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Reviews Written by
Dr. Ciaran Taylor (Dublin)
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Weiss: Lute Sonatas
Weiss: Lute Sonatas
Price: 4.57

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful works by a friend of Bach, 25 Jan 2005
This review is from: Weiss: Lute Sonatas (Audio CD)
Weiss seems to be pretty unknown: that might be because all of his surviving works are for the lute, so there haven't been many potential performers until recently, so there's no tradition, and they don't make a big noise. If you're prepared to give them your attention they are beatiful contrapuntal baroque works, comparable with Bach's keyboard suites or solo cello suites, though not in the same league (who is?).
At Naxos price this excellent performance, well recorded, is well worth a listen.


The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques
The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques
by Ralph Mayer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 20.40

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No pictures: just how to make them!, 25 Jan 2005
This book is extremely authoritative and helpful on the technical aspect of all painting media: I've read my copy to bits--it can become very obsessive, wanting to know all about each pigment, where does that oil come from? can you paint this over that? and so on. It has the answer to any question along these lines, and tells you methodically and carefully how to do any painting operation you might reasonably want to do: how to make your own colours in various media, preparing surfaces and so on. Restoration and printing are quite well covered too.
If you're serious (very serious?) about painting, you'll find this compelling.


Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques
Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques
by Ralph Mayer
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No pictures: just how to make them!, 13 Sep 2004
This book is extremely authoritative and helpful on the technical aspect of all painting media: I've read my copy to bits--it can become very obsessive, wanting to know all about each pigment, where does that oil come from? can you paint this over that? and so on. It has the answer to any question along these lines, and tells you methodically and carefully how to do any painting operation you might reasonably want to do: how to make your own colours in various media, preparing surfaces and so on. Restoration and printing are quite well covered too.
If you're serious (very serious?) about painting, you'll find this compelling.


Stradella: San Giovanni Battista
Stradella: San Giovanni Battista

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful prizewinner back at reduced price, 13 Sep 2004
This deserves to be much better-known, and not because of Stradella's scandalous life (he was murdered in 1682 by thugs because of being amorously involved with a nobleman's mistress who he was meant to be teaching). It is a brilliantly colourful and dramatic work, telling the lurid story of the death of John the Baptist in a series of deliciously tuneful arias, with a few ensembles. The Baptist is sung by a counter-tenor (Lesne) and has some meltingly beautiful arias.
This CD won a Gramophone award in 1993 most deservedly, and now that it's reissued on Elatus anyone who has any liking for Baroque music should have it: for pure pleasure!


Mahler: Vocal Works
Mahler: Vocal Works
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 16.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, shame no texts!, 27 Aug 2004
This review is from: Mahler: Vocal Works (Audio CD)
This is perhaps not for those new to Mahler (no words for the songs, and only a selection from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn", but here are two discs crammed with mainly excellent performances. Fischer-Dieskau takes the baritone alternative in "Das Lied von der Erde" and while he is recorded too close he proves that *he* could give a spellbinding performance while ignoring Mahler's carefully marked dynamics (I don't think this would work for anyone else!). Baker and Barbirolli are beyond praise in their three cycles, and in her two songs, Lucia Popp is delightful. Buy it!!


Stradella: San Giovanni Battista
Stradella: San Giovanni Battista
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: 24.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively and colourful, 27 Aug 2004
This deserves to be much better-known, and not because of Stradella's scandalous life (he was murdered in 1682 by thugs because of being amorously involved with a nobleman's mistress who he was meant to be teaching). It is a brilliantly colourful and dramatic work, telling the lurid story of the death of John the Baptist in a series of deliciously tuneful arias, with a few ensembles. The Baptist is sung by a counter-tenor (Lesne) and has some meltingly beautiful arias.
This CD won a Gramophone award in 1993 most deservedly, and anyone who has any liking for Baroque music should have it: for pure pleasure!


Mozart: Complete String Trios and Duos
Mozart: Complete String Trios and Duos
Price: 7.25

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning: unknown masterpiece!, 27 Aug 2004
To me, the main work in this set is the Trio in E flat, K 563. It is in the form of a (very serious) divertimento: a sequence of varied movements, including a really ingenious set of variations. The inventiveness, seriousness and wit on display put it on a par with Mozart's greatest chamber works. The string quartets are part of a long and famous series of works which draw attention to each other, but the trio is out on its own and for that reason it's been passed over unnoticed. Do yourself a favour and notice it: join the elite group who know it exists and have experienced its magnificence.
With these players it's in the safest of hands. The great Belgian violinist and Mozartian Arthur Grumiaux and his associates are responsible for some great gems of chamber music playing (the Mozart string quintets, Faure violin sonatas...) and this is a rare diamond! Buy two and make yourself and a friend very happy (you're going to want to share this discovery)!


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