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Diana Swann (Portsmouth, Hants United Kingdom)
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Schubert: Impromptus | Ländler [Cordelia Williams] [Somm: SOMMCD 0127]
Schubert: Impromptus | Ländler [Cordelia Williams] [Somm: SOMMCD 0127]
Price: £11.30

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schubert:Impromptus Cordelia Williams piano, 6 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Don't say 'Not another recording of the Schubert Impromptus', but listen to this limpid and deeply felt playing, which never tips into mawkishness; even the Op 90 set emerge new-minted. The D 366 set of 17 Landler that complete the disc are a revelation - so often dismissed as merely charming miniatures, this performance recognises the subtleties and occasional darkness within their unassuming form. This CD is a must for all Schubert lovers.


Sennheiser CX 300 II Precision Noise Isolating Ear-canal Phones - Red
Sennheiser CX 300 II Precision Noise Isolating Ear-canal Phones - Red

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, 2 April 2010
My first i-pod and earphones at 76! I found these so much better than the ones issued with the i-pod purchase. I found earpiece adjusters in the 3 sent that fitted reasonably well and I'm away on a daily 2 mile walk plus entertainment.


Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom
Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom
by Tom Holland
Edition: Hardcover

41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Millenium is recreated by Tom Holland., 19 Oct. 2008
Did you expect the Day of Judgement or the appearance of the Antichrist at the Second Millenium in 2000? If so, sympathise with the hapless inhabitants of the Christian world around 1000 AD as they struggle for survival and are caught up in the Church and State's duel for world-leadership. In Tom Holland's new book, the focus is on the decades leading to and from the first Millennium, ending in the recapture of Jerusalem from the Saracens in 1099.

Against the violence of this background, holy men, land-hungry dukes, Viking pirates, popes and emperors briefly blaze, and are as quickly extinguished in the flames of siege and the yelling carnage of relentless warfare. In the work of any other writer, covering such a broad canvas could lead to incoherence and battle-fatigue, but Holland organises his sprawling material with exemplary clarity.

Holland is a historian for today. His zestfully colloquial style underlines the relevance that this far-off time has for us now. He relieves the derring-do occasionally by throwing in memorable descriptions of the splendour of Constantinople or the tranquil piety of the Abbey of Cluny. There has been less written about this murky period than almost any time in history. Its chief characters could only be brought to life by someone of Holland's wide-ranging scholarship and imagination, Despite his often meagre primary sources, his description of characters and events have an almost cinematographic immediacy.

This is a Big Read about a Big Subject. If you are so swept along that you miss some of the vivid detail, it will repay reading again - and again.


Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West
Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West
by Tom Holland
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persian Fire burns with an Olympic flame, 1 Nov. 2005
In this chronicle of the rise and fall of the Persian Empire Tom Holland emphasises thought-provoking parallels between past and present East/West confrontation. But readability does not depend on scholarship, political acumen and a sweeping sense of the larger historical picture alone. The reader is spellbound, as frail but wily Greeks outwit the Persian hordes and their gold-bedecked Great King. This is the stuff of camp-fire tales, told with the immediacy of an eye-witness: the stench, terror, tumult and unpredictablily of swaying fortunes in the legendary battles of Thermopylae and Salamis have a cinematic reality. Narrative flow is maintained by Holland's ability to bridge facts with intelligent and imaginative supposition - a far more impressive bridge than Xerxes'short-lived two-mile pontoon between Asia and Europe. The tale is told with a telling mix of passion, humour and conversational persuasiveness. We are left in no doubt that European history would have taken a different course if the Persians had won in 480BC.


Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West
Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West
by Tom Holland
Edition: Hardcover

91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persian Fire burns with an Olympic flame, 23 Oct. 2005
In this chronicle of the rise and fall of the Persian Empire Tom Holland emphasises thought-provoking parallels between past and present East/West confrontation. But readability does not depend on scholarship, political acumen and a sweeping sense of the larger historical picture alone. The reader is spellbound, as frail but wily Greeks outwit the Persian hordes and their gold-bedecked Great King. This is the stuff of camp-fire tales, told with the immediacy of an eye-witness: the stench, terror, tumult and unpredictability of swaying fortunes in the legendary battles of Thermopylae and Salamis have a cinematic reality. Narrative flow is maintained by Holland's ability to bridge facts with intelligent and imaginative supposition - a far more impressive bridge than Xerxes' short-lived two-mile pontoon between Asia and Europe. The tale is told with a telling mix of passion, humour and conversational persuasiveness. We are left in no doubt that European history would have taken a different course if the Persians had won in 480BC.


Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
by Tom Holland
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roman history comes alive!, 14 Mar. 2004
If you sweated over Caesar’s Gallic Wars or Cicero’s speeches at school put aside your prejudice and try Rubicon. You will meet living, breathing characters whose behaviour emphasises that nothing changes in the confrontation between humanity’s addiction to power and belief in democratic idealism. Their story is told in a vivid short-sentenced narrative, as elegant as the folds in a Roman toga and personalities and events are imaginatively and plausibly fleshed out from 2,000 year-old sources. My reaction was ‘Yes, it must have been like this’ whether in the great set-pieces like Caesar’s murder or lesser known events like Sulla’s brutal treatment of prisoners and Cato’s bleak and harrowing suicide. Wit and irony jostle with tragedy, whether in the description of Cleopatra’s chequered love-life, or Pompey’s propensity to blushing and his pop-star-like cultivation of his quiff of hair. Indeed after reading this book I felt like answering Shakespeare’s ‘Knew you not Pompey?’ with ‘Yes I did – I’ve just read Tom Holland’s book’.


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