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C. D. Vanderweele "I Racible" (UK)
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Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen [DVD] [2009] [2011] [NTSC]
Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen [DVD] [2009] [2011] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ John Tomlinson
Price: £27.49

5.0 out of 5 stars The way to understand the Ring Cycle, 6 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is addressed to those who, like me, are not familiar with The Ring Cycle. Listen to it while reading the libretto is hard work and imagining the scenes/ry is harder still. So buying a DVD is an excellent way to get to grips with this enormous, dense and wondrous opera especially as it is the same cast conducted by Barenboim that recorded one of the most well-received CD sets. The sets are amazing (I don't know why some feel they are dated), the photography with suitable close-ups and wider shots enhances the drama and I have no problem with the quality of picture or sound. At the price it is an outstanding bargain and not to be missed.


1Byone Wireless Doorbell Door Chime Kit With Sound and LED flash, 36 Melodies Tunes To Choose
1Byone Wireless Doorbell Door Chime Kit With Sound and LED flash, 36 Melodies Tunes To Choose
Offered by 1ByoneUK
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple to set up, 28 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The kit is easy to set up and the doorbell easy to fix with a double sided sticky pad. The chimes are clear and as loud as you need. Good value.


Verdi: Rigoletto [Paolo Gavanelli, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäefer, David McVicar] [Opus Arte: OAMO6005D] [DVD] [2013]
Verdi: Rigoletto [Paolo Gavanelli, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäefer, David McVicar] [Opus Arte: OAMO6005D] [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Paolo Gavanelli
Price: £10.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Callas and Gobbi, 5 Feb 2014
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This production, the singing, sound quality and the staging place this DVD at the very highest level of operatic performance. I have always thought that Titto Gobbi was the definitive Rigoletto with his dark, dramatic and angry interpretation. Paolo Gavanelli is his equal in attack and drama. Christine Schaefer is a wonderful Gilda and the equal of Callas in this performance. The other principals are also outstanding.

The opening staging may be controversial, with bare breasts and brief nudity, but it is justified in emphasizing the dissolute and depraved atmosphere of the court that can allow the ruin of a courtier's daughter and the kidnapping of Rigoletto's supposed mistress. It is a dark and unpleasant land where at night one can be approached by an assassin offering to kill the person of your choice for 20 scudos. The staging underscores the story-line and the lyrics with dark, run-down sets.

The sound quality was outstanding. I played digital 5.1 through my amplifier and thought the quality of sound the equal of any CD.

This is the best staging of an opera I have ever seen and I doubt anyone will be disappointed.


Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro (Bohm) [DVD] [2005]
Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro (Bohm) [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Hermann Prey
Price: £11.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lip synched production lacking in humour, 29 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Maybe I have a different DVD to others, but my recording seemed to have two problems: the sound and action were not synched, or maybe they were miming - badly; and the sound was not located where the voices came from, an effect compounded by the lip synching problem. These two problems ruined a lavish and attractive production which was strangely lacking in humour. The cast did all the things required by the plot, but it just wasn't funny, which is odd for what is, often, a laugh-out-loud opera. My feeling is that the camera angles and cutting reduced the humour.


Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter -Pentax K (AKA PK) Lens to Sony Alpha (AkA Minolta AF A-type, Maxxum or Dynax) Camera, fits Sony DSLR-A350, A300, A200, A700, A900, A100, A330, A230, A380, A500, A550, A850, A450,A290, A390, A580, SLT-A33, A55
Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter -Pentax K (AKA PK) Lens to Sony Alpha (AkA Minolta AF A-type, Maxxum or Dynax) Camera, fits Sony DSLR-A350, A300, A200, A700, A900, A100, A330, A230, A380, A500, A550, A850, A450,A290, A390, A580, SLT-A33, A55
Offered by Fotodiox Inc. USA
Price: £39.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good but expensive, 19 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a well-made adapter that gives good results. However, there are similar adapters equally well-made that cost less on eBay.


A History of the Classical Greek World: 478-323 BC (Blackwell History of the Ancient World)
A History of the Classical Greek World: 478-323 BC (Blackwell History of the Ancient World)
by P. J. Rhodes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Packed with facts, 5 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a work by an author with a tremendous grasp of the detail who eschews general description and drawing out of themes, preferring detailed facts. This approach, while giving a sense that you are getting an objective view and not opinion, is hard to follow. The author clearly chose the facts but what he was trying to illustrate is not that clear. I do not think he is trying to do more than recount what happened, as he sees it, and that contrasts to some historians who have an argument to make; for example to illustrate the forces shaping the development of democracy in Greece. But it does all feel a bit relentless. In contrast, the Fontana history of ancient and classical Greece is more general, though some of the authors' writing styles are also hard work. The Fontana series is cheaply available second-hand.

And another thing: his writing is sometimes hard to follow. Example: he refers to Thucydides describing something Pausanias has done. The author then goes on to refer to he again. but it is not absolutely clear on first reading if the author means Thucydides or Pausanias. This habit of referring to "he", "they", without it being clear who is meant occurs quite frequently. In Greek the grammar would make it clear which "he" was meant and perhaps the author forgot that in English these matters are ambiguous!

Another major criticism is the absence of adequate maps. For example: early on, and later, there is a reference to Phocis, a city, but it does not appear on any of the maps at the front. The same criticism can be levelled at a number of history, but where place is important it is vital for the reader to see the relative positions of the different, in this case, cities.

Overall, not easy to read, despite what the professional reviews say, but the structure is clear and there are detailed bibliographies at the end of each chapter. Not a book for the general reader and definitely not popular history, but very thorough and supported by lots of detail; stick at it and it gets better. As I have read more, the more am I impressed with the author's tremendous grasp of detail, including expressing doubt where sources are not clear.

It would be worth buying an atlas of historical Greece to make sense of all the places mentioned.


Verdi:Otello
Verdi:Otello
Offered by MMT-UK
Price: £7.35

2.0 out of 5 stars Live recording with disappointing sound quality, 5 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Verdi:Otello (Audio CD)
This is a live recording but whoever placed the microphones put them nearer the feet than the voices with the consequence that volume levels for the voices are very low, while movement around the stage is loud. The balance between orchestra and singers is also poor. Disappointing.


Skechers Men's Journeyman Safaris Half Shoe
Skechers Men's Journeyman Safaris Half Shoe

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breathable and rugged, 6 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In hot climates- or even the summer in England - trainers and walking boots can be too much: sweaty feet, uncomfortable warmth etc. These robustly constructed sandals with a good protective toe and grippy sole are a wonderful alternative, with or without socks. The only quibble I have is that the sole lining on one sandal - a sort of thin material stuck to the rubber insole - came unstuck in the toe area; fixed with some glue. I have worn these in the Yorkshire Dales and in Australia and I recommend them as well-made (apart from problem noted) and more rigid than most trainers.


The Downing Street Years
The Downing Street Years
by Margaret Thatcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The voice of Margaret the grocer's daughter, 21 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Anyone interested in the Thatcher years or Thatcherism will need to read the woman herself. As Charles Moore's biography makes clear, Thatcher had help with the book - not surprising or a criticism - but even so there is the authentic voice of Margaret Hilda on almost every page. There are: the homilies; the trite little sayings; the demotic statements that would grace any saloon bar conversation among Mail readers; the stern restatement of obvious insights; the disloyal remarks about colleagues that are contrasted with statements of loyalty almost immediately after; the dismissal of all contrary views as wrong and opponents dismissed as wrong(unless they happen to agree with her - like Callaghan on the Falklands - in which case she quotes them approvingly).

She names a law after herself - Thatcher's law - which states that "in politics the unexpected happens". Had she a greater knowledge of history and less conceit, she might have recognised MacMillan's languid observation, "events, dear boy", that made essentially the same point. But no, Thatcher had to have this insight herself and share it with us, as though it were original. Priceless. If one didn't know better one might think some of the remarks were a parody of the Pooterish provincialism of the woman.

All that said, this is undoubtedly Thatcher's book so it is as well to be reminded that as well as determination she was also a bully, self-righteous (big time), and a narrow-minded woman who reflected her oft mentioned shop-owning background in the 1920s. I think we expect a bit more of a PM in their view of the world, though ultimately she reflects the essentials of western democracy, albeit slightly narrowly and in cliched language. often it is how she expresses her opinions that is the problem , not the opinion itself. (The contrary may be said of Blair, who was charming while taking us to a war we did not need to have). Read, admire and be irritated in whatever proportions reflect your views. She was a formidable woman and the book is her view of events. Essential reading


Bach Complete Edition (157 CD, 2 DVD & CD Rom Box Set)
Bach Complete Edition (157 CD, 2 DVD & CD Rom Box Set)
Price: £93.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An opportunity not to be missed, 18 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have quite a number of pieces by Bach; mainly, I suppose, the more famous works. This hefty box set is an opportunity to sample all of Bach's works. I have not listened to them all, but I have listened to a range from each oeuvre - organ, cantatas etc. I am particularly impressed with the cantatas: the alto, a counter-tenor, has a wonderful sound, as do the tenor and bass. Just for the cantatas it is worth £85. There will be better recordings for each work, no doubt, but to access so many works for this price and to discover some wonderful cantatas is undoubtedly an opportunity not to be missed.


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