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Gladiator: More Music From The Motion Picture
Gladiator: More Music From The Motion Picture
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 6.43

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Commercial Manipulative Pap, 24 May 2004
Most people have woken up to the commercial manipulation of this - "More music from" tactic by now. If you have'nt,then please do. They did it with Titanic,and also with Gladiator amongst others. Since when does "More music" actually mean "Dialogue over music" and "Cues written especially for the album"?. This is what you have here. It's a patchy mess,and comes nowhere near the triumph of the proper Gladiator original Score. One or two unreleased Cues are on here. But the rest is false advertizing for the most part. False because odd new age mixes were not in the score,and overlaying dramatic dialogue over cues is not a soundtrack release, but just a way to suck money out of gullible people while the hype surrounding the film is at it's top. Do yourself a favour and avoid this one.

Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life
Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.99

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must buy, 5 May 2004
I cannot recommend this book enough,for anyone who is interested in knowing the "human" source of all those wonderful Piano Concertos,Sonatas, and Masses. I have'nt even finished the book yet. But already i felt i had to write this reccomendation review so that others can get their hands on this. This edition of the book (it was previously in hardback and is now a hefty price) is a new paperback edition at a budget price. Well worth it for the 400 hundred odd pages you get. Even more worth it, when you consider what jewels are inside. Personal letters from the 1700's,from our favourite Mozart. The age of these personal letters is quite a staggering thing to ponder when you're reading them. Little has changed since then it seems. The same trials, sufferings,joys,worries,and downright mundane aspects of everyday life at times. Yes,this book really does brings Mozart to life and brings him closer to you than you could ever of imagined. You will feel you finally know him (to your amusement or horror), after reading the first 15 or so letters. As there is no preview of the contents here,i'll include just a little excerpt from one letter to give you an example of how fun this book is to read. I've enjoyed every page so far. What a treat.
"....We left Today Count Firmian's place to go home, and when we came to our street, we opened the door to our house, and what do you think happened? we went inside. Farewell my little lung. I kiss you, my liver, and remain at all times, my stomach,your unworthy brother Wolfgang , frater, please,please,dear Sister, something is biting me, come and scratch me".
What on earth was all that about? That was an excerpt of a letter from Mozart on tour with his father in Milan around the age of 19/20, to his Sister in Salzburg. It just gives an example of how wacky Mozart really was. The author of this book, has constructed it in chronological context so that it's telling a story. A development, a flowering of Mozart and his attitudes from the age of 13 till his last years. It even goes as far as remaining true to the spelling mistakes and grammar odditys that Mozart was known for, not having a formal education. Also, including all the crude uncensored sentences.
Many people look at the 1984 movie "Amadeus" and think the portrayal of Mozart in the movie, is sacreligious and an insult to such a genius. It is innacurate at times (certainly in terms of historical events in Mozart's life). But,to be honest the more and more you read the letters of Mozart, the more the portrayal of him in the movie, seems to fit reality quite well (even though it may over play the reckless side of him at times). As the book notes, Mozart never intended letters for publication, so we are snooping in one private conversations. It's the ultimate music lovers voyeurism. Mozart seemed to be as human as anyone else. Passionate,bored,sleepy,and furious at times. He also seems to be someone who was eternally wacky and full of love for his family,no matter what was happening.
I would be very very suprised if anyone would be turned off listening to Mozart's music after reading this. If they did, then they are not true appreciators of Mozart in my opinion. Observing his private life through his letters will make you understand Mozart and his music so much more. It removes the sanctimonious etheral glow from him,and shows him as just an ordinary guy who enjoyed his art, and worked damn hard indeed.
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The Wild Geese: Original Motion Picture Sountrack
The Wild Geese: Original Motion Picture Sountrack
Offered by In Tune UK
Price: 25.75

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb score for a great movie., 20 Mar 2004
As a collector of soundtracks,Roy Budd only became known to me through the Wild Geese. I shall delve into his work further now. What a score this is. It's just right for the movie. Budd's clever use of the Notturno movement from Alexander Borodin's String Quartet No.2,is marvellous and suitably emotional to score the relationship between Rafer (Richard Harris) and his son. Staying with that,a superb cue on this disc is no.14 - Rafer's Death. It explodes with a high strings scream of the Notturno, and is very well written and "very" emotional. And just as i screamed "NOOOooooooo" during that exact scene in the movie (so near,so close) the cue represents that feeling. It then explodes into the heroic Wild Geese theme as the plane takes off. Much of the rest of the score is re-arrangements of the Wild Geese theme in varying forms, or your usual Military March material. Exciting and suitably "military" in feel throughout. Either full blown marches or snare drum score for "sneaking up on people" moments, along with that very 1970's scores use of the "shaker" for scoring "exotic" or "dangerous" moments.
On track 6, there is a slight sound wobble around 0:23. I'm guessing this is due to an un-rectifiable original master tape problem. But it's only a brief glitch. Still a shame though as it's quite an unusually restrained cue and the glitch would of been noticed less on a louder cues. But it's not the end of the world. Overall,Budd has a style which is a hybrid of 1970's Jerry Goldsmith and that early 1970's style of John Williams. Yet,Budd's sound is still unique in it's own way. Track 10 - "Parade Ground" harks back to the Dirty Dozen "thing". A military marching song (well, training song in this case). Very British indeed. Track 16- "Left,Right" is a semi instrumental,semi dialogue track of the Regimental Seargeant Major "Sandy" rousing his troops along with snare drums and then into the soliders chorus march. Usually i find dialogue in movie scores on disc extremely annoying. But this is enjoyable stuff as Sandy was such a great character in the film. One song on the disc - "Flight of the Wild Geese" (at the end of the movie as it began playing,i remember thinking "What on earth is this doing here?") actually grows on you. It's still very bizzare and dated now. But i guarantee you'll end up playing it more than a few times. I think it's just so bizzare that you cant help but play it. The other 70's song is "Dance with Death", and to be honest it just does NOT belong on this soundtrack at all (or at least, not in the very middle of the disc). I'm sorry but it's absolutely awful and straight out of "Saturday Night Fever" and Disco Boogie. Very unwelcome in the middle of the disc as far as i'm concerned). It should of been placed right at the end of the disc so that we have a choice. But this is a great disc nonetheless. I highly reccomend it.

Paganini: 24 Caprices
Paganini: 24 Caprices
Price: 9.92

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful CD, and quite unique, 14 Mar 2004
This review is from: Paganini: 24 Caprices (Audio CD)
Firstly i must make it clear that i'm not a Violinist. So i will not be commenting on the technical side of things in regard to this recording. Just from my joy of this unique and exciting work. Niccolo Paganini had a reputation in his time for scaring people with his frantic and outstanding playing. The man dressed in black, with aquiline features and hunched shoulders displayed a level of skill with the Violin that made many people convinced that he was in league with the Devil to produce such astounding ability. It is said that Paganini,rather than putting a stop to this myth, kept it going as he understood publicity very well and it's usefulness. Clever man. These 24 caprices (technical exercises of improvisation) are indeed magical and do indeed startle you as if they're coming from madness itself.
Apparently,they are considered the "Gauntlet" for violin virtuosos,as they are so difficult to play. Anyone who can play this,has to be pretty damn good basically. From the moment you press play, to the moment it stops. You are astounded by the skill level on display here, even if (like me) you dont play the Violin. It just sounds like pure genius and mastery of the Violin. The Violinist on this CD is Itzhak Perlman,and he does a superb job in my opinion. Each Caprice is unique and uses a different part of the Violin to produce bizzare structures. What we "dont" have here,is a soft sunday afternoon Violin Concerto with the cat sleeping on your lap. What we have here,is exciting mania and the cat leaping around wandering what on earth is going on. Hence, you have to be in the right mood to play this.
The pieces are sometimes full of sheer beauty, and other times full of speedy,tense,and wrenching terror. I highly reccomend this CD,if you are interested in hearing a solo violin outside of the usual concerto's where it's full capacity is not explored at all. The Violin certainly is a fantastic instrument. If you like that romantic story surrounding Paganini,then also check out the DVD on Amazon uk called "The Red Violin". The character of an 18th century English Lord and Violin Virtuoso in the film called Frederick Pope, is almost certainly modelled on Paganini's myth. Pope's erotic inspired music is certainly linked to these pieces in thier display of genius madness and passion. Give this CD a go, and you wont be dissapointed.


2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gave up halway through., 18 Jan 2004
This review is from: Revolutions (Audio CD)
Revolutions could of been better. You always get the impression with this work, that Jarre was well on the way to writing a full symphony with the Industrial revolution movements, and then got fed up and did something else instead. This is painfully obvious at times. What relation do Computer weekend,London Kid, and September,have with each other in terms of sound, and to the Industrial revolution movements?. Nothing. Exactly. You strongly get the impression that the later were just stuck on as filler because Jarre gave up on what could of been a wonderful new Album with the first movements. It's a crying shame,because the first parts of this album are superb. We had the depth and moodiness, and then all of a sudden we're into cheesy pop of Computer Weekend and la la la la African village chorals. I dont know what happened to Jarre halfway through this album. Do you?. Yes, i know it's all about "Revolutions" etc. But each piece is so seperate from the last, that i agree with the reviewer who said that the CD is disjointed and makes no sense. Each track does'nt work well together, even though they're all interesting. The Arab (or Turkish on this version) chant on Revolutions is a great piece on it's own, but does'nt feel like it belong anywhere in particular. Nice try Jean Michel. Not your best.

Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 19.95

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Soundscapes. Jarre's 1st classic., 18 Jan 2004
This review is from: Oxygene (Audio CD)
This was the stage of Jarre's career before the era of "Son et Lumiere". This is good enough reason "alone" to buy this. As wonderful as Jarre's outdoor concerts are (and i've been to a few),they were ironically to become his musical downfall as he compromised more and more,and began writing works more with the next concert in mind,rather than soundscapes. Oxygene and Equinoxe are superb experiments in Soundscapes. Discs where you can put on a good pair of headphones,turn off the lights,close your eyes, and lie back on a bed to be transported to another world,as you ride on the sweeping lush synth sounds and textures. You always reach the end of these early albums,and feel you've been inside a womb and re-born. You were truly in another world for the duration of the work. A psychedelic world where the experimental sounds took you far away. This is why i admire his early work so much. His later work was always fun, but very shallow & cheap at times. Oxygene and Equinoxe are of his very deep and melancholy stage. A young man at a stage of his life trying to understand the world and universe he lives in,and putting it into synth music. Later on,Jarre seemed more interested in image,designer outfits,and as many fireworks as possible. Alas, this early stage of Jean Michel is long gone. Buy this CD today (along with Equinoxe,Magnetic Fields,and Rendezvous) and admire these classics of early synth. Just buy these early classics by him and enjoy them :)

Offered by Logi-Link
Price: 36.62

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The" 2nd Jarre classic, and a gem of soundscapes., 18 Jan 2004
This review is from: Equinoxe (Audio CD)
Equinoxe is classic Jarre (along with Oxygene). A memory preserved on disc,of a time when the guy was truly pioneereing synth music,in terms of lush soundscape. Equinoxe is where you can turn off the lights,put on a good pair of headphones,close your eyes,and lie back on a bed to be transported into another world through the music. Equinoxe does this with very effective use of sound. Prepare to be taken away on a psychedelic soundscape of lush synths sounds, and pulsing but warm synths.
I've always felt Equinoxe to be more "Cosmos" based, and Equinoxe "Earth" based. The initial movement of Equinoxe takes you up into the cosmos with a rising and ever filling theme. The 2nd movement is one of the most superb soundscape pieces of music i've ever heard. A sweeping journey through Nebulas,and star fields. Deep,emotional,and heavy hearted. The rest of the album i'll leave you to discover for yourself. Give this CD a shot, and you will not be dissapointed.
Sadly,this Jarre is long gone now. All we have to remind us of this fascinating stage of his career,are his early recordings like Equinoxe,Oxygene,Magnetic Fields, and Rendezvous. That era was Jean Michel being a pioneer in terms of soundscapes and storytelling with music. Thesedays, Jarre seems more interested in trying to "fit in" to popular music, rather than being a rebel against the norm (as he was in his early days). His attempts at trying to fit into mainstream music with DJ re-mixes and club versions, are rather like a man in his 50's thinking that by putting on a baseball cap and wearing baggy jeans, he will appear "cool" to the kids. It does'nt work,and he should give it up, because it betrays everything he worked for in his career, and his pioneering.
The later stage of Jarre's career (the era of "Son Et Lumiere" big concert shows) proved suprisingly to be his musical downfall. Rather than compliment the music,the music aspect was eventually placed on the back burner it seems, and wowing people became the priority instead. The Egypt Millenium Metamorphoses is an example of how shallow his work had become,and empty of anything other than concert material. The music suffered tremendously (even though it remained fun music),and Jarre compromised on his new works by tailoring them to fit his next big lightshow. So,to hear the real skill of early Jarre, then go for Equinoxe and Oxygene. This was when Jarre was truly interested in soundscapes and moods.

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
Offered by sellerfellauk
Price: 39.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully thematic. But could have been better., 17 Jan 2004
This soundtrack is wonderfully thematic,and Edelman's themes are so easily imprinted on your mind, that i guarantee you'll recognize them even without having seen the film. The cue "Bruce and Linda", was later used in several film trailers since. The most known,was the trailer for Forrest Gump. Randy Edelman approaches the subject of Bruce Lee's life with a light hearted and positive score. Yet,you cannot get away from the fact how cheaply made the score is,and how it sounds in places. It can often sound like he created it entirely in his home on a PC sequencer. It has that very "close" and "too clean" sound about it, and you're acutely aware that it's not an authentic orchestra all the time. In the film, this does'nt matter at all. But playing this disc after something like "Return of the King" by Howard Shore (for example), you become fully and acutely aware how "close" and "artificial" the sound is on this score by Edelman. In the film it all works wonderfully, and emotional themes burst forth at just the right moment. Triumphant,glorious,and heroic. Yet, as a stand alone CD, i can only give it 3 stars. Simply because it lacks a professional sound. Edelman is a professional composer,and there was no need for this score to sound so artifical and childlike in places. Nevertheless, the score's themes are wonderfully beautiful and heroic. I reccomend it for that on it's own.

Predator 2 (Original Score)
Predator 2 (Original Score)
Price: 17.62

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. A far more creative "Score", than the first score., 6 Jan 2004
I purchased this CD recently. Wow. What a smashing score this is. With Varese Sarabande's recent offical release of the first "Predator" score, many will be focusing on that score moreso now. The first film is certainly far superior to the awful sequel that this CD scores. But the "score" to Predator 2 blows the first Predator score out of the water altogether (imo). It really is a very creative and much more developed score and much more thought went into this one. Silvestri makes use of a very tribal sound. A true hunting motif and it brings to mind, tribes of Predator's running across Savannah with spears. Very cleverly written indeed.
The "Urban Jungle" idea really does work,and often in the background Silvestri uses a bizzare laughing howler monkey sound,that is just plain creepy. You've got to hear it. Listen to the superb track numebr 4 "Truly Dead" and you will hear a repeating short laugh,almost as if it refers to the Indian tracker's laugh from the first movie. Naturally, fans of the first score will want to know if Silvestri nods to previously used themes from the first film. You will be happy to hear that he does,and in the right proportion though. Cleverely balanced. Furthermore,the peformances of familar themes from the first score sound so much better here. There is much more oomphh and professionalism in the orchestral sound. I would even say that the familiar themes sound far superior on this score.
At 11 tracks long,it's a Varese Sarabande release which is very generous. Most of the tracks range from 2.5 minutes up to 6 or 8 minutes. So you're getting your money's worth with this score. Mostly left in obscurity due to the very dissapointing movie it's related to, this score appears to be one which will be overlooked by many. It's a shame, as it's utterly fantastic and i prefer it to the first score which was great at the time,but sounds like someone just experimenting beforehand,before this one appeared which builds upon the first and is far more creative. Choir is also used in this score,which makes it more interesting. Used very subtley and in the right balance. Dont overlook this score. Snap it up while you can.

The Godfather
The Godfather
Price: 6.79

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse., 14 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Godfather (Audio CD)
This is a classic "listening experience" album from Nino Rota. From the eery solo theme, to the wonderful finale suite. At 12 tracks long, the Godfather is a great introduction disc to soundtracks for those who may not be aqquainted with the genre. It perfectly sums up the main themes in the film which Rota expertly wrote. The tragedy and romance of the Corelone family. Their sucess, and simulatenous inability to remain outside of bloodshed and feuds. This is not the entire score on disc mind you. Many parts are missing. One not appearing here is a cue which scores the "Horse head" scene. A distorted and twisted version of the Godfather waltz. But this is a nice collection of the important parts nonetheless. Carmine Coppola's works also make an appearance here, with sicilian dances. The Pickup is a superb jazz style track. Brooding. Yet you'll find it impossible not to jiggle in your seat. A real old style gangster style to it. The famous theme for Michael, and Appollonia. Many of the themes would be re-used to greater effect in the superb sequel Godfather Part 2 (another album you must snap up along with this one). The Godfather Finale is a fitting end to the first part of the Godfather saga. A soft tragic choral leading into a suite of the famous themes. I highly reccomend this one and the follow up soundtrack.

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