Profile for Stephen Whitaker > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Stephen Whitaker
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,322
Helpful Votes: 535

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Stephen Whitaker "BBC Radio 4 "Counterpoint" Champion 2014 & Founder, Chester Literature Festival" (Wirral, UK.)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Lord Berners, 1883-1950
Lord Berners, 1883-1950
Price: £21.73

5.0 out of 5 stars information, 12 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lord Berners, 1883-1950 (Audio CD)
LORD BERNERS (1883-1950)
A leading English avant-garde composer of the inter-war years,
he astonished Casella and Stravinsky with his advanced style and originality.
Irony and parody abound in songs and music for theatre, ballet and film.
From première recordings.
Also private recordings by Lord Berners himself.

Peter Dickinson (piano)
Polka (1941)

Meriel Dickinson (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dickinson (piano)
Lieder album: 3 songs in the German Manner (1913-18)

Peter Dickinson (piano)
Fragments Psychilogiques (1915)

Bernard Dickerson (tenor), Richard Rodney Bennett (piano)
Dialogue between Tom Filuter and his Man, by Ned the Dog Stealer (1921)

Meriel Dickinson (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dickinson (piano)
Three Songs (1920)

Susan Bradshaw (piano) - Le Poisson d’Or (1915)

Meriel Dickinson (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dickinson (piano)
Red Roses and Red Noses (c.1941)

Susan Bradshaw (piano)
Trois Petites Marche Funebres (1916)

Meriel Dickinson (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dickinson (piano)
Trois Chansons (1920)

Susan Bradshaw (piano), Richard Rodney Bennett (piano)
Valses Bourgeoises (1919)

Susan Bradshaw (piano)
Dispute entre le Papillon et le Crapaud (c.1914)

Bernard Dickerson (tenor), Richard Rodney Bennett (piano)
Three Songs (1921) (Three Sea-Shanties)

Meriel Dickinson (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dickinson (piano)
Come on Algernon (1944)

Kneller Hall Musicians, cond. by Captain H.E. Adkins
Fanfare (Composed for the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund) 1934

Philharmonia Orchestra, cond. Ernest Irving
Nicholas Nickleby: Incidental music from Ealing Studios film 19/03/47

Philharmonia Orchestra, cond. Ernest Irving
Les Sirenes: Ballet Music 24/07/47

Lord (Gerald) Berners (piano)
Les Sirenes: Prelude, Mazurka 1946

Lord (Gerald) Berners (piano)
Polka 1946
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 12, 2014 1:09 PM GMT


Cabaret Songs
Cabaret Songs
Offered by Empor-online
Price: £2.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Arnold Schoenberg & Benjamin Britten & Kurt Weill Songs, 11 Dec 2014
This review is from: Cabaret Songs (Audio CD)
Interesting repertoire but...........Hanna's voice isn't particularly suited for this type of early European jazz style and it's not particularly well recorded either.


Come, Come, My Voice
Come, Come, My Voice
Price: £15.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a thing of beauty and a joy for only a few fleeting moments., 10 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Come, Come, My Voice (Audio CD)
Sadly, Nicholas Fletcher is rather over-stretched and over-exposed in many places in this recital. It is not a voice that gives great pleasure, sad to report and though not without skill, he isn't top flight.
The odd track such as the Leighton, can bear repeated listening but I doubt it will be much played by me.

The repertoire doesn't give his fellow choristers much of a look-in and the recording isn't up to even the BBC's Choral Evensong standards, being a bit distant and cold.


Do You Have a Name?
Do You Have a Name?
Price: £12.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Stalwart of the UK Jazz scene, 3 Oct 2014
This review is from: Do You Have a Name? (Audio CD)
Mick Hanson is one of the UK’s leading exponents of jazz guitar. His unique style is a masterful fusion of his early blues roots with the honest swinging jazz of the 50’s and 60’s. Mick has worked and recorded with many of the worlds best known performers including Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, Dick Morrissey, Brian Dee, Gordon Beck and Dave Newton, and recorded two critically acclaimed albums as a leader.


Warsaw Concerto Nettle and Markham
Warsaw Concerto Nettle and Markham

3.0 out of 5 stars Warsaw Concerto only., 20 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You get the Warsaw Concerto alone on this 8 minute disc which is a bit dear at the prices being asked by most sellers.


Royal Coventry (Wright, Fine Arts Brass Ens., Moult)
Royal Coventry (Wright, Fine Arts Brass Ens., Moult)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Royal Coventry, 28 July 2014
Royal Coventry features Coventry's 'other' choir, an adult mixed-voice group formed in 1963 by David Lepine, the new Cathedral's first director of music, and now directed by one of his successors, Paul Leddington Wright.

Taken from royal events of the past, the selection ranges from the Consecration Service itself in 1962 (Parry's I was glad and Howells' Coventry Antiphon) to the unveiling of a Home Front memorial in (Wesley's Thou wilt keep him etc) in 2000. For that occasion Jeffcoat composed Here is my servant, a very uplifting anthem with muscular brass writing (the splendid Fine Arts Brass) and a fun organ part. It's the most thrilling track of the lot - although Walton's glorious sounding, if flawed Jubilate Deo comes a close second.

The Saint Michael's Singers are a very polished group, supple, balanced and accurate to a degree. They sing warmly and expressively with great technical assurance and, in Leddington Wright, have a conductor of musical intelligence and considerable sensitivity.


PAISLEY BANDANA scarf duo 1 x BLACK 1 x RED
PAISLEY BANDANA scarf duo 1 x BLACK 1 x RED
Offered by BargainShop_London
Price: £1.23

3.0 out of 5 stars Top Online Store's BANDANAS, 26 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Top Online Store supplied two cheap bandanas of fair quality for their price.
They are not colourfast and I'd recommend a good long soak and rinsing before you wash them with anything likely to pick up the dye.


Falla: El Retablo de Maese Pedro, Milhaud: Les Malheurs d'Orphee, Stravinsky: Renard
Falla: El Retablo de Maese Pedro, Milhaud: Les Malheurs d'Orphee, Stravinsky: Renard
Offered by worldcollectabilia
Price: £9.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicago Tribune August 11, 1991| Review By John von Rhein, 24 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Falla: ``El Retablo de Maese Pedro``; Milhaud: ``Les Malheurs d`Orphee``; Stravinsky: ``Renard`` (Matrix Ensemble, Robert Ziegler, conductor; ASV).

The unifying element of these one-act operas: All three were commissioned by the Princess Edmond de Polignac (nee Winnaretta Singer, heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune), one of the most active and generous arts patrons of this century, who arranged to have them performed for the first time in her large house in Paris.

The gem here is Stravinsky`s witty barnyard fable, ``Renard`` (1915), its Russian folk atmosphere punctuated by the dry twang of the cimbalom. ``Master Peter`s Puppet Show`` (1923), a puppet show within a puppet show, has its delectable moments as well, Falla`s subtly colored neoclassicism closely tracing the cadences of Spanish speech. Darius Milhaud`s rather dour reworking of the Orpheus legend, ``The Misfortunes of Orpheus`` (1925), is of less intrinsic interest but is nice to have on CD.

The singers and London-based Matrix Ensemble make committed, generally persuasive advocates of this music, even if their Spanish vowels in the Falla don`t sound quite idiomatic enough. Director Robert Ziegler keeps all three scores perking along vivaciously, and the ASV engineers have caught it all in close, vivid sound.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Maxwell Davies - Sacred Choral Works
Maxwell Davies - Sacred Choral Works
Price: £15.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Maxwell Davies - Sacred Choral Works, 23 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In the 1960s few would have predicted that Peter Maxwell Davies would one day be knighted and that he would write a set of Evening Canticles. But religious texts have always interested Maxwell Davies who is no conventional believer but who is also aware of the importance of the Christian liturgy to the Arts. This beautifully presented disc opens with the world premiere recording of "The Edinburgh Service", a setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. Matthew Owens and the Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, give us a superlative performance.

Max taught music for three years at Cirencester Grammar School (1959-1962), where by his freshness and directness of approach he enthused even the most philistine among the pupils. Children whose ability in other academic directions might be distinctly limited, found that they could respond in a positive way to this most refreshingly unorthodox of music masters, who invited them to participate, to improvise.

The most direct result of Davies’ years at Cirencester was the Christmas sequence of carols and instrumental sonatas, O Magnum Mysterium (1960). The intention of this work was to write something within the range of children but without compromising his own individual style which was just beginning to be formed. The importance of the work is that it tested the applicability and relevance of the new style; if young people could assimilate it, surely the composer might thence proceed to enlarge the scope of subsequent compositions. The instrumental sections allow for free improvisation within defined limits. The words of the carols are, needless to say, mediaeval.

Both the carols and the instrumental sonatas are, by necessity, simple, and though the chordal, melodic nature of the carols is a perfect foil for the more fragmentary part-writing of the sonatas, the real climax of the work does not come until the concluding organ fantasia, which is a powerful piece, built round the first three notes of the carol theme, (F-Gb-Ab), and which builds to a shattering climax, before dying away to nothing on a solitary pedal note. For sheer originality of conception, and exploitation of the resources of the organ, as well as for such technical features as s-part pedal chords, this work is unique in the English organ repertoire.

In his Three Organ Voluntaries from 1976, we find Davies again mining the musical past and emerging with borrowed bits, but rendering them with a kind of delicate care and solemnity that might be surprising to listeners familiar only with his most popular and most extroverted works.

The voluntaries are arrangements for solo organ of a trio of sixteenth-century Scottish church pieces. All three of the tunes, gathered from Kenneth Elliot's Early Scottish Music, 1500-1750, are drawn from sixteenth-century sources and are rendered with careful touches of Davies' modern and characteristically jagged harmonic style. The first, based on David Peebles' Psalm 124, invokes its namesake in straightforward triadic harmony. Davies' most apparent contribution is the haunting obbligato line, which, upon its entrance several bars into the piece, traces an angularly meandering path through the stratosphere of the organs range, its absentminded rhythms intermittently aligning to create colorfully dissonant clashes with Peebles' tune. In the second tune the obbligato is given over to the left hand and the pedals, which busily underscore with repeated descending scalar figures an otherwise straightforward monodic rendition of John Fethy's motet O God Abufe (O God Above). In All Sons of Adam, a tune of anonymous provenance, the traditional music is overlaid with Davies' harmonic filter, which highlights stinging tritones and close dissonances. It moves with a solemn gait, the careful voice leading carrying the dissonant progressions along with a kind of dark and dreamy viscosity.


Korngold: Piano Music, Much Ado About Nothing, Marchenbilder, Pierrots Dance Song etc
Korngold: Piano Music, Much Ado About Nothing, Marchenbilder, Pierrots Dance Song etc
Offered by RevivalMedia
Price: £6.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Korngold was still a child when he wrote the best of these piano works, 14 July 2014
Korngold was still a child when he wrote the best of these piano works. The Märchenbilder (written when Korngold was 14) are particularly delightful, and the Wunderkind was even younger when he completed the Don Quixote set, which evokes scenes ranging from Sancho Panza and his donkey to the grandeur of Don Quixote’s conversion and death with a mastery of vision and manipulation of harmony unequalled by many adult composers.

The Four Little Waltzes, here in their debut recording, each portray a young girl – and are actually sophisticated Viennese numbers of considerable invention and charm. This kaleidoscope of wit and fantasy is completed by the inclusion of the four ‘caricatures’ (imitating famous contemporary composers), three pieces from Much Ado About Nothing, the glittering Tales from Strauss and, not least, the exquisitely nostalgic Pierrot Tanzlied arranged from the opera Die tote Stadt.

Jacoby’s playing is robust and engaging, with an excellent sense of quasi-orchestral colour. The sound is perhaps a little over-resonant , evoking a recital room rather than an intimate studio.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20