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Richard Condon Bruxelles

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Acoustic Classics
Acoustic Classics
Price: 9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good buy for completists and for those wanting an introduction., 5 Aug 2014
This review is from: Acoustic Classics (Audio CD)
Richard Thompson apparently thought it would be a good idea to bring out a new recording, in solo acoustic versions, of some of the outstanding songs that have marked his five decades of composing, singing and playing extraordinary guitar. It sits at the opposite pole from his last published record, which was "Electric" (the name of the album AND a corresct description) consisting entirely of new songs. Which audience does it target? If you are a "completist" like me (I already own ALL Thompson's "official" recordings, plus a number of others acquired in suspicious circumstances, you'll probably buy this CD, knowing that you already possess multiple versions of most, if not all, of the songs presented here, but eager to detect the slight variations in the way Thompson sings and plays them compared with earlier versions. On the other hand, for those who are vaguely aware of Thompson's impressive career and output but have few or no recordings and want to sample his work, this is a good introduction to ONE of the things he does, although it is incomplete without a balancing sample of one of his electric band recordings. Long-term fans may quarrel with the exact choice of songs (there are some I could live without and others that I miss, and the balance is heavily weighted away from recent compositions) but overall it shows this remarkable musician at his current best.


The Moral Of The Elephant
The Moral Of The Elephant
Price: 9.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More from the royal family of the English folk revival, 5 Aug 2014
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Father and daughter from the royal family of the English folk revival offer us a set of songs, mostly not often performed in traditional music circles: an interesting selection. Martin's voice is no longer as strong as when I first heard him - but that was 50 years ago, so it's hardly surprising. Eliza's strong voice sounds more and more like her mother's at its peak. The absence of Martin's wife/Eliza's mother Norma Waterson from this recording is presumably due to Norma's recent health problems, and it's a pity because the Waterson-Carthy series of records with all three of them sharing the singing were remarkably fine, but this new album is very good indeed. If you like serious and committed folksong that respects the tradition, this is for you.
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Revival
Revival

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More vigorous, innovative and slightly chaotic sounds from Bellowhead, 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Revival (Audio CD)
It's what one would expect from Bellowhead: vigorous, innovative, slightly chaotic. This band keeps on shaking up traditional music, which is exactly what is needed. Jon Boden's manic energy shows no sign of wilting and he inspires his collaborators to achieve impressive performances. It's an all-star band. Some of my friends hate Bellowhead but for me it's taking traditional music in the right direction.


Beethoven - Complete Piano Sonatas
Beethoven - Complete Piano Sonatas
Price: 25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great compilation, 25 April 2014
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This boxed set brings together recordings by one of the finest interpreters of Beethoven of our time. Brendel is at his best when playing the great Viennese composers of the first school: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. The pianist identifies closely with this group. I was privileged to see him on his farewell tour - the hall has never been so packed. He plays with a total absence of show, theatrics, extravagant gestures and the like: it's as if he's playing for himself and the audience is just there incidentally. This contemplative modesty comes across in his style on these recordings


Schubert: Winterreise
Schubert: Winterreise
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 9.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a voice, what lieder!, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: Schubert: Winterreise (Audio CD)
For me Franz Schubert is the greatest composer who has ever written music. Lots of others run him close (J. S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Mahler, Shostakovich - the list goes on) but in a short life of 31 years Schubert produced a wealth of sublime music. These songsare wonderfully sung by Kaufmann, one of the latest in a long line of interpreters. He conveys the mood of sadness and loss brilliantly and is accompanied with the right restraint and empathy by Helmut Deutsch.


Other People's Countries: A Journey into Memory
Other People's Countries: A Journey into Memory
by Patrick McGuinness
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating vignettes, 25 April 2014
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As an expatriate Briton living in Belgium since 1977 I found these sketches of life in a small town in the Ardennes as seen through the eyes of a half-Belgian (actually half-Walloon - important!) and half-English (of Irish descent) boy/youth/adult totally fascinating. The often poetically worded vignettes of the people and places are full of hidden meanings and significant insights. Even if you have never set foot in the Belgian Ardennes (Europe's best-kept secret, according to a British friend of mine who recently chose to retire there after a lifetime in England) you will find interesting history, memorable characters, picturesque descriptions and philosophical reflection in these pages. And if you don't know Bouillon and its surroundings, this book will make you want to go there and see for yourself.


Expo 58
Expo 58
by Jonathan Coe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.49

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit whimsical but fun, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Expo 58 (Hardcover)
Although Coe is fashionable I've never found his work as impressive as that of other contemporary British novelists (e.g. Barnes, MacEwan, Boyd, Amis ...). If I bought and rather enjoyed this book it's mainly because I live in Brussels and the novel is set there (albeit at a time when I was a kid growing up in London). It's entertaining, there are some good jokes and Coe creates some recognizable characters. It is also very well researched and I was delighted to find a scene set in the park 50 metres from my house. On the negative side, there are implausibilities and an excessive number of the whimsicalities that tend to be a feature of British literature (e.g. the British intelligence agents who pop up regularly are a jarring caricature of what I imagine the real thing to be like). For the whimsical to be satisfying as entertainment it has to be better done than this. Although the book rollicks along and can be read at speed (there's not much that needs reflection), I found the final part rather sad, a surprising twist after what was mainly fun to read. Without wishing to get caught up in the unfathomable politics of language and culture that haunt Belgium and are so frustrating and petty in the eyes of many residents of foreign origin, it looks as though Coe has been hi-jacked and co-opted by the Dutch-speaking Flemish community with grants and hospitality that make the French-speakers who predominate in Brussels seem an almost invisible presence. Hats off to the clever Flemish!


Tapestry
Tapestry
Price: 5.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I wait so long?, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Tapestry (Audio CD)
I have known this album for so many decades that it's surprising that I waited till 2014 to buy it. OK, I get a remastered version with bonus tracks, but I should have owned it years ago. I don't usually listen to straightforward pop music, preferring rock, folk and, inevitably, folkrock (with a fair amount of jazz and classical too). For me however, this is pop at its best: well written songs, nicely arranged and sung with feeling by their creator


Diamonds On The Water
Diamonds On The Water
Price: 9.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unchanging Oysterband, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Diamonds On The Water (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of the Oysters for more years than I (or probably they) wish to remember and I suspect that I possess all of their recorded work, including their collaborations with other singers and musicians. This album sounds like typical Oysterband and would fit at any point into their work of the last 15 or 20 years. This is a little bit surprising to me, as there are some changes of line-up, most notably the departure of "Chopper", a.k.a. Ray Cooper, and I thought this might be the opportunity for some small adjustments to the sound. But if one likes the Oysterband one can't dislike this record. I have one quibble: The Oysters sometimes include a traditional song and on this album it's the well-known "Once I Had A Sweetheart". I would have preferred a less common choice, particularly since I think that the Pentangle nailed this particular song in a modern version some four decades or so ago.


Word Of Mouth
Word Of Mouth
Price: 9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More encouraging work from Seth Lakeman, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Word Of Mouth (Audio CD)
Seth Lakeman is one of a generation of young musicians, including his own brothers, who have shown an encouraging ability to build on traditions in English music and create a sound and a style which, if they might have seemed strange and alien to the collectors of folk music of a century ago, demonstrate the continuing strength and persistence of the music of our forebears. There is nothing really innovative in this new recording that will seem unfamiliar to those of us who know his earlier work, but he maintains his high standard with interesting and clever arrangements of attractive songs, using excellent musicians.


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