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Bruckner: Symphony No 5
Bruckner: Symphony No 5
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £41.11

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent Bruckner 5, 26 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Bruckner: Symphony No 5 (Audio CD)
This 1989 Gunter Wand recording is the best Bruckner Fifth I have heard. The clarity is there, the momentum is there and it builds up to a shattering climax. The NDR orchestra plays with both an extraordinary depth of sound and security; in fact they play more authentically than the Berlin Philharmonic in Wand's 1995 remake in my view (and that of many others too).


Symphony No. 8 (Furtwangler, Berliner Philharmoniker)
Symphony No. 8 (Furtwangler, Berliner Philharmoniker)
Price: £16.17

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Furtwangler Bruckner 8, 26 Aug. 2008
There are several Bruckner 8s with Furtwangler to choose from. I have only heard this (1949) version and the Vienna Philharmonic recording from October 1944 (on Music and Arts). This maybe the better recorded for some tastes, although in a somewhat hollow acoustic, but is certainly not the best played. It was recorded without audience and the tension is not as great as in the earlier Vienna recording, although it certainly has some extraordinary moments. The 1944 Vienna recording is incredibly gripping from the outset and played with awesome precision and integration by the Vienna orchestra. That performance is undoubtedly the Furtwangler Eighth to have and one of the great Furtwangler performances along with the Bruckner 9 also recorded in October 1944.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2012 1:32 AM BST


Bruckner: Symphony 5
Bruckner: Symphony 5
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £80.84

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Literal Bruckner 5 in good sound, 26 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Bruckner: Symphony 5 (Audio CD)
To start with the unequivocal positives, this Bruckner Fifth is well recorded with excellent stereo separation and quite a good sound picture. It's certainly adequately played but no more than that. The main interest is in the highly literal rendering of the score; you can hear details in this performance that you don't usually. Overall though it comes across an an uninspired performance with little cumulative power. Of the recordings I have heard, Wand with the NDRSO in 1989 is far more integrated with a quite overwhelming accumulated momentum (and better than his Berlin remake). Furtwangler (1942) on Music & Arts is a fascinating additional recommendation although some would find it eccentric, it's magnificently played.


Tracey/Wellins Play Monk
Tracey/Wellins Play Monk
Price: £13.32

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A class act, 28 Feb. 2008
This is the Stan Tracey disc many of us were waiting for; a whole CD of the eccentric piano of Tracey playing the knotty tunes of Monk. With the added attraction of the great Bobby Wellins on sax it doesn't get any better than this! Every track is a gem but the typically unsettled solo account of 'Round Midnight alone is worth the price of the disc.

It's hard to believe that Tracey was just about to turn 80 and Wellins was 70 when this was recorded in 2006, such is their confidence and mastery. Both are unique players with an instantly recognisable sound which seems to become more marked as they get older, and no recording displays their talent and character better than this one.

The consistently high quality of the music making and the interaction between the all the band members (Clark Tracey on drums and Andy Cleyndert on bass are also outstanding) make this CD an unusually stimulating and absorbing listen, even by the high standards of other recent Stan Tracey discs.

Buy it before it goes out of print!


For All We Know
For All We Know
Price: £14.93

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Stan Tracey, 28 Feb. 2008
This review is from: For All We Know (Audio CD)
This a great little album that deserves wider listenership than it's probably getting. There are no big surprises here and of course the music is hardly cutting edge in terms of genre. However, the quality of the music making and production are so high that this album can be wholeheartedly reccommended to anyone who loves jazz. There have been a series of great records from Stan Tracey lately (such as the wonderful Monk collaboration with Bobby Wellins) but for lovers of Stan's uniquely abrasive piano sound this disc will be a treasure. Buy it before it goes out of print!


Too Long in Exile
Too Long in Exile
Offered by Themusicmaestro
Price: £18.95

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Van sings the blues, 13 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Too Long in Exile (Audio CD)
This is an underrated album in my book; as close to an old-fashioned blues album as Van has ever got, and all the better for it. As the earlier reviewer said, it does have a few superflous tracks (it came out on 2 LPs and should have been one probably). However it has some wonderful singing on it (Van is on inspired vocal form throughout) and the band is tight and totally on top of the material.

The standout tracks are probably the covers of Lonely Avenue and I'll Take Care Of You, both of which have some gritty vocals and the later track has some harmonica playing that's up there with Junior Wells. Of the Van-written tracks, Ball & Chain and Til We Get the Healing Done are very strong.

This album clearly has a 'trajectory' too, ending with two joined tracks as Into The Music once did. Whilst it's not in the league of that all-time classic album, it's essential listening to any Van-fan who likes raw blues based numbers and is interested to hear something of the roots of the Van Morrison phenomenon.


Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis
Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis
by Jeremy K. Leggett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading., 19 Nov. 2006
Half Gone deserves the widest possible readership. It has two things going for it that make it different from other similar books:

Firstly, this maybe the only book that successfully ties together the different strands of the Peak Oil and Climate Change arguments, along with their economic implications and suggestions about what can be done about it. These are separate problems on the face of it but they will probably both reach a crisis point over the next few years and paradoxically one (Peak Oil) may give us the economic impetus we need in society to address the other (Climate Change). I cannot imagine a better discussion of the complexities and interactions of these issues (political, economic and scientific) than is found in this book.

The second major strength of Half Gone is that it's so well written. Jeremy Leggett is a scientist by training and it shows; Half Gone very clearly argued and reasonable in tone throughout. It communicates the knowledge and understanding of the author and is a pleasure to read.

The message of Half Gone has serious implications for us all, whether we are worried about the price of fuel, stock market investments or biodiversity. In short, buy it, read it soon and act accordingly!


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