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Abbicadabri (London United Kingdom)

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Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos.2 & 8
Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos.2 & 8
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £12.61

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viola perfection, 25 April 2012
I purchased this particular recording because I love the slow movement of the 2nd Symphony. And of all the versions I listened to, I liked this one the best. It has a good clear recorded sound without being too "in yer face" - on some of the older ones (Adrian Boult's LPO is a good example) the recording noise ruins the performance for me.

In the slow movement's lavender seller's cry which is played by solo viola, some of the versions have an awful portamento position shift which Vaughan Williams never wrote in his score, and some have dying cow syndrome vibrato. So it's hats off to Mr Roger Benedict for playing it beautifully.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2012 10:12 PM GMT


Shostakovich: Complete String Quartets (Mandelring Quartet)
Shostakovich: Complete String Quartets (Mandelring Quartet)
Price: £35.65

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cycle, 20 April 2012
This is my favourite Shostakovich quartet cycle, I even prefer it over the Borodins because of the beautiful sound this ensemble makes, combined with the recording quality. Easily one of the best available.

Slow movements are sweet and serene, yet there is no lack of tension and edge where required. Particularly outstanding is viola player Roland Glassl, notably in the second movement of quartet no. 1 and the last movement of no. 10. You can sense the sibling empathy and conflict (2 brothers and 1 sister) of the other players, the "Schmidts". Other highlights are the beautiful Lento of Quartet no. 6, and the third movement of no. 11.

Very highly recommended.


There's a Whole New World Out There
There's a Whole New World Out There
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £76.90

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 Dec. 2011
Double CD in which Francis Dunnery breathes new life into old It Bites songs. The feel is easy and relaxed with semi acoustics and female harmonies. Great versions of 'Whole New World', 'Hunting the Whale' and a ten minute long 'Staring at the Whitewash'.

Also included are new tracks and covers of other artists. Best covers are Japan's 'Still Life in Mobile Homes' with haunting flute solos (much better than the original), and Genesis' edgy 'Back in New York City'. A refreshing, unusual and innovative album, and if you're reading this, just you treat yourself this very minute!


Roseland
Roseland

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smelling of Roses, 10 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Roseland (Audio CD)
Excellent album, their best one in some time, free of record company pressure and gimmicky vocals, and Roseland is purely instrumental. I have a preference for the sound of the nylon string guitar, as I liked the old Gardner's World theme and there is plenty here, although there is a strange mixture of other styles too.

Best tracks for me are 'Templemeads', 'A Kinder Loving', 'Stealing Hearts' and 'World Stage', which all begin with acoustic guitar.

There are some quirky tracks such as the chirpy "One for Shorty" and the jazzy "Right Place, Wrong Time," and some funk and reggae stuff featuring more electric guitar sounds. Overall though it's a step in the right direction and a well-crafted labour of love so it gets a whopping 5 stars!


Beyond The Missouri Sky
Beyond The Missouri Sky
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 11 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Audio CD)
Just listen to 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' and you'll understand what a great album this is. I don't fully agree with the easy listening comments, I find that there is much more depth to the music than the term implies.


Another Slice Of Vintage Cheese!
Another Slice Of Vintage Cheese!

4.0 out of 5 stars Great compilation, but caution, two red herrings, 31 May 2011
It's a bit annoying when you buy a compilation in the belief that you're getting original recordings, then they turn out not to be, even though it doesn't warn you about this on the CD sleeve. Fair play, this is a great compilation and most of them are originals.

But I know my music. 'Summerlove Sensation' by The Bay City Rollers is not the original. In fact it doesn't even sound like Les McKeown singing to these ears. And 'I feel like Buddy Holly' by Alvin Stardust is also not the original version , although I do like the (re-recorded?) version included here as they've turned the guitars up.

If you can live with that, it's a really good slice of vintage cheese, some of the tracks are real quality, and it includes some rare tracks - you won't find 'Monkey Chop' by Dan-i on CD anywhere else in the spooniverse and I used to love it for some bizarre reason. Unlike one of the previous reviewers, I think CD 3 is best of the lot. I would have gladly given this five stars if I didn't feel slightly conned.


Pray the Dawn
Pray the Dawn

5.0 out of 5 stars Get it!, 4 May 2011
This review is from: Pray the Dawn (Audio CD)
I've got the album, 'Sawdust in my veins' and I can tell you that it's worth getting this single because the extra tracks are all superb, an acoustic version of 'Walk the Last Mile', 'Call Me Slim', and the haunting 'Comakinder'. These tracks could easily have been on the album and as far as I know, you won't find them anywhere else.


Sawdust in My Veins
Sawdust in My Veins
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in the darkest moments, 4 May 2011
This review is from: Sawdust in My Veins (Audio CD)
This album is billiant. It's dark, it's melodic, the poetic words, the guitar playing and the voice are all breathtaking. The greatest beauty is in the darkest moments. 'I Can't Stop Bleeding', 'I Don't Know You Anymore' (check out that guitar solo) and 'If You Love Me, Leave Me Alone' are the highlights for me. And how does anyone pluck an acoustic guitar like that with a plectrum ('Pray the Dawn' and 'This is the Last Time')?

There's a wonderful sense of accomplished irony and self-deprecation about this album and I want it played at my funeral.


Volcanic
Volcanic
Offered by Music Garden Werbe GmbH
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the old volcano!, 3 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Volcanic (Audio CD)
I love this album. This has to be the album where the music is as unlike the sleeve cover as you could imagine! Think Spyro Gyra, `Morning Dance' and you'd be closer to the latest Mezzoforte offering.

Their best album in years, I've found the least couple a bit on the heavy self-indulgent funk side. This is lovely and light and airy, great melodies, superbly executed. It's a real feel-good album. 'Jump Town' is bleddy brilliant and the title track is just as good, when's the last time you heard a triangle on a fusion record? Buy it!


You've Got to Laugh
You've Got to Laugh
Offered by chivvy
Price: £17.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best £1 I ever spent, 11 Aug. 2010
This review is from: You've Got to Laugh (Audio CD)
I found this tatty CD for £1 in a charity shop, having been in a covers band as a youngster and knew 'The Riddle', which I still like. Unfortunately I'm a bit old these days to appreciate a lot of modern production line pop.

This is a cracking album. His vocals sound stronger if anything, the production is very professional and the melodies are as catchy as ever. Lyrically it's very personal in places, and I almost feel like an intrusive listener in that respect. Some of the words are rather bitter, whoever they're about, name them and shame them, that's what I say!

My favourite songs are the slightly heavier ones with more electric guitar such as the 5 in a bar proggy "Old House", the twisty chord changes of "Promises, Promises", and female vocals are used to good effect on "She Could be the One". I also really appreciate his guitar soloing which is in evidence here.

I am going to pay the full whack for his next album, I'm sure it will be worth it.


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