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simon mack "digital media artist etc" (UK)

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Resolution to Swing
Resolution to Swing
Offered by Seller_at
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars fine Marsalis best of collection - for the traditonalists, 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Resolution to Swing (Audio CD)
a new amazon aquisition as ever curious to hear more from arguably the most divisive jazz musician since (and he would hate me for comparing the two of them) yes you guessed it - Miles Davis. Marsalis has proved a controversial figure in the jazz world since his early fame + recognition in the 1980's. "Resolution to Swing" is a very enjoyable collection of some of Marsalis' work that features what ultimately make him so divisive i.e. deeply conservative, traditional jazz trumpet led works that whilst superb here with new orleans sassy "fat tuesday" style tracks, limpid ballads + superb playing with his assorted ensembles.

the playing by all concerned is beyond reproach technically, soulful, bluesy + yes often swinging that fans of Ellington in particular will love, BUT anyone expecting to hear anything here with a genuine edge or hint of genuine risk taking will be sorely disappointed. the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Charlie Mingus,early David Murray, to new contemporaries such as Ken Vandermark's groups ultimately keep the spirit of exploratory jazz vital. Marsalis continues to be a hugely talented musician and band leader but whilst the music here is marvellous - there is nothing that ultimately says anything new. tracks here include selections from personal fave Lp;s : "Think of One", "Majesty of the Blues" + "Thick in the South" amongst others.

superb, life affirming jazz yes, but ultimately sepia tinged music making - for fans of the tradition.


String Quartet/Berlinsky/Borodin Quartet
String Quartet/Berlinsky/Borodin Quartet

4.0 out of 5 stars the real deal :Borodin's play Schnittke, 5 Oct 2013
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a recent amazon purchase of arguably the world's most acclaied russian string ensemble playing arguably (along with Sofia Gubaidulina) the most accomplished +powerful "russian" composer since Shostakovich. (Schnittke was part russian/ukrainian)

and so - this fine virgin label release from the late 1990 s features three chamber works by Alfred Schnittke or rather two of his +his transcription of a Mahler work.
the first work - the marvellous 3rd string quartet here recieives a near definitive version by the Borodin's of the composer's for me , best string quartet . posr-DSCH dark hued ,violent outbursts, classical form yet intense all combine in a wrok of light+mainly shade that more people should be be aware of. excellent natural also. the kronos quartet (on the none-such label "winter was hard" cd) is also a fine is slightly less intense version.

2nd work her eis the Schnittke / Mahler transciption and offers some light relief to non-aficianodas with pretty typical Mahlerian late romantic work of worth, although hardly essential . both composers are better served by their own better works. good but not earth shattering.

final work is Schnittke's half hour -ish piano quintet - where the Borodin's are joined by cellist Berlinsky's daughter in another near definitive searching, impeccably played work that fans of yes DSCH will recognise as a suitable heir to hisown piano quintet + chamber music. classically composed yet undeniably powerful,with again sparse dark writing , a violent dissonant central movement + enigmatic almost melodiuc final. a long way from Rachmaninov though..

overall - strongly recommended


Miles Davis: Tutu / Music from Siesta / Amandla
Miles Davis: Tutu / Music from Siesta / Amandla
Price: 12.33

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars last days of Miles - new 5 cd collection, 1 Oct 2013
anyone with a passing interest in the music of the 20th Century will of course be familiar with trumpeter Miles Dewey Davis (1926 - September 28, 1991) and his many ground breaking jazz lps. this 5 cd re-release of his final studio Lps (1986 - 1991) by Rhino / Warner Bros (Mile's last record label) is a welcome + new budget priced box set.

the central question is this : do most people need this collection of late era Miles? well yes but only after you have the top 10 Lps first i would say.
the late era does offer many fine moments of both pop/funk fusion ("Tutu" + "Doo-Bop") as well as the Spanish influenced if rather uneven film music suite ("Fiesta"- a kind of 80's version of "Sketches of Spain"), the highly rated wider ranging "Amandla" + the only real dud here - the little known soundtrack extracts from "Dingo" with Michel Legrand) as a fairly rare inclusion. the acclaimed large ensemble "Aura" from this era is also recommended on Columbia label also but not included in this Warner collection due to different record labels.

all in all - some fine late era Miles, in a decent new collection that although not essential as the following top 10 (or even 20) of his all time greatest releases (such as Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue, Live in Stockholm, Miles Smiles, Sketches of Spain, Live at the Plugged Nickel, Filles de Kilimanjaro, Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way, Dark Magus etc) still offers the completist much to enjoy. just don't expect "jazz" in the hard bop or ballad sense of 50's or 60' era Miles- this collection features Miles in mainly fusion + larger ensemble hybrid mode. different from his "kind of blue" era but no worse for that - just wider ranging + yes more contemporary but still retaining Mile's exsquisite trumpet playing.

a recommended collection, but get the above classics first i would suggest then move on to this collection perhaps for an intriguing + often musically satisfying collection form this remarkable , questing musician. one thing endures though - Miles remarkable trumpet sound + questing vision.


Kodaly:Duo Op 7:Vln,Cello
Kodaly:Duo Op 7:Vln,Cello
Offered by ALL-MY-MUSIC-GERMANY
Price: 18.21

3.0 out of 5 stars fine music - but overwrought versions here, 27 Sep 2013
i bough this cd some 15 or so years ago as was starting my deeper explorations of the cello repertoire beyond Bach, Shostakovich, Elgar etc. this arte nova release was a budget introduction to the much underrated ,powerful cello works of Bela Bartok's friend : Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly (1992-1967).

the solo cello sonata is one of the cornerstones of the cello repertoire along with yes - Bach's 6 suites + Britten's 3 suites. it is a 30 minute soul searching , powerful work thats truly explores the gamut of emotions, but here performer Guido Schiefen lacks anywhere near enough subtlety playing each of the 3 movements of the solo sonata as it were his last breath,robbing this multi-faceted work of much of its probing introspection + nuance. a great shame.

the sonata for violin + cello , like Ravel's own marvellously sparse probing masterpiece is better played here with the aid of violinist Axel Strauss fares better here with better more refined playing. my own preferred version is the Nigel Kennedy / Lyn Harrell version on emi though . but first investigate the supreme cello sonata for cello + piano first for its richer harmonic + emotional language by Kleigel on naxos or Klien on chandos. early champion - Janos Starker also desrves to be heard in this material also.

Kodaly's cello works are richly rewarding music that deserve better interpretations than provided here on this lacklustre arte nova cd. a shame.


Myaskovsky: Cello Concerto/Cello Sonatas
Myaskovsky: Cello Concerto/Cello Sonatas
Price: 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars underrated Russian cello works, 21 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Myaskovsky Cello Concerto (Audio CD)
Myaskovsky / Miaskovsky cello works

a recent amazon buy as always keen to expand my knowledge of Russian cello music , particularly the music that borders late-romantic and the 20th C soviet era. Myakovsky's cello concerto has been championed by no lesser figures than Rostropovich, Maisky, and Mork over the years. and for a good reason - the concerto is a gloriously rich work deeply melancholic that will appeal to a wide audience already familiar with Elgar's, Shostakovich's + Prokofiev's cello concerti. the performance here is absolutely fine to me, the playing here by Marina Tarasova + fellow Russian cohorts is alert +expressive. sound is a little recessed but the performances on this cd were well regarded at the time by the Penguin cd guide on its original Olympia label release. this Regis label release is the same recording albeit with laughably bad rustic new cover artwork alas..

the cello sonata's are broadly similar to Prokofiev's late sonata - melodic, three movement, tonal , brooding + varied in tempi. recommended all round for fans of the richly expressive late romantic school without quite the originality of Debussy, Janacek (pohadka), the lovely + underrated Kodaly , or the later era :Britten + Schnittke still at budget price the booklet notes are reasonable, the sound is fine overall (lets ignore the cover design though) - the Regis budget priced re-release is recommended . Nb : this recording also re-released on Alto Label + still available on the original Olympia label. sound overall is little murky but booklet notes are good but recording dates only attributed to 1994 but with no other details. still - a good budget price overview of underrated works.


Myaskovsky Cello Concerto
Myaskovsky Cello Concerto
Offered by KAOZI168-CLASSICAL---*SHIPPED IN TIME *
Price: 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars underrated Russian cello works, 20 Sep 2013
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Myaskovsky / Miaskovsky cello works

a recent amazon buy as always keen to expand my knowledge of Russian cello music , particularly the music that borders late-romantic and the 20th C soviet era. Myakovsky's cello concerto has been championed by no lesser figures than Rostropovich, Maisky, and Mork over the years. and for a reason - the concerto is a gloriously rich work deeply melacholic that will appeal to a wide audience already familiar with Elgar's, Shostakovich's + Prokofiev's cello concerti. the performance here is absolutely fine to me, the playing here by Marina Tarasova + fellow Russian cohorts is alert +expressive. well recorded + well regarded at the time by the Penguin cd guide on its original Olympia label release. this Regis label release is the same recording albeit with laughably bad rustic new cover artwork..

the cello sonata's are broadly similar to Prokofiev's late sonata - melodic, three movement, tonal , brooding + varied in tempi. recommended all round for fans of the richly expressive late romantic school without quite the originality of Debussy, Janacek (pohadka), the lovely + underrated Kodaly , or the later era :Britten + Schnittke still at budget price the booklet notes are reasonable, the sound is fine overall (lets ignore the cover design though) - the Regis budget priced re-release is recommended . Nb : this recording also re-released on Alto Label + still available on the original Olympia label. sound is a little murky but cover booklet notes are good albeit with no recording info given other than from 1994. still- a good overview of lesser known cello works played well .


Prokofiev: Piano Sonata 2, 7, Visions Fugitives, 10 Pieces (Russian Piano Music, Vol. 7)
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata 2, 7, Visions Fugitives, 10 Pieces (Russian Piano Music, Vol. 7)
Price: 11.50

4.0 out of 5 stars fine Prokofiev from Dukachev, 16 Sep 2013
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a brand new amazon buy as remembered a very positive Daily Telegraph review a year or so back + was keen to compare to Richter (live on DG), Pollini (on DG) + Glemser (on naxos). the good news is that Dukachev overcome's the "steel fingers" demands of Prokofiev's demanding,part percussive, part - introspective yet progressive post-Romantic sonatas as a fine interpreter and new alternative to the Pollini's classic version of no.7, Glemser's no.7 + Romeo + Juliet (1990's).

having been ad admirer of Prokofiev's exploratory but incisive sonatas for some years now - it always amazes me the public misses some key innovative yet undeniably enjoyable works - so it is with Sergei P's solo piano works. the Sonata's :No.2 (1912),No: 7 (1939-2) , Romeo + Juiliet (transcribed suite for piano- 1937)) + a selection of his more enigmatic works - the Visions Fugitives (1915-17). Dukachev impresses i the percussive, charged No.7, offers subtleties + insights in the Visiones Fugitives and Sonata No.2 aplenty. the only work he falls down slightly for me is his slightly skewed rhythms + lack of the full dynamics in the famous grandiose ending movement of Romeo + Juliet or the intensity needed in Sonata no.7 ,not quite matching Glemser's stamina or Pollini's articulation.

good sound quality + booklet notes add up to a decent new cd alternative for this essential 20thc piano repertoire.


Britten Masterpieces
Britten Masterpieces
Price: 15.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Britten - the Decca masterpieces, 14 Sep 2013
This review is from: Britten Masterpieces (Audio CD)
a four cd box set of works that Decca have chosen to represent as Britten's masterpieces at 10 or so is certainly an attractive re-release of some of the composer's key works. however, whilst there is no doubting the historical importance of several key recordings here (Peter Pears features on several premier recordings here from this main era) - it is a great shame that Decca have for me played a little safely by including the lesser, albeit populist works such as Simple Symphony in favour of what are arguably Britten's true masterpieces - his chamber works such as his 3 String quartets, Cello sonata (Decca's recording of Britten himself on piano with Rostropovich is a great missed opportunity here i feel. the Violin Concerto IS included in this collection in favour of the stodgy Cello Concerto at least.

a 4 cd box set at 10 or so is undeniably good value , but to not include some of the chamber works is a great shame. as with any single label box set not all versions here are neccesarily the definitive ones for me. Bear in mind that both EMI + Virgin have released fine Brtten recordings over the years. still - an attractive set for newcomers to one of the UK'd finest ever composers.

full 4 cd track listing :
cd 1:
A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Frank Bridge Variations
Sea Interludes
Simple Symphony
Peter Grimes, Op.33 (Edited)

cd 2:
Edited works :
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28
A boy was born, Op.3
A Hymn to the Virgin (1930, rev. 1934)
Festival Te Deum, Op.32 (1944)
Jubilate Deo in C (1961)
Hymn to St. Cecilia (1942), Op.27

cd 3 :
Songs from "Friday Afternoons", Op.7
Noye's Fludde, Op.59

cd 4:
Les Illuminations, Op.18
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31
Violin Concerto, Op.15


To The Edge Of Dream
To The Edge Of Dream

3.0 out of 5 stars fine performances - mixed bag of 20th C music alas.., 14 Sep 2013
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This review is from: To The Edge Of Dream (Audio CD)
a recent amazon buy as curious to hear more works by Takemitsu in connection with other 20th C compoers here namely - Stravinsky, Messiaen + Lutoslawski. the perforamances, sound quality + conducting by Esa-Pekka Salonen with the London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia + LA Philharmonic are uniformly excellent.

so why only 3 stars for Salonen "best of" sampler cd then ? well as a keen support of the best of 20th C claasical music (see my many other reviews via my profile of Shostakovich, Messiaen, Lutoslawski etc) - the problem is for me the poor choices made by sony on this release in not a) offering the best examples of each composers music b) not offering enough contrast with the selected works here.

the two Takemitsu pieces ae fine in themselves if you like his post-Debussy meets the Orient works (i;m not a big fan i'm afraid : his works i have heard over recent years simply do not have enough impact or originality: neither astringent, melodic or truly zen like calm : unlike John Cage,Messiaen or Feldman but i digress..) French catholic/mystic Oliver Messiaen's abridged selections here only hint at the far bigger canvases he composed - fine i suppose as a tiny taster but you need to but the complete versions of Turangalila symphony + Des Canyons aux Etoiles for the full "vision" of his work - the selected parts here do not suffice.

perenial 20th C favourite - Stravinsky's Rite of Spring only has 7 minute shere of Salonen's albeit excellent version with the Philharmonia. a shame - a taster only of the full impact of this landmark 1913 work.

finally - a personal favourite Witold Lutoslawski has so many better works to showcase on a sampler than the 15 minute movement selected here of Les espaces du Sommeil with its over ominous baritone vocal part. why didn't Sony select Salonen's excellent vivid reading of his LA Phil recording in the 1990's of Lutoslwaski's Piano Concerto, Chantefleurs et Chantefables as a more suitable + less foreboding taster of this key composer.

fine readings + sound from a major interpreter of 20th C works - this Sony Salonen "sampler" is still a missed opportunity though. fine as a intro "toe-dip" perhaps but for me - 3 stars going on 4 .
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2014 7:01 PM GMT


Pure OFC HQ 2 x RCA Phono Plugs to Plugs Stereo Audio Cable Gold 50cm
Pure OFC HQ 2 x RCA Phono Plugs to Plugs Stereo Audio Cable Gold 50cm

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars improved sound for those on a budget, 13 Sep 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars improved sound for those on a budget, 13 Sep 2013

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This review is from: 0.5m High Quality Gold Plated Twin Phono RCA Cable / Audio Lead / 1/2 Metre / Fully Screened (BY Cables 4 ALL) (Electronics)
i bought a set of these a few weeks as keen to try to improve the clarity on my hi-fi system (denon cd player, cambridge audio amp + tannoy speakers - for day to day listening. the good news is that these gold plated 0.5 m length phono leads offer a useful improvement in sound definition + top end clarity over most supplied phono leads. the top end is a little "forward" i would say + the more up market makers such as QED, Audioquest etc will ultimately offer a better balanced sound than these, but for less than 5 / $7 to your door - these short audio cables will definitely step up the sound of your hi-fi for next to no cost with better sound stage definition, deeper bass end + top end clarity.

basic theory - the shorter the cable the less the resistance + thus purer the signal) note though that at 0.5 metres long (most are 1.0 or 1.5 metres),these cables are best for stacked hi-fi separates close to each other.

in a word though - recommended.


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