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Stanley J Marut (Southern UK)

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Cross Pollination
Cross Pollination
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 11.17

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Listening to induce tranquil states, 30 July 2011
This review is from: Cross Pollination (Audio CD)
I know one of the composers personally and he sent me this album. Knowing Marcus Davidson's other works, especially those which use church organ and also voice, I expected more of the same. What an amazing surprise. I missed an original performance of The Bee Symphony in London. Midnight at the Oasis is an amazingly simple concept which has the effect of inducing a tranquility and just to relax and listen to these sounds is wonderfully therapeutic. The Bee Symphony once again is very simple but with the background drone of bees and the addition of voice. At times I imagined vintage Penderecki and even Stockhausen. Certainly this "music" is of our time and deservedly should be taken seriously for its concept and performance. This CD does not disappoint.


Four Classic Albums Plus (The Modern Jazz Sextet / No Sun In Venice / Grand Encounter / At The Opera House / The Modern Jazz Society Presents A Concert Of Contemporary Music)
Four Classic Albums Plus (The Modern Jazz Sextet / No Sun In Venice / Grand Encounter / At The Opera House / The Modern Jazz Society Presents A Concert Of Contemporary Music)
Price: 6.28

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre period Jazz, 14 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was pleased to listen again to the EP (extended play vynil) of the Modern Jazz Society Presents a Concert of Contemporary Music now available on this CD compilation. However the passage of time has taken its toll I fear and although I enjoyed listening to some of the tracks, I feel that this particular CD does not do justice to much great jazz around at the same time. It was all pretty mundane stuff and the bands represented here were very ordinary. Nothing set me alight in terms of rythmn, improvisation or harmony. Its historic and will have its appeal to a certain audience but jazz has progressed and I like better "newer artistes" such as; Joey De Francesco, Charles Earland and even John Mcloughlin (none hardly new, but of a different ilk and era.) Jazz has moved on and even though nostalgia has its place, this isn't the best nostalgia collection to my mind.


Panasonic Lumix FZ100 14.1MP Digital Camera - Black (3.0 inch TFT LCD Display, LEICA DC Lens with 24x Optical Zoom and Full HD Movie) (discontinued by manufacturer)
Panasonic Lumix FZ100 14.1MP Digital Camera - Black (3.0 inch TFT LCD Display, LEICA DC Lens with 24x Optical Zoom and Full HD Movie) (discontinued by manufacturer)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing piece of equipment, 9 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Owning two Leica cameras, C Lux 3 and D Lux 4, I was keen to purchase the Leica V Lux 2 as the electronic viewfinder and extensive zoom was just what I needed to have a camera as close as I could get to the Nikon DSLR system I had previously used. The price was just too much particularly as my product researches showed that the FZ 100 was as near as the same camera. I have just had the opportunity to use it extensively in various light conditions. I set the Intelligent Auto mode and just concentrated on the pictures. ISO was on auto and I just let the camera do the thinking for me. My initial response was this was a camera I could work with, especially as I would not have the burden of lense swapping and my wife's ire if I had chosen the DSLR to take on vacation. Those pictures taken in normal outside daylight conditions were amazingly precise and clear - no doubt Leica optics played a major role here. I also used the camera in churches with stained glass and in conditions of available light only. These in the main, especially if there was sufficient back light through the window, were also very acceptable. I also took several outside night shots (not using flash)and on the cameras viewing screen looked ok, but when downloaded onto my PC were disappointingly grainy. It appears that using auto ISO the camera will take the shot OK but don't be surpised when the photo info shows that the photo had been taken at ISO 6400.

Other than that I found the camera easy to handle and I look forward to using the other programme modes. Considering the LEICA version is another 300+ more, I am happy to have made the purchase through Amazon of the Luminex FZ100.


Resurrection: Theological and Scientific Assessments
Resurrection: Theological and Scientific Assessments
by Ted Peters
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly intelligent exposition, 24 April 2011
I had to give seminar at University as part of a Philosophy of Religion module and it fell to me to give a presentation on Life after Death. I read a number of the essays in this book which were highly intelligible and presented realistic arguments in support of the thesis that there is a possibilty of life after death. Of course one has to either accept that this notion is non verifiable until after death has actually occured, or that it is a false and unrealistic hope. However, the various contributors piece together highly intelligent arguments which stimulated one's own thoughts on a difficult subject. This book is one of my favourites on the subject.


Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry
Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry
by John J. Robinson
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A Likely Hypothesis, 4 Feb 2011
John Robinson presents a highly plausible thesis. His research appears impeccable and for those with an interest in the origins of Freemasonry but have wondered how the whole concept of such a fraternity came about might gain some relief from these insights. If you are a Freemason then you will recognise and relate to the things that are expounded here. For the uninitiated it might present a challenge even though the author writes lucidly and without complication. For English Freemasons under the aegis of the United Grand Lodge of England, the references to certain aspects of the ritual of Freemasonry as described by the author appear different, but are still recognisable although there are major differences in the ritual wording from those used to Emulation, Taylors and other similar workings used in the UK and elsewhere. Neverthless, this was a highly interesting book and is worth a read even if you cannot accept his ultimate thesis. But, I believe that the argument proposed here would be very difficult to detract from unless there was substantial evidence to the contrary.


The Jesus Mystery: Astonishing Clues to the True Identities of Jesus and Paul
The Jesus Mystery: Astonishing Clues to the True Identities of Jesus and Paul
by Lena Einhorn
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New Here, 5 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There seem to be far too many of this type of book which does not really enlighten those who already have a grasp of the various theories surrounding the person known as Jesus Christ. Lena Einhorn to my mind does not really contribute much to a fascinating subject and much of what she says has been written elsewhere to possibly greater effect. However, for somebody who is coming to this subject for the first time it may provide a useful starting point as the language style is easy. But do read on especially the book that she refers to briefly which to my mind is possibly quite mind blowing and that is "The Original Jesus" by Gruber and Kersten (Element 1995) and the Buddhist sources of Christianity. Equally another book "Jesus lived in India" (Penguin of India - you may have to search on the internet for this one) is another useful resource. I might be branded a heretic but Theologians ( and I have studied Theology at Post Graduate level)strictly have been unable to come to terms with an historical figure known as Jesus. What makes Lena Einhorn think that she might hold the key. Vermes and Schonfeld give an excellent rendition of proof or otherwise of Jesus as he might have been The so called Messianic figure is perhaps contrived in the written accounts. The door is open and this is what makes it such a fascinating subject. Personally I would subscribe to Jesus as being a Buddhic figure who like other Buddhas (mythic or otherwise) has really quite a lot of karma going for him. Lena Einhorn doesn't really succeed for the serious reader to my view. As for Paul of Tarsus...............


Christ Killers: The Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen
Christ Killers: The Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen
by Jeremy Cohen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erudite exposition of Anti-Judaism, 27 May 2010
Despite the title of the book which although pertinent to the contents, it does slightly give an air of malice. However, when I started to read this book I thought that this would be just another kind of diatribe against Christianity in general and the relationship with the Church in particular. I appreciated Cohen's ability to make the subject matter very readable and compelling. Much of the beginning of the book covered ground that one can find in a plethora of other theological books regarding Christian Jewish relations. Cohen doesn't major on this aspect. He is not totally happy with Vatican 2 (Nostra Aetate), it seems. However, when we get to the final sections of the book especially those parts dealing with the Oberagemau Passion Plays and Cinema portraying the life of Christ and how the Jews are depicted especially in relation to the Passion, then a whole new field is opened up. I enjoyed this section particularly and this has prompted me to consider purchasing the relevant DVDs.

However, Cohen does not seem to offer a way forward and strictly I must concede that perhaps this was not his intention. Post "Shoah" Theology is very much a consideration in academic studies of Christian Jewish dialogue and in the actual meeting of Christian Jewish minds. For my own part as having studied Theology at post graduate level in this very subject, I have discovered other points of view regarding the anti-semitism/anti-judaism that exists or did exist in the 20th century and its manifestation in the Shoah and the contention that the New Testament portrayal of Jews as Christ Killers is not necessarily a linear development from the Gospels to Auschwitz. The Bishop of Antioch and subsequently Constantinople (in the 4th century), John Chrysostom, has been much criticized for his anti Judaism invective although highly revered within the Orthodox Christian Church today, Cohen has not mentioned him. He had been criticised for being against the Jews and this was spelt out in a number of homilies. Without going too deeply into this as it may not be a propos of the this review, but several commentators on this subject, two are Jewish, make relevant comment about the connection between what went before in Christian Jewish relations and current relationships and events. Therefore, can Cohen actually put his finger on a button which definitely makes the connection. Some might say that this is so and the fact that Cohen brings into view the latest manifestations of the Jews as Christ Killers in film (particularly Mel Gibson's) may be a moot point.

In relation to the matter of John Chrysostom the author Wilkens conclusion is that in relation to the unhappy history of Jewish-Christian relations and the sad events of Jewish history, he was unable to project these later attitudes onto the events of the 4th century)Chrysostom's anti judaizing polemic). He continues, "no matter how outraged Christians feel over the Christian record of dealings with the Jews, we have no licence to judge the distant past on the basis of our present perceptions of events of more recent times. John's homilies are a part of a Christian interpretation of Judaism that must be subject to theological criticism. John had assumed that the rise of Christianity and the destruction of Jerusalem were events that seemed coterminous and that Judaism had lost its legitimacy". This point is brought out clearly by Cohen.

A Jewish author, Saperstein, describes Chrysostom as a being a preacher swept away by the power of his own rhetoric. However, he believed that the context in which they were delivered was important. He comments on the appeal of the synagogue to Christian Judaizers especially during the holidays of Passover and Yom Kippur. The fever pitch of the polemic, he states, testifies to the appeal of the synagogue. As far as Chrysostom is concerned, the words of the polemic, repugnant as they sound, are not the words of a man calling his listeners to acts of violence and destruction against the Jews, but rather the words of a leader troubled that his people were attracted by the aura of a religion more ancient and venerable than his own.

These are strictly theological arguments in relation to an understanding of the creation of a Christian anti-Judaism. It might be appropriate to present a brief non theological support of the origins of anti-semitism as understood in contemporary times. Arendt calls anti-semitism, " a secular nineteenth century ideology - which in name, though not in argument, was unknown before the 1870's -and religious Jew hatred inspired by the mutually hostile antagonism of two conflicting creeds, are obviously not the same and even the extent to which the former derives its arguments and emotional appeal from the latter is open to question". She continues, "the notion of an unbroken continuity of persecutions, expulsions, and massacres from the end of the Roman era to the Middle Ages, the modern era and down to our time, frequently embellished by the idea that modern anti-semitism is no more than a secularised version of medieval superstitions, is no less fallacious than the corresponding anti-semitic notion of a Jewish secret society that has ruled or aspired to rule the world since antiquity". These remarks were made by Hannah Arendt.

Nevertheless, this is a highly readable account of what is a fascinating subject. Anti-semitism/anti-Judaism is still a highly charged subject and the current difficulties in Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians only serves to enhance the myth as described by Cohen. Much is being done by Jews and Christians to work out how we can coexist within the framework of the heritage that we share as children of God. This, of course, is not within Cohen's domain as far as this book is concerned.


Wagner : Parsifal
Wagner : Parsifal
Offered by direct-2-u
Price: 64.42

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional and memorable rendition., 23 April 2010
This review is from: Wagner : Parsifal (Audio CD)
This review is subjective and if you are a Wagner aficionado with a B Mus then skip this review. I can only give an opinion based on my listening experience. My first experience of Parsifal was the quite old Boulez recording which I first heard in the early 1970s. For many years this was the only impression I had of Wagners fine Opera which just happens to be my favourite. I treated myself to the excerpts of the Barenboim version and was totally transfixed. I subsequently purchased the "boxed" CD set. I believe that Barenboim's version is quite exquisite. I can only comment on what I hear and there is no doubt that this version is something special. Boulez' is still exceptional but if I had to choose a desert island disc, then I would take the Barenboim. One thing that has particularly intrigued me with the Barenboim recording is the knell of the bells in Act One where Gurnemanz sings "Nun achtewohl und lass mich seh'n...." and when Amfortas is carried in by the squires. The bells are so realistic; indeed I feel sure that they have been synthesized to match the pitch of the music. Very clever and this only serves to enhance an exceptional musical experience. Sometimes in operatic recordings you get a voice that slightly "jars" and spoils subsequently the overall enjoyment. Kundry gets dangerously near this point at times (for my ear) but this is made up by the superb singing Jerusalem and the others muster to make this a memorable performance.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2011 6:39 PM BST


English Journey
English Journey
by J. B. Priestley
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing resonances even in the 21st century, 2 April 2010
This review is from: English Journey (Hardcover)
Although this book was written in the 1930s some of the descriptions of life and the lot of the working classes have striking resemblances even today. To read this book is to travel back in time to an England of have and have nots; mainly have nots. Priestly presents a narrative rich in pathos and a genuine understanding of the difficulties of working class life. The photographs add an extra dimension and tell their own tale. These, even in their own right, leave the reader in no uncertainty as to the tremendous calamity facing working people during the 1930s. Strictly the description should be non working people. How would we fare if we were transported back into their environment? However, there are resonances. We still face the difficulties of youth unemployment and societal breakdown; the so called "corner boys" hanging around with no work or money. Only today this manifests in some communities in crime and drugs taking to overcome difficulties. It would be interesting if Priestly were alive today to see what he would make of those places so vividly described in this excellent book. This, I believe, is classic testament to the British way of life in those days of hardship and uncertainty. Beryl Bainbridge wrote a sequel to this by visiting the towns and cities described in the book with a subtitle " The Road to Milton Keynes", but I do not believe it has the vigour of Priestley's work. I enjoyed reading Priestly's book immensely and it should be considered an important social document of a way of life that begs the question as to whether even in this 21st century we have moved forward?


Durham Concerto
Durham Concerto
Price: 13.22

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most pleasant music of our Time, 20 Mar 2010
This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
I have had the opportunity to listen to "Durham Concerto" several times whilst driving listening to through the car stereo.. Each time I was able to hear the subtleties and nuances that make listening to good music so pleasurable. I heard what I thought was MGM, as it were in some parts and even Bartok in the fifth movement, particularly the Concerto for Orchestra. I enjoyed the pastoral feel of the slower movements with the Northumbrian pipes, which given the dedication to Durham, also celebrated the North East. May be because of its Englishness I was looking to hear other signatures from other English composers. The thing is that this "Concerto" stands in its own right.

I loved the way the way the clarinets in the Orchestra pre-empted the Gaudeamus Igitur in the fifth movement. Splendid stuff. All in all I enjoyed this piece of music immensely. It would be great if it would form part of some Orchestra's repertoire. I guess the risk is that because of the length of the piece it would probably need to be the major part of any programme and, of course, the subsequent willingness of audiences to pay to listen to some thing that was relatively new.

I played the CD on a Bose system at home and I heard things that couldn't be picked up on the car stereo. This enhanced my experience and pleasure. The ultimate test, of course, in any music played at home is whether my lovely wife gives her seal of approval. I am glad to say that she did and Jon Lord will now become part of the home repertoire.

Having read some of the reviews on Amazon I was disappointed with those that didn't score the work highly. There was an expectation that there should have been more tempo; faster music, so to speak.. I disagree and, although the second and fifth movements were relatively lively, the comments made, I think, fail to understand the ethos of the Durham Concerto and nuances and subtleties already mentioned.

This is an accomplished piece of music and thoroughly enjoyable. I liked it.


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