capriccioso in E major played by Jorge Bolet.

These Mendelssohn pieces are rarely performed, and to discover them all on one double CD with performances by different orchestras and pianists is a real find.

As far as the performances are concerned, you may, perhaps, detect a slightly old fashioned style of playing on Piano Concertos 1 and 2 but they are no less enjoyable for that. The Concertos in E major and A minor are classic Academy sound with their trademark clarity and perfection. These pieces do not sound at all dated and - apart from the absence of stereo: which quickly ceases to matter – they could have been performed and recorded yesterday.

This double CD warrants 5 stars inspite of the absence of stereo.


The Chopin Concertos
The Chopin Concertos
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 13.08

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A winner!, 13 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Chopin Concertos (Audio CD)
Deutsche Grammophon's legendary recording quality is apparent on this fine CD of Chopin Piano Concertos. Add in Daniel Barenboim's superb playing and interpretation and the result is very special indeed.

With beautifully clear sound this performance seems fresh and exciting every time you hear it. Although it has been recorded live, you are not aware of this until the applause at the end of each piece and you will feel like joining in.

Barenboim conveys the beauty of Chopin’s Concertos with every note. A real winner!


Boccherini-String Quartets, Op 32 Nos 3-6
Boccherini-String Quartets, Op 32 Nos 3-6
Price: 6.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 12 Feb 2013
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Boccherini may not have the popular appeal of Haydn when it comes to chamber music but his work is certainly worthwhile.

The String Quartets on this CD are pleasant music but I was disappointed: the recording seems to me to plod along and lack sparkle. It is a monochrome performance.


Handel: Water Music Suites 1, 2, 3, Music for the Royal Fireworks
Handel: Water Music Suites 1, 2, 3, Music for the Royal Fireworks
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 7.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful majestic music, 11 Feb 2013
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There is certainly something regal and majestic about this music and it's easy to imagine the performance of the Water Music as part of the royal flotilla on the Thames in 1717. It must have been quite a spectacle!

This CD comprising Suites 1, 2 and 3 of the Water Music, the Firework Music and, for good measure, the well known Concerto in F major Hornpipe, is played on authentic instruments by the English Baroque Soloists conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.

I'm not always thrilled by performances using 'original' instruments, but on this recording it works extremely well. The sound is clear (with the classic purity of sound from the trumpets) and the performance is harmonious and lively.

Lovely music and a great CD.


J. Haydn: Violin Concertos
J. Haydn: Violin Concertos
Price: 13.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Great music and a great recording, 10 Feb 2013
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I am lucky enough to have several Haydn recordings - he is one of my favourite composers - but I recently realised that the Violin Concertos were conspicuous by their absence. My loss! I spent some time sampling various recordings and, although I had not previously heard the Munich Chamber Orchestra, decided this one stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Now that I've listened to the full recording I am happy to confirm that this is indeed a true masterpiece. Isabel Faust clearly has a real rapport with these works and for me the end result is wonderful. At 16.67 this is not a low price CD but it is worth every penny. Apart from being terrific music and beautifully performed, the recording is excellent: clear, concise and the balance is, to my ear, spot on.

This is a CD which will be played often and enjoyed each time.


Vivaldi: La Cetra, 12 Concertos, Op. 9
Vivaldi: La Cetra, 12 Concertos, Op. 9
Price: 9.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly great music, beautifully played, 10 Feb 2013
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The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields is always a safe bet and this recording is no exception. Iona Brown works her magic to help create a truly lovely performance of the twelve violin concertos which are collectively referred to as La Cetra.

The overall quality of this recording is quite excellent and the sound engineers have done a terrific job - you can hear all the instruments contributing individually to an overall beautiful orchestral sound. The original recordings date from the mid 1970s and have been digitally remastered to a very high standard by Decca on this double CD set.

Almost as a bonus, the second CD also contains the Concerto for 2 oboes in D minor and the Concerto for piccolo in C major,

This CD set is a real gem and well worth a place in your music library.


Mozart: Symphonies 29-31, 33, 34, 38 'Prague' &  39
Mozart: Symphonies 29-31, 33, 34, 38 'Prague' & 39
Price: 7.70

5.0 out of 5 stars If I could give six stars..., 10 Feb 2013
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If, like me, you love Mozart Symphonies and also believe that Daniel Barenboim is the master at providing the perfect interpretation of this terrific music then without hesitation this recording is for you. What's more, it's a double CD pack for only 6.22!

The original recordings date from 1967 to 1972 and have been digitally remastered by EMI and released as part of their EMI treasures series. I fully agree; this is a real treasure: the music is wonderful, the performances are brilliant and the recording is, as far as I can tell, flawless.

This has got to be one of my favourite CD's.


Telemann: Wind Concertos.
Telemann: Wind Concertos.
Price: 16.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite superb!, 10 Feb 2013
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Telemann has been somewhat absent from my collection and I thought this would go some way to redressing the position! This CD includes six Concertos: Transverse Flute, Three Oboes, Two Chalumeux (I had to look this up - it's a forerunner to the clarinet), Trumpet, Transverse Flute and Recorder, and Trumpet and Violin. They are played on original authentic instruments - a speciality of the Archiv label - and the result is a characteristically pure sound. The recordings are crisp and clear and a delight to listen to. Each concerto is quite short - typically around 10 minutes for three or four movements - so there's plenty of variety.

If you like baroque music I'm sure you will enjoy this recording whether or not you are already familiar with Telemann.


Mendelssohn: Concerto for piano & violin in Dm; Concerto for violin in Dm
Mendelssohn: Concerto for piano & violin in Dm; Concerto for violin in Dm
Price: 6.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good performance of great music, 10 Feb 2013
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I must confess that ever since hearing the Mendelssohn violin concerto in E minor many years ago on the classics channel of in-flight entertainment on a long-haul flight I have been a Mendelssohn fan! I thought this CD which comprises the Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings in D minor and the Concerto for Violin and Strings in D minor, would be a good addition to my collection - and it has not disappointed. I cannot, in all honesty, say that this is the absolute best performance/recording because there are occasions where - to me at least - the balance between the various instruments does not seem quite right and, for example, the piano can seem a bit too 'in your face'. That, however, could possibly be regarded as excessively critical and overall this is a CD which I will play and enjoy many times.


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