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Muso Man (London United Kingdom)

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Jewel Link: Galactic Quest (Nintendo DS)
Jewel Link: Galactic Quest (Nintendo DS)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this game THIS VERY MINUTE!, 4 Dec 2012
Very addictive and one of the best match 3 games with a scintillating space twist, making a welcome change from dreary old ancient Rome and Egypt. As well as matching 3 in a row you get to use power-ups by pressing various keys and you can collect trophies as well as assemble pictures of spacecraft.

Best thing about this is the excellent music which I would describe as ethereal space-age electronica; it gets me really engrossed n shakin' my thang in the exciting Galactic Quest space challenge. Love it! Buy it!


Milhaud:Music For Wind Instruments
Milhaud:Music For Wind Instruments
Price: £8.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Through the Night, 12 Nov 2012
Darius Milhaud is criminally underrated in the UK in favour of overly romantic mush and histrionics. These works are charmingly concise, in Milhaud's own inimitable style and stylistically not unlike Erik Satie with short movements, none of which lasts much more than three minutes each. Never overly sentimental but always thematically busy, there is a great mind at work at work beneath the lightness of the ensemble.

Perhaps the best-known piece here is `Roi René's Chimney', of which listeners to BBC radio 3's `Through The Night' may recognise the last movement, `Madrigal Nocturne' as the signature music.

The playing of the Athena Ensemble is spot on in terms of ensemble, dynamics and choices of tempi. This is a quality recording from 1991 which I highly recommend.


Charmer
Charmer
Price: £13.24

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saves the best for last, 21 Sep 2012
This review is from: Charmer (Audio CD)
A fairly uptempo guitar pop album interspersed with twinkly synth and piano. I detected hints of Blondie, The Cars and even Supertramp ('Crazytown') here while still sounding like Aimee Mann.

Standout tracks for me are 'Labrador', 'Living a Lie' featuring James Mercer of The Shins, and my the closing track 'Red Flag Diver' which would make a good road movie song, and is too short.

Occasionally the words are lost in the mix. Some of the hooks are stronger than others, the choruses are not all that easy to sing along to, and as always with Aimee, we have our own personal faves. 'Gamma Ray' is probably the weakest track here. It's quite a short album too, only 38 minutes or so.

Having said all that I really like it and feel it's worth five stars. A feelgood album in a grown-up stylee, and free of conveyor belt processing. Treat yourself.


EI8HT
EI8HT
Price: £12.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not his best, 17 Sep 2012
This review is from: EI8HT (Audio CD)
Having had some time to live with this album, I can say that the production and the voice is as good as ever here. However, I don't think it carries as quite much clout as his last album which was always going to be difficult to beat.

'Ei8ht' has got some good tunes, 'Runaway' being the standout track for me, followed by 'These Tears' and 'Rock of Ages'.

There are also a few less engaging tracks such as 'Stuff', 'You're the Best' and 'Enjoy The Ride', which after such a long gap between albums are slightly disappointing. I miss the chord progressions and unusual time changes that have always made Nik so unique. But he is a great musician, so a generous four stars from me.


Sibelius: Symphonies 6, 7
Sibelius: Symphonies 6, 7
Offered by mad4cds
Price: £14.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oboe delights and violin quirks, 8 Aug 2012
It's all the rage to record Sibelius in spacious DDD. This is an ADD recording from 1955 and you can hear more detail and tone in the inner parts than on digital recordings. Oboes have greater clarity, eveything feels much closer. On the downside, it can get a bit muddy, although whether that's the down to the analogue sound or the interpretation is open to debate.

There is a strange note in the violin melody of the first movement of the 6th symphony around 2'25". Not sure why, maybe this is a different edition, or the composer made a revision after the recording.

This version is better than Karajan's lush chocolate box 1960s DG recording of No. 6 with the BPO, though not as pacey or edgy as his later EMI BPO one, which I slightly prefer.

I have never liked the 7th Symphony, but you can hear those inner parts unfold like never before and the opening of the first movement sounds quite modern, and Tapiola gets pretty scary in analogue around 16'40" onwards.

If you are interested in these works then you should hear these Philharmonia recordings. They are not necessarily better than the DDD EMI BPO ones, but I guarantee you will hear new detail, more oboes, a different perspective and perhaps even an odd note!


Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1, 4-6
Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1, 4-6
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £29.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for symphonies 4 & 6, 30 July 2012
In my opinion, Karajan's best recordings of Symphonies 4 & 6. They both benefit from the spacious DDD sound which brings atmosphere and ice, plus the wonderful playing of the Berlin Phil. It's worth owning the recordings for those two works. The 6th is free of the portamento schmaltz that ruined Karajan's 60s DG recording.

Karelia Suite isn't so gripping here - I find it on the slow and stodgy side. No. 5 requires more warmth than this recorded sound offers. Karajan's early recording with the Philharmonia is his best recording of 5. I've heard better versions of the youthful No.1 elsewhere, this one doesn't convince me of it's merits.

If like me, you're a fan of the 4th and 6th symphonies, then I rate these EMI recordings with Karajan very highly indeed hence the 5 stars. Sibelius would have approved had he been alive. EMI should ditch the 1, 5 & Karelia Suite and put the other two on one disc if they haven't already done so.


Sibelius: Complete Symphonies (The)
Sibelius: Complete Symphonies (The)
Price: £24.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erratic tempi and lightweight strings, 21 Jun 2012
I have seen the Lahti and Vanska at the Proms and they were neat and tidy but not in the same league as, say, The Philharmonia, LSO or Berlin Phil. So when I heard rave reviews about this cycle I had to purchase it, and I'm slightly disappointed.

Vanska takes the second movement of the 3rd symphony deathly slowly. More Adagio Molto than Andantino Con Moto! In the tone poem 'En Saga' I had to to turn it up VERY LOUD, as I could hardly hear the viola solo. Symphony No.5 lacked the string urgency in the last movement. In No.1 it sounds like he's running to catch a bus. In no. 6, the string tone is lacking, particularly in the first and last movements at the crucial places. I like his no. 7, so that's one out of seven.

It's not a bad cycle by any means, it is very committed, the recorded soud is good and perhaps overthought in places. However the reviews are so good and for the expensive price these recordings just don't excite me tonally as much as some of the great orchestras do. Hear Karajan or Ashkenazy and see what I mean.


Shostakovich Chihara Bouchard
Shostakovich Chihara Bouchard

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shostakovich masterclass, 23 May 2012
My favourite performance of the Shostakovich viola sonata by Ms Kashkashian, which is enhanced by her dark, yet opaque woody tone. She sneers like no other in the second movement and displays perfectly measured introspection and a gripping climax in the third. Anyone interested in late Shostakovich (his last work) or string playing should own a copy.

A very lovingly made CD, the sparkling Linda Bouchard work 'Pourtinade' for viola and percission and Paul Chihara's textural 'Redwood' makes for a richly absorbing musical experience.


Planet Waves Shell-Color Celluloid Guitar Picks Pack of 100 - Light
Planet Waves Shell-Color Celluloid Guitar Picks Pack of 100 - Light
Price: £20.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect picks, 22 May 2012
These are great picks, I purchased them for acoustic guitar strumming and they are light picks that give you a lovely "pling" when you're playing chords or picking. They also look very cool in tortoiseshell finish. Get stocked up!


Mozart, W.A.: The String Quartets (DG Collectors Edition)
Mozart, W.A.: The String Quartets (DG Collectors Edition)
Price: £17.72

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 11 May 2012
I wanted a Mozart quartet set for background music purposes as they were written for. However, I was so blown away by these performances that I have to stop and listen every time.

The Amadeus quartet have Mozart in their blood and spent 40 years playing these quartets - the intonation, phrasing and balance of ensemble speaks for itself. Norbert Brainin's violin sings like a bird. Yet at the same time, these players were no strangers to hardship and sometimes I find the minor key works deeply sad and never overstated. There are highlights everywhere, the Andante of K464 has some of the most sensitive playing I have witnessed in Mozart.

You also get the three Divs here, and for the price these recordings are too good not to own. I can also strongly recommend the string quintets on DG with Cecil Aronowitz.


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