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Reviews Written by
Mr. James C. Kellam (Scotland)
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Judy Collins - Live In Ireland [DVD]
Judy Collins - Live In Ireland [DVD]
Dvd ~ Judy Collins
Price: £14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrific concert - shame about the disc quality!, 10 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a really lovely concert which any of Judy's many fans would want to own. She is in amazing voice and the picture and sound qualities are high. But there are serious problems.

All of the items suffer from regular jerks in the movement of the picture which gets very irritating. I have seen two copies of this disc which, between them, have been tried on four different makes of players and two different TVs. The picture suffers the same on all.

More seriously, the menu for the bonus tracks simply does not work! Gypsy Rover is the only one that can be selected and when it gets to the end of that track it goes straight back to the start of the bonus menu! I did find a way to make the extras play. Two of my machines (Sony and Pioneer) allow direct menu access to the titles and, by trial and error, I discovered that the four bonus items are titles 2 to 5. Many players don't allow this though.

Furthermore, Amazon state that this disc is PAL. It is not; it is NTSC and is therefore exactly the same as the American issue.

This disc is a mess and I would hope that Wildflower and Cleopatra Records will withdraw it swiftly and put things right.

As a keen collector and fan of Judy, I will keep this disc for now - but she deserves better as do the customers.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2014 9:49 AM BST


Firebird/ Les Noces [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Firebird/ Les Noces [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Jonathan Cope
Price: £21.06

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Short measure on this recent presentation., 22 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would fully agree with the 5 star reviews on this page if the copy now for sale was the same as the one I purchased a few years back. However, I ordered it recently for a friend and - to our great disappointment - the 30 minute film of Stravinsky conducting is NO LONGER INCLUDED as a bonus item.

The appearance of the box is the same until you look carefully at the back and compare bonus items and the difference in running time.

Whether this was done for copyright reasons or not, it does strike me as sharp practice marketing this disc looking the same as it did when it first came out. I notice that the disc number is slightly changed.

Not nearly as recommendable as it was.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2014 3:38 PM BST


At Town Hall
At Town Hall
Price: £9.92

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nina at Town Hall - Sounding Good, 13 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: At Town Hall (Audio CD)
At last an issue of this wonderful concert that does justice to the original recording. It has obviously been a labour of love for Jackpot Records because here is the full concert, fully intact and it does sound like the elusive stereo version-sounding very good indeed.The presentation is lovely too with good notes and some nice photos. If you're a fan of Nina and want this concert, then look no further and avoid some of the other issues of it that are around and have poor sound quality. This album also includes the "Sincerely" album as a bonus. Highly recommended.


Nina Simone At Town Hall
Nina Simone At Town Hall
Price: £4.75

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Justice NOT done to the original, 9 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Always a favourite album of mine; and I was pleased to get this Hallmark label CD until I played it. This is a live concert that had all the applause left in on the LP version. Here, each track is faded to silence at the end. This wouldn't be so bad in itself if they hadn't clipped the start of some tracks when they faded them back up! Indeed, the piano intro. to "You Can Have Him" is totally missing. Add to this, mushy sound that needs a treble lift and the CD doesn't make for a happy experience. I have "You Can Have Him" on an EMI issued CD - "The Best of the Colpix Years" - and it sounds superb. This shows what CAN be done.

Try another source for this concert. I am doing, and will update this review at a later date if I find a better issue.

13/4/13 - I have now received the issue of this concert on the Jackpot label coupled with "The Amazing Nina Simone" as a bonus and it sounds superb. Everything about the concert is as it should be and it does actually sound like the elusive stereo version. I highly recommend that issue.


One Direction: The Only Way Is Up [DVD]
One Direction: The Only Way Is Up [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sinitta
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £2.39

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Rubbish!, 19 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an appalling waste of everyone's time and money. It beggars belief that a "documentary" about one of the most popular groups of the moment can be made without featuring even a snatch of any of their performances. Its total sum is a mish-mash of patronizing biographies all mixed in with snatches of conversation and endless talking heads set against continuous intrusive muzak which just goes on and on and on and on......

Do yourself a favour and avoid this nonsense: my copy's going to the charity shop - but I feel a bit guilty that someone else will get lumbered with it. The boys deserve much better than this.

The live tour video "Up All Night" is a much better buy.


Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 11 & 12/Hamlet/Golden Age
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 11 & 12/Hamlet/Golden Age
Price: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be worth adding to your collection, 21 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this set on the recommendation of a friend who thought it was the finest version of Symphony 11 that he'd heard. I cannot agree totally but feel that it should not be completely written off.The 12th Symphony and the Overture are worth having and the Overture is a likable rarity. The 12th is well played but perhaps a little on the solid side. There are more exciting versions of this to be had.

The 11th is quite the reverse and really is far too fast in places. The big climax in the second movement is quite shattering but probably not what Shostakovich had in mind. I really don't know how the orchestra get through that section without the whole thing falling apart. Thrilling, yes, but probably wrong. If you fancy trying this I would advise another version too, to contrast with it and the one I like best is still the Decca version conducted by Haitink. It's quite an old recording now but still sounds astonishingly good.

I found the sound quality on this newer set to be quite spectacular, so no problems there.

It's a good value set - and both The Age of Gold and Hamlet suites are welcome, whilst October is another rarity.

Cautiously recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2012 1:03 PM GMT


Guitar Favourites
Guitar Favourites
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of popular favourites, 13 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Guitar Favourites (Audio CD)
I would imagine that anyone who loves guitar music will enjoy this collection - mainly of Spanish favourites - by this Canadian artist. They are all brilliantly played and recorded. "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" is worth the entire price of this CD alone. Highly recommended.


Mendelssohn - A Midsummer Night's Dream (incidental music)
Mendelssohn - A Midsummer Night's Dream (incidental music)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £39.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Midsummer magic from Previn, 15 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a clear winner: the music is complete, including all the melodramas - and the vocals are beautifully sung in English.

I much prefer to have it presented like this, rather than in the usual extended suite. The melodramas are fascinating.

Previn and the LSO give a wonderful performance and no allowance needs to be made for EMI's analogue sound which positively glows.

The recording shows up many a modern digital effort. This is a splendid disc which would enhance anyone's collection.


Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kijé, Suite from Stone Flower, Autumnal, Andante, Dreams
Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kijé, Suite from Stone Flower, Autumnal, Andante, Dreams
Price: £8.44

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction for The Stone Flower, 15 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a really terrific disc and is rarely far from my player. As well as a first class Lieutenant Kije Suite and a couple of shorter items, there is an extended suite from The Stone Flower - a glorious late work that deserves to rank with Prokofiev's greatest ballets.

The standard of playing on this disc is very high indeed and full of sparkle. Chandos have produced a typically spectacular recording. This is very highly recommended.

I suspect that, after you've heard this disc, you might be tempted to buy the complete ballet. If so, look no further than the Chandos recording conducted by Noseda.


The Gramophone Classical Music Guide 2012
The Gramophone Classical Music Guide 2012
by James Jolly
Edition: Paperback

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save Your Money!, 19 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would say that for any experienced collector of classical CDs, or even a keen beginner who wants to seek out the best versions of a work, this book is next to useless. I can provide examples to support my case.

Take Shostakovich for instance. There are two sets of the complete symphonies listed, but only ONE version listed of the "Leningrad" symphony (No.7) that can be bought separately. This is the later LIVE Bernstein recording. Even this is part of a two disc set and the reviewer remarks on audience noise! At the time of writing, a look on Amazon reveals 178 entries for this symphony. I accept that quite a few of these will be duplicates or parts of boxed sets, but I think this makes my point. It's easy to find versions conducted by Kofman, Gergiev, Ashkenazy, Bychkov, Jansons, Masur and Barshai (the latter's whole set on Brilliant is outstanding) - not to mention the earlier Leonard Bernstein recording (sometimes hard to find, but well worth searching out). These are just a few examples.

Rimsky-Korsakov is granted a whole two pages in this book covering some of the better-known works. There's no mention of (say) Symphony No.2 (a lovely work) - and NO operas at all - staggering!

Bearing in mind that this book claims to review DVDs as well as CDs, Puccini's "La Rondine" does very badly. Although there's one CD listed (with Alagna), there are NO DVDs listed and I know of THREE - all good in their own ways. Giordano does no better: neither of the Domingo DVDs are mentioned and nor is the Cura version - and when it comes to the opera "Fedora" - well, it's not even mentioned! There is a beautiful Met. production with Freni which is well worth adding to your collection if you like the work.

If you want a book that does its best to cover everything and reveal the riches that ARE available, I would much rather recommend the Penguin Guide to Classical Music.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2014 10:55 AM BST


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