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Giraldus Cambrensis "Giraldus Cambrensis" (West Sussex United Kingdom)

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The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History (Hist Atlas)
The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History (Hist Atlas)
by Colin McEvedy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST for anyone with even a tittle of interest in History, 22 July 2014
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As with the others in the Penguin History Atlas series, the understanding of a period's history by seeing the movements of power, peoples and bounderies as history unfolds - identifying kingdoms, principalities, duchies, khanates,and despot-lands, so many no more than half-forgotten names outside specialist historical circles - is greatly enhanced by Colin McEvedy's wit-spiced commentary: a joy to read


The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940-1943
The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940-1943
by Jack Greene
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Slovenly Subediting, 30 May 2014
As a submariner who joined WW2 just after the period covered in this book, I had learned to look on this Mediterranean war period as a sort of Golden Age of naval warfare - full of heroic set-piece actions, Taranto, Matapan, Crete, Pedestal, the gallant Italian midget attack on the British battle fleet in Alexandria, the saga of the 10th Submarine Flotilla from Malta. It is all here of course, with the added insight into Italian War Records provided by one of the authors being Italian. So why only three stars? Largely because of the constant jarring of minor irritations - naming ships as 'the' Somethingorother - giving a rather lubberly overall impression. Perhaps this may in part be because while the Italian co-author brought such insights, the Amercan co-author did not see it from a complementary British naval viewpoint. A lot of this less than 100% favourable view I was left with could have been ironed out by efficient sub-editing; that this was sorely lacking by the inclusion of a sentance that bore no relation to its surroundings but could have been dropped in from some quite different book on the Abyssinian War !


Martinu - Sinfonietta Giocosa: Divertimento
Martinu - Sinfonietta Giocosa: Divertimento
Offered by Music-Club
Price: 24.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Athletic Charms, 17 April 2014
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Martinu, along with such Twentieth Century composers as Roussel, demonstrates that contemporary music can be jolly, cheerful, free from fashionable fads while still being profound without being derivative - in fact thoroughly enjoyable. Again like Roussel, the hallmark of his music is a combination robust athleticism and melodic charm. The Sinfonnietta Giacosa does not belie its epithet!.
That having been said, these qualities may seem to give a certain sameness to his very large catalogue of works - many in piano concertante form - so this record, as any collected recording of works by Martinu, is perhaps best savoured piece by piece, interspersed by with music by other composers, rather played straight through.
As to the performancies, it would be hard to imagine a better team to make this music shine than this under Thomas Vasary's direction.


Richard Wagner: Das Rheingold (Complete Opera)
Richard Wagner: Das Rheingold (Complete Opera)
Price: 2.76

4.0 out of 5 stars An historic performance, 14 April 2014
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With a line-up of creme-de-la-creme performers such as this, it would be presumptious to suggest the performance is anything but top-notch. However this recording dates I believe from about 1958 so listeners brought up on the sound quality that we expect from recordings made today will find it less than hi-fi. Thus the fifth star is not awarded in case I might have misled any other potential purchaser. For the rest - even for other anti-Wagnerians like me - just lie back and enjoy (and think of the fantastic saving this offer represents against the price of a more modern recording with probably an inferior cast)


Sea Wolves: The Extraordinary Story of Britain's WW2 Submarines
Sea Wolves: The Extraordinary Story of Britain's WW2 Submarines
by Tim Clayton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

4.0 out of 5 stars A Disagreeable Heroism, 28 Mar 2014
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There are a number of autobiographies which expand upon the histories brought together here; but not everyone may want to read them all individually and in full - so pace 'Clio', who seems to think that everyone ought to read them all; and somewhat disparaged the author for having brought so many such sources into one precised volume - a not insubstantial volume nonetheless - which I think serves as an excellent over view of the very condsiderable contribution of the Royal Navy's Submarine Service to the Allies victory in WW2, especially in Europe. As an erstwhile though very junior veteran of 'the Trade' during the latter part of that conflict, it rang true to me and I think gave a fair p[icture both of what it was like and the people whose stories were told (just one or two of whom I knew personally). Nor can I agree with the criticism that the lower deck was not given sufficient weight: I thought the senior rates at least had a fair coverage: though inevitably perhaps the majority of written sources were by officers.
Where I would criticise the author - and so withold the final star - is in the relatively superficial coverage of their operations in the Far East; or was this an editor who thought his book was becoming over-long? He is certainly given cause by the determination of our American allies to keep us out, and not only because our European-oriented submarine designs limited their range; Nontheless, for example, the X-craft's cutting of the two Saigon telephone lines - an operation outside the American's capability - meant that all the Japanese signal traffic from that hub had all thereafter to go by W/T - and so be read by the alied code-breakers.


Let Me Die Before I Wake
Let Me Die Before I Wake
Price: 0.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone's cup f tea, 28 Mar 2014
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This is Sciarrino up with the avant garde. and is not perhaps the most ingratiating introduction to this composer. Indeed It could drive many seasoned music-lovers round the bend. Not wishing to do anyone a disfavour, either a would-be listener, a potential ardent admirer or the composer himself, all I can say is that if you do not try it you will never know if you have missed something which you should well have missed - or a strange delight.


Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": II. Intermezzo - Scherzando: Allegretto
Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": II. Intermezzo - Scherzando: Allegretto
Price: 0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars ALOOF STYLIST, 18 Mar 2014
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Charles Koechlin's chamber music is a acquired taste - and one well worth acquiring. He keeps his distance, he never ingratiates. You can take it or leave it; but he says no more and no less than what he has to say.
His music is a distillation of everything that was 20th Century French style. Cool: nothing superfluous; never brash. Yet his sinuous melodic lines are haunting; he was a cat that walked by himself.
Primavera II is typical example of his chamber music at its best; and is played with exactly the right cool experrtise by the excellent Montreal Players


Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": III. Soleil au matin: Andante con moto
Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": III. Soleil au matin: Andante con moto
Price: 0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars ALOOF STYLIST, 18 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Charles Koechlin's chamber music is a acquired taste - and one well worth acquiring. He keeps his distance, he never ingratiates. You can take it or leave it; but he says no more and no less than what he has to say.
His music is a distillation of everything that was 20th Century French style. Cool: nothing superfluous; never brash. Yet his sinuous melodic lines are haunting; he was a cat that walked by himself.
Primavera II is typical example of his chamber music at its best; and is played with exactly the right cool experrtise by the excellent Montreal Players


Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": IV. Final: Allegro con moto
Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": IV. Final: Allegro con moto
Price: 0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars ALOOF STYLIST, 18 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Charles Koechlin's chamber music is a acquired taste - and one well worth acquiring. He keeps his distance, he never ingratiates. You can take it or leave it; but he says no more and no less than what he has to say.
His music is a distillation of everything that was 20th Century French style. Cool: nothing superfluous; never brash. Yet his sinuous melodic lines are haunting; he was a cat that walked by himself.
Primavera II is typical example of his chamber music at its best; and is played with exactly the right cool experrtise by the excellent Montreal Players


Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": I. Allegro non troppo
Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 223, "Primavera II": I. Allegro non troppo
Price: 0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars ALOOF STYLIST, 18 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Charles Koechlin's chamber music is a acquired taste - and one well worth acquiring. He keeps his distance, he never ingratiates. You can take it or leave it; but he says no more and no less than what he has to say.
His music is a distillation of everything that was 20th Century French style. Cool: nothing superfluous; never brash. Yet his sinuous melodic lines are haunting; he was a cat that walked by himself.
Primavera II is typical example of his chamber music at its best; and is played with exactly the right cool experrtise by the excellent Montreal Players


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