Profile for Mr Colin H Harnett > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr Colin H Harnett
Top Reviewer Ranking: 346,302
Helpful Votes: 106

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr Colin H Harnett

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Edward Elgar: Six Very Easy Pieces For Violin Op.22. Sheet Music for Violin, Piano Accompaniment
Edward Elgar: Six Very Easy Pieces For Violin Op.22. Sheet Music for Violin, Piano Accompaniment

5.0 out of 5 stars USUAL GOOD SERVICE, 7 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very prompt service - as usual from Musicroom. Everything went very well. The product is very good. Thanks very much.


Birdsong
Birdsong
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Hardcover

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful war novel, 25 Aug 2004
This review is from: Birdsong (Hardcover)
This a such a powerful war novel.
I will justify this statement, not by repeating the things other people have said but through highlighting just one passage that really moved me.
This is when Michael Weir - Stephen Wraysford's closest wartime friend - goes home on leave to his parents in Leamington Spar. Weir has experienced death, squalor, disease, and utter degredation in the trenches. Yet his family cannot understand or respond when he tries to convey these experiences to them. It is beyond their imagination - as it is ours - that men could tolerate such conditions. Instead we see his parents treating him as if he has just been up to town for the week. They rebuke him, for example, for not telling them exactly the time he would be arriving. His mother fusses over him like a child: "You look a bit thin, Michael. What have they been feeding you on over in France?" You sense Weir's desperation as he realises that he cannot communicate any of the reality of the war to his family. This is so moving and heart-wrending. One can really believe that it was like that for so many men and their families when the war, for the British people, was "over there".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2011 3:53 AM BST


Mussorgsky / Stokowski: Pictures at an Exhibition
Mussorgsky / Stokowski: Pictures at an Exhibition
Offered by RevivalMedia
Price: £12.86

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sound spectacle, 16 May 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As one who finds Stokowski's orchestrations of Bach as uninspired and boring, I approached this CD of his arrangements of Mussorgsky's best known works with trepidation. I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised. What Stokowski has tended to do here is take existing orchestrations - by Ravel or by Rimsky-Korsakov - and make his own arrangements. This bring out new meanings to the music and, in the case of "Pictures", emphasise the "Russianness" of the music.
Stokowski's arrangement of "Pictures" omits some of the movements that Ravel uses (such as "Tuileries") and beefs up others such as the Great Gate of Kiev to produce a sound spectacle. It is good to hear the music played with such commitment and energy by the Cleveland Orchestra under Oliver Knussen.
The suite based on Boris Godunov is a coherent introduction to this magnificent opera and the extract from Kovanshchina is powerfully performed.
The Night on the Bare Mountain is the arrangement used in "Fantasia" and is most obviously a re-arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestration. The conclusion - which is Stokowski's own - is a short chorale which brings the symphonic poem to a thunderous conclusion.
Not for the faint-hearted but with sumptuous sound and excellent performances, this is music to wallow in for sheer enjoyment. There are very good programme notes, including some interesting insights - with illustrations - of how Stokowski set about his task.


Never Surrender
Never Surrender
by Michael Dobbs
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real sense of how Churchill triumphed in 1940, 5 May 2004
This review is from: Never Surrender (Paperback)
Michael Dobb's novel demonstrates vividly and movingly the desperate situation Britain faced in May 1940 when the Germans overwhelmed the Allies in the Low Countries and Northern France. Winston Churchill was under great pressure from within his Cabinet to cut a peace deal with Hitler and his position was far from strong. Chamberlain and Halifax still commanded support across the political spectrum. With the prospect of much of the British Army in France being captured or destroyed, a compromise peace looked attractive to those who earlier had sought to appease Hitler.
All these tensions are well captured by Michael Dobbs and he has constructed a fine novel which gives you a real sense of the desperation as well as the final triumph of Churchill in our "finest hour".
The scenes of politicking in London are gripping and I sense that the author, with his background in the political world of Mrs Thatcher, brings experience and authority to his task. I liked too the use of Ruth Mueller as a form of "cosnscience"- someone challenging Churchill in a way his father might have done, had he been alive to do so.
The Flanders/Dunkirk scenes are less convincing. It is a nice story to have Don and Claude making their way home and for Don's father to be reconciled at the end to his son. But the strength of this excellent book remains the "inside story" of how Churchill the outsider, the man mistrusted by the Establishment, claws his way to his triumph in those memorable weeks in 1940.


The Last Kaiser: William the Impetuous
The Last Kaiser: William the Impetuous
by Giles MacDonogh
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some insights but marred by an awkward written style, 2 Mar 2002
This is a book of uneven quality. It is strong and insightful on the Kaiser's upbringing and goes some way to explain his contradictory and complicated personality. Giles MacDonough offers a persuasive account of the Kaiser's relationship with his mother. Many accounts portray Vicky (and Fritz - the Kaiser's father) as victims: liberals struggling against the harsh Junkerdom of Bismarck. This account shows Vicky's insensitivity towards her adopted country and the considerable damage she inflicted on her eldest son. I also found the accounts of the Kaiser's court, and his relationships with his Ministers, penetrating.
But there are two drawbacks. There is insufficient attention to the politics of pre-1914 Germany. That is to say, we are told about the key events - the visit to Tangiers, the Moroccan and Panther incidents - but not enough about the political undercurrents. I wonder if the author assumes too much knowledge of these issues by his reader. For example, in the middle of a section about the Crown Prince's behaviour in 1913, we are suddenly referred to the Fischer thesis. I suspect many readers at this point will not know about Fischer, and the significance of his work about the origins of the war.
The second drawback is, I'm sorry to say, a clumsy written style. The author frequently gets the subject and object of his sentences confused. I sidelined in my copy a reference in the chapter on Bulow about the Kaiser's naval designs. I had to read one paragraph several times to work out who was supposed to be doing what! The book is full of these confusions of style and I found it extremely irritating.


Charlotte Gray
Charlotte Gray
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A series of loosely connected vignettes, 16 Aug 2001
This review is from: Charlotte Gray (Paperback)
I have just read "Charlotte Gray" as my holiday book in France. I was disappointed. Rather than a strong plot, what we get is a series of loosely connected vignettes which reveal the author's interest in (a) the world wars (b) the French people and their history. The character of Charlotte Gray is not 'real' - rather like Nicholas Jenkins in the Dance to the Music of Time, she is a vehicle for a number of unrelated stories and illustrations e.g.: the crabby bureacratic world of the wartime British civil service; the French Resistance, collaborators and those like the gendarme Bernard who bewilderedly serviced the Vichy regime; the sometimes embarrassed German officer corps; and above all the destruction of the Jewish people... But much of the novel seems almost an excuse for the author writing about his interests - be they Proust or golf (we are treated to an unnecessarily detailed account of a game). These are sometimes entertaining but strung together as a novel, they make for a disappointing experience.


The Attack on the Mill and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics)
The Attack on the Mill and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics)
by Émile Zola
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of vivid, lyrical and sensual vignettes, 2 Jun 2001
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This selection from Zola's large repertoire of short stories captures many facets of late nineteenth century French society. They are an excellent introduction to this writer's work and should tempt the beginner into tackling the vaster canvasses of the Rougon-Macquart series. Zola writes convincingly about many layers of society, from the bored aristocrats, the petit bourgeosie to the peasants and artisans. He also lavishes his descriptions of both town and countryside, with mouth watering word pictures that make you want to rush for the Eurostar! Many of them are similar in style and power to Maupassant - punchy and often savagely ironical (The Story of a Madman, for example). But the more substantial stories blend a powerful narrative, lyrical descriptions and real "bite" to make this a memorable read. "Shellfish for Monsieur Chabre" has a predictable plot but Zola draws out the burgeoning romance at the heart of the story in order to develop the lovers' appreciation of the beauty of the coastal resort - all which passes over the head of the tedious and unresponsive cuckholded Monsieur Chabre. "Fair Exchange" - the other gem in this collection - shows by degrees how the apparently unprepossessing Adele comes to dominate her artistically superior but morally inferior husband. Zola's insights into the artistic community of late nineteenth century France are penetrating and convincing.
The translation does full justice to the flamboyance and earthiness of Zola's prose. This is an highly recommended collection of vivid, lyrical and sensual vignettes.


Page: 1