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Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore
Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 5.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Addictive Rock at its Best, 2 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This Album I suggest, answers the much asked-question of what defines 'Hard Rock'.
I have come across many reviews in which the term 'Unique' has been used to
describe the style and unrestrained raw power of the music on this disc.
In regard to style it is impossible not to hear the influence of bands such as
'Cream' and 'Ten Years After'. In the case of raw unrestrained power it could
well be claimed that this recording borders on the unique.
From the opening track it becomes obvious that a kind of overwhelming musical
addiction will soon follow. This addiction will only apply to people whose
musical DNA consists of a longing for uncompromising Hard Rock on a very grand scale.

This Album is a must for anyone interested in Classic Live Recordings from Rock music's
greatest period or for anyone who has ever wondered why the sheer entertainment value
of this period is unmatched by any other musical period outside the 18th Century.


Haydn: Symphony No 88; no.89, No 92
Haydn: Symphony No 88; no.89, No 92
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 14.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Serenity beneath the Frivolity., 21 Sep 2013
The Symphonies represented on this disc highlight Haydn's musical greatness,
and, in the case of No.88 his genius.
This Symphony begins with a movement marked 'Adagio-Allegro'.
This beginning is typical noble Haydn: slow then lively with the whole
orchestra engaging in a movement which serves as an ideal prelude to the
serenity which is to follow in the second movement.
In this movement cellos and violins are at one in rapturous harmony.
And, from now on, all instruments intertwine within the movement's
basic theme creating a situation of simple, yet perfect musical
fulfillment.
After a breezy third movement marked 'Menuett. Allegretto',
we arrive at the famous last movement. The title of which
'Finale. Allegro con spirito', is totally justified and is
a fitting conclusion to a great if somewhat undervalued
Classical Symphony.

Symphonies 89 and 92 serve as good choices to fill the disc,
and on the whole the recordings on offer here are, despite their
age, a must for any collector of Classical Symphonies.


Mozart - Idomeneo [DVD] [2005]
Mozart - Idomeneo [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Pier Luigi Pizzi
Price: 24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hail Mozart, The Underrated, 31 Aug 2013
It has fascinated me that Idomeneo was composed during the same period as the
'Sinfonia Concertante'. Both these works contain moments of sublime beauty,
and, in the case of Idomeneo intense musical power, which at times is equal
to anything in the whole operatic repertoire.

After the premier in 1781 this opera fell victim to public taste, and it
was only in recent years that a degree of realization has allowed this
much neglected and undervalued masterpiece to be performed on a more
regular basis.

The production on this DVD is headed by a rather desperate and tortured
Kurt Sreit in the title role. The role of the king's son Idamante is well
sung by Sonia Ganassi who brings passionate determination to her character.
The role of Illia, the Trojan Princess who has been forced to live with
the Greeks and who is in love with Idamante, is well portrayed by Angeles
Blancas Gulin. Her physical gestures work well in the context of her
character and situation.
Iano Tamar as Elettra, the would-be lover of Idamante is ideal in
capturing her character's frenzied jealously as well as appearing
vulnerable and human.

This opera also contains great ensembles for minor characters and chorus
that must have been inspirational to the later development of opera as a
whole.

Idomeneo is well-served on DVD, however, I recommend this production
because it tends to combine an authentic historical setting with a sense
of visual structure that a modern public can identify with.

Owing to the content and what this opera represents {Love, Jealously,
Despair, Hope and Fear of Death coupled with the concept of Gods and
Great Civilizations}, I believe that it should become a learning tool
to help mirror humanity, as well as giving insights into the basic
human condition and the need for supernatural interference.


Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro [Sally Matthews, Vito Priante, Audun Iversen] [Opus Arte: OA1102D] [DVD] [NTSC] [2013]
Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro [Sally Matthews, Vito Priante, Audun Iversen] [Opus Arte: OA1102D] [DVD] [NTSC] [2013]
Dvd ~ Sally Matthews
Price: 18.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just Another Moder-dress Production., 19 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having got accustomed to so many Modern-dress productions in recent years, I went to see the original Live-broadcast with an open-mind and came away artistically fulfilled and musically uplifted. At first sight, a 1960's setting may seem to be a risk, however, a combination of fine singing and imaginary use of scenery and costume design resulted in an operatic triumph.

The first Act sets the tone of the whole production by having the Count and Countess arriving by car which immediately enforces a modern feel without being overblown.
From then on Late-18th Century Opera collides with a kind of psychedelic surrealism,a situation, which works to the benefit of this particular production. .

Although all the singers appeared to be on good form, special mention has to go to
Vito Priante as Figaro, Audun Iversen as the Count and Isabel Leonard as Cherubino.
All three peformers bring life and emotion to their respective characters.
Isabel Leonard's Cherubino sometimes threatens to steal every scene he is in, and his interactions with the Count are a joy to behold.
It is in fact, hard to imagine a more imposing Cherubino both in regard to singing and sheer irresistible sexual presence.

Extra features include two mini documentaries, and there is a choice of subtitles in six languages,which contribute to a DVD well worth the money, and I would recommend this disc without hesitation.


Live!
Live!
Price: 16.56

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly Spellbound, 3 Nov 2012
This review is from: Live! (Audio CD)
This album serves as a great testament to a much under-valued musician from a truly golden
era of Rock Music. Each track tends to represents high-energy electric guitar based rock
at its best. Pride of place however, must go to the track 'Daydream', eight minutes of
reflective, almost unearthly music which any alienated soul can relate to.
Every time I listen to this track I do indeed become 'Spellbound' and I become only
too aware of a sense of spiritual yearning without ever forgetting that great Rock Music
is great Rock Music and nothing more.

This album also serves as an example of the concept of 'The Great Live-Album'
which reached its height at about the time in which this album first came out.
For that reason alone, I would recommend this CD to any lover of high-class
Rock who just wants musical entertainment, delivered by one of Rock's
uncompromising Anti-Stars.


Handel: Rinaldo (Glyndebourne 2011) (Sonia Prina/ Varduhi Abrahamyan/ Tim Mead/ Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Robert Carsen/ Ottavio Dantone) (Opus Arte: OA1081D) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Handel: Rinaldo (Glyndebourne 2011) (Sonia Prina/ Varduhi Abrahamyan/ Tim Mead/ Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Robert Carsen/ Ottavio Dantone) (Opus Arte: OA1081D) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Sonia Prina
Price: 24.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A First-Class 21st Century Rendition of great 18th Century Opera?, 4 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well done Glyndebourne for staging Rinaldo 300 years after it was written for the London
stage. The fact that this aniversary was ignored by various so-called respected British
operatic companies just highlights British bourgeois indifference to almost all pre-
Mozart operas, resulting in artistic deprivation on a grand scale.

What a great surprise therefore, to be able to celebrate this operatic masterpiece, aided by a fine cast in modern dress, which, on the whole, works well even if at times the introduced comic elements tend to negate the opera's serious roots.

In many ways Rinaldo is a great introduction to Handel opera owing to a series of sublime arias and duets which highlight the glory of early 18th Century opera.

Despite the modern design of this production, the majesty of the music shines through, which just adds to the sense of 21st Century artistic homage to yet another much underrated operatic masterpiece. Everything considered then, a Four Star rating seems justified in regard to both performance and the price of the DVD.


Live Licks
Live Licks
Price: 10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not only Rock and Roll, But Plenty of Soul as well, 28 Mar 2012
This review is from: Live Licks (Audio CD)
Over the years the Rolling Stones have proved themselves to be Rock's greatest survivors.
Of course their ultimate period was the late 196o's and early 1970's {same old story}, and some of their best songs from this Golden Age are well represented on this disc.
What left the greatest impression on me were tracks such as 'Can't you hear me knocking' where the band manage to blend hard rock with soul, resulting in an almost perfect Live fusion. Indeed, what stuck me most about this album is just how muck the influence of soul music is evident in many of the tracks on this album.

Other songs given first-rate Live treatment are 'Honky Tonk Women' 'Monkey Man' and
'Gimme Shelter'. The band also pay homage to their roots with an excellent rendition of
'Rock Me Baby'.

To sum up then, this disc is a must for any ardent Rock fans and great entertainment for
anyone who is addicted to great Live Roock recordings.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2014 9:32 PM BST


Bach: Three Sonatas for Viola de Gamba and Harpsichord / Three Flute Sonatas
Bach: Three Sonatas for Viola de Gamba and Harpsichord / Three Flute Sonatas

5.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelming Small Scale Musical Perfection, 23 Mar 2012
I find it incredible that I am the first person to review this recording of these sublime and perfect works. It seems ironic that these sonatas apppear to transcend the mundane world and reach out to a higher level of existence in just the same way as something like the B Minnor
Mass but without the deep religious undertones. Yet, when listening to these sonatas, the sense of being in touch with a force beyond mortal understanding is overwhelming.
Just listen to sonata BMV 1029 and experience perfect musical structure and unison, and, as a result, you should become only too aware of the claim that 'Certain aspects of 18th century music has the power to carry the burden of our sorrows'. That said, 18th century music is also divine entertainment which should always be enjoyed with a smile rather than a frown.
A sense of this situation is wonderfully evident on this disc.

The sonatas for flute and Basso Continuo are just as sublime, albeit in a more earthly way, and serve as a great contrast and companion pieces to the Viola de Gamba sonatas.

In conclusion, a Fve Star rating is well deserved, and I would recomend this disc to any music lover, but especially to any music lover whose passion happens to be Late-Baroque masterpieces.


How To Be An Agnostic
How To Be An Agnostic
by Mark Vernon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

4.0 out of 5 stars More than just an easy middle way, 12 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: How To Be An Agnostic (Paperback)
Like any book dealing with the question of existence or non-existence of a deity or form of
after-life, this book can ultimately only ponder and probe.
However, after reading this thought provoking work I found myself somewhat enlightened and
uplifted by Mark Vernon's viewpoint and subjections in regard to the ultimate sense of
'Not Knowing'.

Special mention has to made to pages 55-56 where the existence of a would-be God is compared
to the 'Higgs boson particle collider'. The resulting conclusion, while still being robustly
agnostic serves as a justification of certain uncertainty which basic humanity and the human
spirit demands.

This book is also full of musical references which highlight the fact that if there is indeed
some kind of unseen deity existing beyond our comprehension, then it is only fitting that this
deity is somehow connected to the most powerful absract artistic force known to mankind.
On the whole 'How to be an Agnostic' avoids falling into the trap of appearing complacent in
regard of not having to prove or disprove a divine entity by always bringing the reader new
and fascinating insights into one of life's never ending debates.

A highly recommendable read then, worthy of Four Stars and a must for anyone who thinks that
agnosticism is just a safe and easy middle way between theism and atheism.


Elgar/Vaughan Williams: String Orchestra Works
Elgar/Vaughan Williams: String Orchestra Works
Price: 9.82

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unworthy Bewilderment Suspended., 20 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this C.D. as a result of recommendations concerning the 'Fantasia on a theme by
Thomas Tallis'. However, it is the Elgar interpretations which leave me with the
greatest impression. I am famillar with the Elgar symphonies and concertos which,
on the whole I can take or Leave depending on my mood. But the music on this disc has
an altogether greater quality, a quality that tends to go beyond insular and
nationalistic considerations and touches a kind of sensitive artistic soul,
a soul yearning for profundity amidst a sea of decadent realism.

Each track on this disc comes across as a first-class recording.
pride of place has to go to track 6- 'Sospiri', a sumlime mixture of serenity
and longing, as well as a fine example of understated musical achievement.
Indeed, the whole C.D. is testimony to understated English musical creativity,
refuting the notion of 'A Land Without Music'.

A great recording then from a golden age of great recordings, highlighting
the fact that the 18th Century does not have a complete monopoly in regard to
musical sublimeness and abstract artistic divinity. That said, this disc of
English String Music reflects a kind of mortal sublimeness as opposed to the
greatest 18th Century music where sublime musical form goes well beyond mortal
understanding. This state of affairs could well explain the appeal of this disc:
a disc full of serine beauty which conects with the human heart in a purely human
manner which enables a listener to enter into the music without a feeling of
unworthy bewilderment.

All in all then a great recording with first-class sound and a must for any keen
music lover.


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