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Walter Fawcett Geoffrey "Jeffan i Svedala" (Sweden)
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The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Ramin Karimloo
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic, 30 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must begin by admitting that as a musical I think 'Phantom' is crap. I hated it in the West End (production apart), I hated it in Sydney (production apart), I hated the film, I hated the original cast recording and the film soundtrack. But now cap in hand I have to confess that I absolutely adored this live performance from the Royal Albert Hall. If only the original production in the West End had been up to this standard!! I'm sorry folks, but this show can do well without Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, they pale before the talent on display here. I realise that this is all heresy to the Phantom fraternity, but rejoice that you have a new convert!! SUBLIME !!


Alfie
Alfie
Price: £5.00

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, 30 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Alfie (Audio CD)
I bought this album after seeing Alfie Boe in the huge and wonderful 'Les Miserables' from the Millenium Dome on DVD which I enjoyed immensely. I cannot express how totally disappointed I was by this disc, Boe comes over as an English Bocelli. Sorry Alfie but don't rely on my hard earned cash buying anymore of your output.


Saint-Saens - Symphony No. 3 'Organ'/Poulenc - Organ Concerto/Barber - Toccata Festiva
Saint-Saens - Symphony No. 3 'Organ'/Poulenc - Organ Concerto/Barber - Toccata Festiva
Price: £14.20

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Leaden performance, 30 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can understand all the American hype regarding this CD (it's an American Orchestra - say no more) and the entry of the organ in the last movement is spectacular, but I've never sat through a more boring and dull performance of this work (and believe me there are dozens on disc).
The sonics are wonderful but artistically this just not in the running. The two stars are for the organ only!!


Entführung aus dem Serail (Ga)
Entführung aus dem Serail (Ga)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 30 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An excellent recording, I can't imagine why I neglected to buy when it was first issued. Studer is terrific, if only she sang like this on all her opera recordings and Kurt Streit is right up there alongside Fritz Wunderlich as the best Belmonte on disc. The only let-down is the Osmin, very gravelly voice but good on the acting. All the others, chorus & orchestra included are first rate. Bruno Weil really should make more opera recordings, his direction is spiffing...all in all on of the best 'Serail's' ever put on disc. It gives ones view of Sony as an Opera Label a big boost!!


Hommage Aan + DVD
Hommage Aan + DVD
Price: £24.28

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a Homage, 30 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hommage Aan + DVD (Audio CD)
Poor Cristina Deutekom!! Yet another shabby issue in 'honour' of this great Dutch soprano. Most of the tracks are live takes with some arias taken from her Philips recitals, the DVD is for Dutch speakers or masochists. Only for Deutekom fanatics, i'm afraid.
Further...when will the people at Philips get the thumb out their a..es and do this wonderful singer proud? I know that apart from the Bel Canto and Vienna recitals Philips also released a 2 disc live Concertgebouw recital and a disc of Verdi duets with Deutekom and the very underrated (at least abroad) Dutch baritone Jan Derksen. Who now owns the licence to the Iramac (a small Dutch label) Mozart Arias disc is anybody's guess - it did appear once upon a time in GB on Classics for Pleasure. Doesn't Philips realise that there are 100,000's of opera lovers and queens outside Holland (in Europe and the USA) who worship the greatest soprano ever to emerge from their flat and beautiful land? Them's my thoughts on the matter (to quote Dame Joan Sutherland)!!


Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition)
Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition)
Price: £23.06

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there with Muti, 30 Aug 2012
I have always rated Muti's set of the Tchaikovsky symphonies as without equal. Now along comes this sensational box from DGG and gives me pause for thought. These performances give a valid alternate reading to Muti's (or vice versa) featuring stunning playing and engineering. DGG can be truly proud of this achievement. I never was good at splitting hairs so just let me say that I can't be without one or the other. Music making from the heights of Olympia. BUY NOW!!!


Wagner: Das Rheingold
Wagner: Das Rheingold
Price: £10.63

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rheingold triumphant!, 19 Aug 2012
This review is from: Wagner: Das Rheingold (Audio CD)
I missed this recording first time around, but I think it's the best on disc!! The sound quality is just superb, the sound effects are fewer than in Decca's Solti recording, but thrillingly vivid. The Cleveland Orchestra is stunning and I find Dohnányi's approach just as committed as Solti's.
When it comes to the soloists this is miles above what Decca assembled for Solti. No pensioned-off has-beens in this performance!!! I am thrilled by the whole experience, Rheingold is a very difficult work to bring off successfully, I am in total awe of this achievement. Of course now
we come to the crunch...why on earth did Decca cancel this Ring? After Die Walküre (still unheard by little me) it was wham-bam thank you maam!! In my humble opinion this is more than just an attempt to 'better' the earlier recording, it is sublime as a work of art in it's own right. I love Rheingold and have many recordings, but this goes straight to the top of my list, can't wait for Decca to re-release the Walküre. If you love Wagner, Rheingold or the Ring rush out and buy this set before it vanishes into the vaults again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2013 6:36 PM BST


Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana [RECORDED 1940]
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana [RECORDED 1940]
Price: £11.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mascagni Vindicated, 24 July 2012
I'm new to this recording, however I regret having waited so many years to hear it. Considering the age of this performance (72 years) I am amazed at it's vivid and dramatic impact. Mascagni was obviously a very good conductor as well as a composer, he really brings out the passion and the beauty of his score. People complain that he doesn't follow the markings in the manuscript, but who doesn't change their mind over a 50 year span? The singing is very good indeed, both Gigli and Rasa really pull out the stops and give committed portrayals, Gigli sounding much younger than his 50 years. This recording should be in every opera lovers collection, there aren't many recordings of composers conducting their own works, especially from the verissimo era, and this performance should be cherished as an authentic historical interpretation of a great operatic work.


Wagner: Der Ring; Tristan und Isolde; Parsifal
Wagner: Der Ring; Tristan und Isolde; Parsifal
Price: £28.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 20 May 2012
I have this 3 disc set plus the single disc of Die Meistersinger and find them perfect. The playing of the Rotterdam orchestra is excellent and de Waart (not previously one of my favourite conductors)
leaves nothing to be desired, I think he would be a good candidate for a complete 'Ring' recording. The syntheses are compelling and very well done, I don't understand the American reviewer at all, could he be a Wagner snob (?). I don't often have the time often to sit down and listen to complete recordings of Wagner's operas (of which I own over 50), so these 'bleeding chunks' are perfect for me, I also have a 'Ring' arrangement by the Mannheim Theater Orchestra conducted by Dan Ettinger on CD which is equally enjoyable but I think the Dutch orchestra has the edge.


1812/Romeo & Juliet
1812/Romeo & Juliet
Offered by Mediastop
Price: £9.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but beautiful, 20 May 2012
This review is from: 1812/Romeo & Juliet (Audio CD)
I agree with the previous reviewer that Domingo's tempi are very slow indeed, however there are dozens of recordings of these pieces taken at breakneck speeds and I for one, think that Domingo imparts something different to these works. The playing of the Philharmonia is breath-taking, the recording itself seems to me spacious and clear - the reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the cannon.
Domingo builds up to a very intense finale of the 1812 and just when you want the cannons to blow you out of your seat, you just get a muffled 'fart' effect in the background, surely in this day and digital age somebody, somewhere could record cannon shots as they sound in reality. All in all a pleasant surprise, pity that Domingo hasn't gone on to record more as a conductor.


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