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The Late Piano Pieces
The Late Piano Pieces
Price: 15.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional - but give us more, 29 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Late Piano Pieces (Audio CD)
This is a great recording of some of Brahms' most personal music. Gourari is a pianist of the profoundest eloquence. I came to this disc from the recent ECM "Canto Oscuro", my introduction to her pianism, and was even more bowled over by her authority, passion and intellectual commitment. Her Scriabin, too, is astonishing. Why don't we hear more of her in the UK, and why are there so few recordings on the market (indeed their number seems to be dwindling - the Decca recitals almost entirely unavailable)? Perhaps in Germany and in Central Europe her career is less clouded in obscurity - this CD certainly seems to have been popular. So why the abrupt switches between record labels? Why such a cautious exposure on the internet, on Youtube, even on her own website? Is all this a deliberately cultivated artistic reticence (think Radu Lupu, or even Carlos Kleiber)? So many whys ... please give us more Anna Gourari.


Sudden Elevation
Sudden Elevation
Price: 11.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only love songs?, 1 April 2013
This review is from: Sudden Elevation (Audio CD)
Everything about this singer is magical. I don't know why it's taking her so long to be better known across the musical world. I fell in love with her sincerity and her emotional generosity - and her exquisite, gentle, passionate voice - from the very first moment. The songs are just love songs, but new-minted and as intimate as any songs I've ever heard. Before, they were in Icelandic. Now they're in English, with no loss of originality or authenticity. Her melodies are effortless, and wonderful. Do people still write melodies? Olof does. Whatever happens, I hope she stays true to her gift. She's a reminder in these cynical, wintry times that it doesn't all have to be like this. A commentator on the cover of her first CD speaks of the courage with which she pursues her art - and she gives the listener courage too, or at any rate this listener.


Maurizio Pollini - Piano Concertos  [DVD] [2005]
Maurizio Pollini - Piano Concertos [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Pollini
Price: 24.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful performances, beautifully captured on film, 6 Oct 2012
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Maurizio Pollini in these performances is both passionate and magisterial, and his technical proficiency is staggering. The camera does what it should do - takes you in closer and more lingeringly than you could ever experience in the concert hall. In the second movement of the Emperor and the transition to the third this intimacy is almost overwhelming. Bohm and Abbado are ideal partners, clearly in awe of their soloist and with a great orchestra at their command which can answer his every gesture with a corresponding beauty of tone and a vehement, driving energy. This is heroic music-making, on the grandest scale.


Sibelius: Symphony No.2 / Nielsen: Symphonies Nos.4 & 5 / Bruckner: Symphony No.9
Sibelius: Symphony No.2 / Nielsen: Symphonies Nos.4 & 5 / Bruckner: Symphony No.9
Price: 12.72

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, the real thing, 12 Sep 2011
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These are wonderful performances, especially the Nielsen symphonies. Anyone still in any doubt, as I was - and especially after the Mahler 2 at this year's Proms - about Gustavo Dudamel's credentials as a leading contender should give them a listen. For that matter anyone still in any doubt about Nielsen. These works, and the Sibelius too, have suffered from hackneyed versions on record in recent years but Dudamel and the Swedes sweep all before them. You never feel anything is being engineered or over-stated - Dudamel loves the music as much as the orchestra does and there is a beautiful flow and propulsion in every bar. Outstanding.


The Scarlet Letter: A Romance (Penguin Classics)
The Scarlet Letter: A Romance (Penguin Classics)
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

5.0 out of 5 stars The master, 19 Jun 2011
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Hawthorne, the master. A clunky academic introduction, but then the novel in all its glory. As everyone says, this is one of the places where American literature begins. Everyone should read it.


Khachaturian: Karabits (Spartacus/ Gayaneh Ballets Selections)
Khachaturian: Karabits (Spartacus/ Gayaneh Ballets Selections)
Price: 17.46

1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bulging veins, not much in the biro, 4 April 2011
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The musicianship on this disc is impeccable so what's missing? Khachaturian really doesn't seem to have anything to say - painting by numbers. Each piece sets off in much the same direction and arrives nowhere. The comrades were reassured, obviously: he got the prizes.


Concertos For Piano And Orchestra Nos. 1-5 & 7
Concertos For Piano And Orchestra Nos. 1-5 & 7
Price: 10.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach at fever pitch, 13 Feb 2011
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Gould is the driving force here and everyone else just has to fall in behind him, as Goldschmann happily conceded but Bernstein, of course, did not. It's a pity the mono recording of the first concerto with Bernstein is so constricted but the others more than make up for that. Better to watch the first on YouTube: charisma in spades. The performances of all the concertos are like a series of explosions. It would be difficult to conceive of a more ecstatic approach to Bach.


Macgowran Speaking Becket
Macgowran Speaking Becket
Price: 11.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it just for the gong, 13 Feb 2011
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Macgowran is still unsurpassed as a reader of Beckett's prose and it is good to find this recording still on the market. A support band drawn from the Beckett family with the master himself on gong means this as about as close as we're ever going to get - apart from those fleeting video clips where he talks about one of the late shorts, on YouTube - to audible proof of his existence.


The Unnamable
The Unnamable
by Samuel Beckett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, thanks to Faber, The Unreadable, 24 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Unnamable (Paperback)
Once read, Beckett's most daring and uncompromising novel stays in the mind forever. The experience is all the more overwhelming and incandescent if you read "Molloy" and "Malone Dies" first - otherwise it's like skipping most of the New Testament and going straight to the crucifixion, a la Mel Gibson. Unfortunately, Beckett's new UK home of Faber and Faber doesn't seem able to produce an edition that passes muster - these books are boring to look at, typo-ridden, so poorly bound they fall apart in your hands (useless for prolonged study), and in the present case, not so much Unnameable as unreadable: the copy we received got to page 26 and then jumped to pages 59-74 before returning to page 43, pages 27-42 having been simply omitted. "Where now? Who now? When now?" are questions anyone who cares about Beckett ought to be asking faced with such neglect and incompetence.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2011 3:04 AM BST


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