Profile for M. Pont > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by M. Pont
Top Reviewer Ranking: 59,901
Helpful Votes: 46

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
M. Pont (England)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Handel: Complete Organ Concertos
Handel: Complete Organ Concertos
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 15.09

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent recording & performances - BUY!, 18 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
..I'm afraid I'm a bit of a nutter when it comes to Handel's Organ Concertos. I now own several different performances, including some from Karl Richter's 1959 Teldec performances.

But this "Archiv" 3 CD set is FIRMLY within the '1st-class' category! (My other favourite being on the 'Berlin Classics/Edel' label; an excellent 3 x CD, 1975 ADD recording, featuring an east-German virtuoso, Johannes-Ernst Kohler & The Thuringian Chamber Orchestra of Weimer.)

These English performances are all 1984 DDD. It may be 'early' digital sound (remastered incidentally on this 3-CD album) BUT, they were also recorded by 'Deutsche Gramophon', so it's a MOST superior & wondrous recording - spatial yet subtle in its recorded sound! Every instrumental nuance is heard and these performances speaks into a marvellous acoustic.

Add to this, period-instrument performance c/o The English Concert Orchestra (directed from the Harpsichord by Trevor Pinnock) - with Simon Preston using two organs*, and they amount to sonically thrilling.

Two period organs are used: one is a restored, smaller instrument, found the 'Finchcocks Museum Collection of Historic Musical Instruments' for Handel's Opus 4 concertos. Next, a (also restored) larger, period 1789-91, English church organ in Armitage Staffordshire. for the Opus 7 concertos - and Concertos 13, 14 & 15. Collectively, they sound marvellous - and Simon Preston wrings wondrous sounds from them, esp. the larger instrument.

The liner notes are scholarly, providing me with some fresh information on Handel's organ concertos; esp. numbers 14, 15 & the spurious "No.16."

Finally, be aware that the last Opus 4 concerto/no 6, is played on a period Harp, as Handel originally wrote it for this instrument.

Just buy - then enjoy!


NiteRider Rear: Solas 2 Watt USB Cycle Light - Black
NiteRider Rear: Solas 2 Watt USB Cycle Light - Black
Price: 26.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "MUST TRY HARDER." A very good & bright LED/rear cycle light - but don't fiddle with the.., 18 Feb 2014
I'd lost my bright 'Smart Lunar R1' 1-watt LED rear light, after it jumped-off from my seatpack whilst I was on a winter ride. As I didn't fancy a 60-Ton Volvo truck 'up-my-jacksie', I did replacement research pronto..

This light unit arrived from 'High-on-Bikes'; a reliable, best-price, UK supplier. It's now sat here on my PC, charging, whilst I pen this review to enlighten you folks, (2-3 hours max. on a red light - tho' it's just turned blue, to tell me the unit is now fully-charged. Clever eh?!)

'Nite Rider' are based in San Diego, CA, USA, but the 'Solas 2' is made in China (aren't most lights?) This unit is certainly powerful and compact. Methinks the plastic, rear saddle clip could do with being beefed-up a little more, but in its favour is one VERY BRIGHT LED: even the dead would sit-up and take notice of you passing by on your bicycle! Furthermore, this unit doesn't "try to be clever" with a bewildering array of silly, dancing, lighting modes. You get 4 - 'Fast & slow, steady' and 'Fast & slow, flashing.' That's it. They'll last between 7 to 36 hours from charge.

Now, I might be a bit thick - but take caution when first inspecting this unit:

There are two rubber plugs on it: The larger one (at the base) accepts the supplied USB charging lead - but "Dumbo" here pulled-out the smaller rubber plug, on the top! D-O-N-T!! This top plug is the mode switch, (when pressed, it exercises pressure on a metal contact beneath, which changes the mode.) If you do what I did, it's nigh impossible to re-insert from the outside. You'll have to take apart the whole tail-light (via 4 x mini cross-screws) to re-insert the rubber plug from the inside. Fortunately, this is easy.

Okay, that's me finished.. Now excuse me, whilst I go stand in the corner and write out 100 times, "I must not..."

"Perkins 4C"


Bach on Silbermann Organs [15cd]
Bach on Silbermann Organs [15cd]
Price: 50.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THRILLING SOUND & PERFORMANCES., 11 Sep 2013
..oh, I would advise ANY organ enthusiast - esp. re. JS Bach, to go buy this set ASAP! (and it's now a good deal cheaper than when I first bought them last year.)

The main reason(s)?

Solid, old-fashioned (ie. not "clever" a la Rubsam on Naxos) superb performances, by approx 10 virtuoso representatives of the former GDR's organ school, all situated around Leipzig & Dresden. Here you will find bright, very clearly articulated performances, where the different manuals & registrations/hands & feet are all well-differentiated. These organists are not afraid to exploit the Silbermanns' esp. bright and silvery sound palette in their renderings of Bach's music.

Next: ALL the 15 CD's exclusively feature Silbermann organs, (large, medium & small sized) which the former DDR appears to have in abundance - and (due to the Cold War?) have not seen many western recording companies visiting..(except perhaps DG with Karl Richter at Freiberg Dom. in 1978) And yes, they all sound* j-u-s-t g-r-e-a-t!

*A word on the recorded sound. All the performances were recorded between 1960- 1971/2. Do NOT be put off by this early date/stereo sound. The final ADD transfers appear to have undergone some form of 'sonic restoration/mapping.' Wonderful noises: they sound very full through my Sennheisers.

Last, the attractive, accompanying notebook + photos, details the long history of the 12 DDR Silbermann organs featured, (inc. Freiberg & Dresden) - not so much on Bach's musical career. There is also a forward on the lives of the 10 virtuoso players (9 sadly are deceased; eg. Hans Otto etc.)

PS. I wonder if these performances once sold under the former 'Fontana' LP label, on 33rpm?


Organ Concertos (Kuhler, Gewandhausorchester, Thomas)
Organ Concertos (Kuhler, Gewandhausorchester, Thomas)
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good - but go for his later performance.., 27 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Yes, this 1961 recorded performance is very much in the solidly played teaching style of the former DDR's 'Weimar Organ School' - which western European enthusiasts of 'a traditional ear' will much appreciate.

However, that said, I would advise any potential purchasers to buy Berlin Classic's (the former east German "edel Classics" label) 3-CD 1975 performances by the same Johannes-Ernst Kohler (Kohler was a DDR organ virtuoso, schooled by the same line as the legendary Karl Richter.)

The later 3-CD's - featuring J-EK with 'The Thuringian Chamber Orchestra of Weimar, conducted by Lother Seyfarth', offer a much cleaner, later recording and punchy Dolby sound quality! Kohler's virtuoso organ performance is just as accomplished, although he may be playing a smaller organ?

The JEK/Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig CD, despite it proclaiming "Sonic Solution's No-noise Digitally Remastering" somewhat belies its early origins, with a noticeable background hiss and thinner sound quality, which is absent on the later 'modern' 1975 recording.

PS. Check out Berlin Classic's 15-CD box of Bach's Organ Works, featuring this same man, along with approx. 9 other organists from this DDR Organ School..playing several, different sized, DDR-located Silbermann Organs! 1960's-1970's sound.


Handel: Organ Concertos [IMPORT]
Handel: Organ Concertos [IMPORT]

5.0 out of 5 stars WORTH SEEKING OUT, 8 Jan 2013
I can only humbly verify what has been previously stated - and so expansively & succinctly.

After purchasing Karl Richter's exquisitely fine (and brilliantly re-mastered) 'Bach Organ works' (3 x CDs, from 5 x LP's) on the DG label, I just HAD to listen to this man more: such virtuosity on the organ!!

(I had, at one time, a cassette-tape of these performances, but I wanted a modern 'remastered-onto-CD' version. This is not currently available on Teldec, so please, re-issue it.)

First: the 1959 AAD sound is quite brilliant and full for its age. I detected (through my Sennheiser headphones), no real hiss or brittleness - which is so characteristic of early sound recordings (and this one must be VERY early stereo.) If anything, the treble could be sharpened-up a little more.

Richter appears to have used a much larger organ than the Chamber Organ Handel would have specified, so Richter's organ part IS powerful - but, in these 2 master composer & performer's hands, it is a true, sonic treat.

I only have acquired 'Volume 1' so far - but it's a start, and I will keep e-searching for those other two elusive volumes.


Hot Shoe Converter Adapter for Sony Alpha DSLR Cameras
Hot Shoe Converter Adapter for Sony Alpha DSLR Cameras
Offered by UK Highland Photography
Price: 10.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What (& what not) to use it for.., 29 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This item arrived VERY quickly (29 Dec.) for use on a Sony DSLR.

It's of solid, good build quality - designed to fit onto the hot-shoe of my Alpha(850). As Sony owners know, their cameras usually come with its own peculiar design of hot-shoe..a legacy from the Konica-Minolta camera era.

The product fitted neatly into the camera hot shoe. You then rotate a locking dial on the base - which provides firm attachment. One can then fit a modern, 3rd party - say Canon or Nikon-fitting flashgun.

There is also a separate PC socket included at the front.*

*Here, a warning to all DSLR novice owners!

I have a very powerful & versatile OLD flashgun (from the 1980's.) Digital cameras use modern flashguns - which today 'sync' at a far, FAR, lower "flash trigger voltage", (6 volts would be average.) An old flash could deliver 200+ volts! (mine does.) This would damage the internal circuits of a modern camera, if triggered SOLELY via the hot-shoe.

IF your camera ALSO has an 'external PC socket' in addition to a hot-shoe, (a Sony a850/900 does), use this with an old flash - its circuitry is beefed-up. This separate socket will usually accept (but first check!) a powerful, flash trigger voltage. (My own Sony says, "up to 400v..")

I am using my hot-shoe adapter ONLY to hold my flashgun's separate,(standard fitting) all-plastic, 'Auto-flash sensor.' This is a 'cold', non-electrical attachment. My old flashgun will attach via a PC cord to the DSLR's external PC socket; just as in the days of 35mm film cameras.


Airfix A12002A Messerschmitt Bf109E 1:24 Scale Series 12 Plastic Model Kit
Airfix A12002A Messerschmitt Bf109E 1:24 Scale Series 12 Plastic Model Kit
Price: 43.10

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars REQD. THE PATIENCE OF JOB!, 28 Dec 2012
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Do men ever grow up? I haven't made one of an Airfix kit since the 1960's - and now, having recently retired, I'm having another go, but on a much larger (1:24) scale. Hopefully, the artwork & technical skill has improved..

Look, the sheer volume of free time spent assembling/painting (esp. re. the small items - the engine & cockpit/pilot details) means you'll be a hermit for a few weeks. Also, a desire 'not to be disturbed, lest you lose concentration.' You also cultivate a habit "of thinking 6 hours ahead" (e.g. "If I paint this bit now, it will be dry in the morning..") And there are LOADS of small details; esp. in the early & final stages.

Upon complete glueing/assembly (PS. *leave off the tiny, fragile, under-the-wing bits until last), I then used modelling filler to fill-in the gaps (e.g. between the wings & fuselage.) This in turn needs more time & patience to sand down, if you want to do it properly (I used my wife's sandpaper nail-files. Thanks love, best purpose yet!!)

The irritating, multi-language instructions, diagrams & use of symbols does not give guidance in certain areas - for which "Google" came in handy. e.g. What colours are in the ME-109 cockpit, the pilot's Luftwaffe uniform, or in interior wheel wells etc? But one wins through, courtesy of a few downloaded jpegs.

When nearly everything* is glued, assembled & filled, then the best bit of all begins - the first coat of 'Humbrol' camouflage paint(s)! Use different brushes & jars (for light & dark paints). Again, you will need to 'think-in-2-halves.' Treat the the top surfaces and then the (sky-blue) lower. You will also need approx. 3 coats to properly opaque the plastic surface. Use masking tape to produce a hard edge: you will need it esp. for the wing edges and along the side of the fuselage.

When I'd completely finished the top surfaces: I then started underneath, (NB. be prepared to do some retouching + a bit of cursing when your brush slips!) Finally - and very precisely, I painted the framing bars of the cockpit! Here I used small pieces of masking tape + rubberised masking fluid.)

Yes, it's now looking good! But you're still not QUITE there. There's a good few hours spent attaching the transfers; 40+ of them - starting with some tiny ones! (The big black crosses & decals don't go on until last.)

Finished: You're there! "Hurrah - I've FINALLY got my life back!!" (Memo. to myself: ANGEL: "Never do another one. DEVIL: Hmmnn, fancy a FW-190?..")

Yes, computer geeks are not in the same nerd league as modellers..


Bach: Organ Works  (DG The Originals)
Bach: Organ Works (DG The Originals)
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 20.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'VE NEVER HEARD ANY PERFORMANCE LIKE THIS!, 20 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Before I start, I want to say I have been an avid classical organ music fan for years, (ever since first hearing Lionel Rogg's 1964 'Oryx' series as a student.) Therefore, in my time, I have heard MANY virtuoso performers & recordings.

However.. I have NEVER heard such a virtuoso as Karl Richter. He can TRULY be described as 'Great' - even in this over-bloated, over-hyped age.

I first heard him on the 'DG Archiv' label, presiding over the superb organ of Freiberg Cathedral (also on this collection as CD3.) I was MOST impressed - esp. (like Rogg) by an unhurried, unflappable, musical logic, as Richter steadily revealed Bach's Passacaglia variations in all their logical, sonic splendour. This was backed-up by DG's superlative sound quality, (a 1978 co-production with the DDR) and a Silbermann organ of the finest pedigree.

I then resolved "I must hear more": to find & collect his total number of Bach organ recordings, (sadly, Karl Richter never recorded the complete organ works of Bach: what a loss to the musical world!) However, 6 LP's he did record for DG* - of which 5 are featured here on the 3CD's. *The Bach/Vivaldi Organ Concertos are still separately available, played on the Silbermann at Arlesheim.

Most of these 3 CD's music features a 'modern' Marcussen organ. At first, I was a little apprehensive concerning the early sound of most of these recordings, (1964-67.) However, D-O-N-T be! The DG booklet says they have all been 'Original, image-bit, remastered'.. Wow, the engineers have achieved a truly exquisite, full-spectrum, crystal-clear sound!

Richter's method of organ playing, (he was trained 'Old School' in Dresden & Leipzig in the DDR) puts modernists to shame. Here is complete and utter clarity in all the different strands of sound emanating from his hands and feet. The chosen registers 'plate together' perfectly: e.g. Just listen to Richter's 'BWV 548' e-minor fugue, on the first CD. I have NEVER heard such playing; it is stunning - and it doesn't show-off an excess frivolity, or 'bend the melody', like some organists I can mention..

Look - enough: Just BUY this set - and enjoy!


Anthology
Anthology
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: 25.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PILOT 'Anthology', 29 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
I long considered that "Pilot" offered serious musical craftsmanship, compared to their lightweight contemporaries in the (yukky) teeny-bopper era, ('BCR & The Osmonds' anyone?) Accordingly, I have all 4 of their released LP albums..but these are now 'scratchy.'

"Anthology" is the best and most complete* compilation yet. This 22-song, US-made CD 'ticks a few (essential) boxes' that EMI's also 22-song CD, "A & Bs + Rarities" doesn't quite reach. Whilst 90%+ of Pilot's finest songs ARE present on both CD's, 'Anthology' reaches further..

Did you like "Bad to me" on Pilot's "2nd Flight" album? - this song is included here. Also are 3 of the 4 best songs from the final (Arista recording) LP, "Two's A Crowd" ('Ten Feet Tall/Monday, Tuesday/Evil Eye') - *but "Library Door" is THE one glaring omission! Q. Why wasn't this gem also included, Renaissance Records?!

PS. I sourced my 'Anthology' CD from the US; much cheaper (4 + 1.26 postage) than I note here. Sound quality and career notes are good enough on both albums.


Franck: Complete Organ Works
Franck: Complete Organ Works
Price: 6.40

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but I wasn't starstruck!, 30 Mar 2011
As an 'avid fan' of the organ music of Cesar Franck, I snapped-up this CD, when it came out at its budget price. However, I was disappointed..

MC-A's usually first rate-interpretations, on this occasion, fail to enthrall me. The (1976?)Cavaille-Coll organ sound is decent and full, but not outstanding - it's somewhat dry and forward. I see this particular recording promoted heavily as a "must-buy." Sorry, mine ended up as a a swap!

Want a true 'must-buy' in my opinion? An especially excellent, rich 2002 sound, with a superb 'wow' interpretation? - step forward Susan Landale/Calliope. For an excellent, modern, budget-label recording: Eric Lebrun/Naxos. For perhaps an er, "more individualistic, virtuoso reading" on a modern organ - with probably THE deepest, wide-ranging-spectrum of organ sound I have ever heard - Jean Guillou on the then (1989) new Van den Heuval organ in St Eustache Paris, (Brilliant.) Last: a treasured historical (1959!) ADD performance by the stunning French virtuoso, Jeanne Demessieux, The newly remastered stereo sound is so clean and resonant, it defies its age, yet sounds so modern! The Festivo label & 'Studio STH' in Hoevelaken Holland can take the laurels here..


Page: 1 | 2