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R. E. Cox (West Midlands, UK)
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Sibelius: The Symphonies
Sibelius: The Symphonies
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 17.87

5.0 out of 5 stars A mark of a favourite recording is that one returns to it often, 2 Aug 2014
A mark of a favourite recording is that one returns to it often, and this is true for this set (as it is for Blomstedt's Nielson cycle as well.) The Decca sound is fine and there's something about those San Francisco strings: firm, smooth, yet a touch icy, perhaps, ideally suited to this Northern music. Most of the readings are admirable, with an objectivity which belies any playing to the gallery - something not suited to Sibelius anyway. If there is a slightly underpowered performance, though, it's the Second Symphony. Here Blomstedt might have made a little more of its passionate nature. In all, though, a very satisfying cycle.


UFO Investigations Manual: UFO Investigations from 1892 to the Present Day (Haynes Manual)
UFO Investigations Manual: UFO Investigations from 1892 to the Present Day (Haynes Manual)
by Nigel Watson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic but comprehensive, 19 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a basic but comprehensive overview of the historic and ever-fascinating UFO phenomenon with a huge collection of illustrations useful to the text. The author has no axe to grind, which is refreshing, and he writes in a very objective as well as informative manner. Of course the many aspects of the subject are not written up in great detail(the pictures probably take more space than the text) but that does not detract from the usefulness both to the reader new to the subject and to all who are well versed in it.
An enjoyable read.
(Just for information I did spot just one minor factual error: Stonehenge is east, not west, of Warminster.)


The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke, Volume 5: May 23, 1881-August 26, 1881
The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke, Volume 5: May 23, 1881-August 26, 1881
by Charles M. Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 45.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing this wonderful set of diaries, 1 Dec 2013
John Gregory Bourke was an aide de camp for fifteen years for General George Crook during the Indian Wars both on the northern Plains and in the Southwest. His dairy began in 1872 and continued up to the day before his death in 1896. The diaries are a vast set of 124 manuscript volumes and are probably the most complete personal record of the Indian Wars from actually inside the command structure, as well as a fine source of information on the tribes. For Bourke also became a dedicated ethnologist, with the object - shared with others - of chronicling native cultures before they disappeared.
Bourke was a meticulous observer and an engrossingly interesting writer. He would also colour his material with lyrical and poetical observations on the natural world, including landscape and weather.. There is also often humour when he is describing many characters he meets along the way.
Volume 5 deals largely with the ethnological aspect and the Indian Wars take a back seat as there were no campaigns with Crook at this period. Over the period of just three months he made many excursions. He visited the famed Hopi Snake Dance, a number of pueblos along the Rio Grande and made visits to the Navajos. Perhaps the most important journey was to the Pine Ridge Agency where he witnessed what was to be the last Lakota Sun Dance, as the whites were intent upon ending this and similar ceremonies which involved physical torture.
Bourke's diaries have been meticulously compiled, edited and annotated from the whole material stored at West Point. They are a joy to read.


Symphony No 2
Symphony No 2
Offered by TOP-MUSIC-UK
Price: 12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A different view, 29 Aug 2013
This review is from: Symphony No 2 (Audio CD)
This is an extraordinary release. It almost feels like a different work. What a wonderful, light and very clear journey Oramo and his Swedish players make. One can hear instruments hardly detectable in other recordings,but the structure and Oramo's understanding of it is very sound. There are two drawbacks though which prevent this recording being in the top league for this work. One is that the approach here means a loss of nobility and deep inward strength which the music surely needs. The other is the dry acoustic - unusual for BIS - which ironically compromises the reading, and,frankly, means a 'thumbs down'. It deserves to be heard though for the surprises it brings.


Franck: Symphony in D; Overtures - Ce quon entend sur la montagne La lutte de lhiver et du Printemps
Franck: Symphony in D; Overtures - Ce quon entend sur la montagne La lutte de lhiver et du Printemps
Price: 14.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most satisfying recording of Franck's Symphony, 25 May 2013
For me this is one of the most satisfying recordings of Franck's Symphony - and there are many to choose from.
It has a concept of wholeness in its symphonic argument It has genuine rigour in its development yet it eschews any feeling of playing to the gallery. The balance is fine and everything blends together, with a balance which links control with a pliable and atmospheric expression. The work itself is a warm and beautiful one and this shows here very well. Good sound quality.
There is little to add to what the reviewer above has written on the other two works on the CD.


Miaskovsky : Complete Symphonies Nos 1 - 27
Miaskovsky : Complete Symphonies Nos 1 - 27
Price: 48.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh this glorious music!, 15 Jan 2013
How Myaskovsky can be so neglected today must be one of the mysteries of music. I began collecting the CDs of these works when they were issued individually over a long period of time and could hardly wait for the next issue. Here they all are together. OK - the sound varies and is not state of the art - but when it's good, it's good - and the set is lacking in good liner notes, unlike the individual issues. But, oh, this glorious music! The heart of many of these works lies in the slow movements when themes of great beauty often emerge on individual instruments such as clarinet and cor anglais, and on strings. They are intensified and stand out when they are often contrasted with the darker elements in these works. Very Russian but very romantic. With 27 symphonies there are differences in quality, but they are all of great interest. Don't hesitate to hear these works.


Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History
Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History
by Paul Horgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 29.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Great history by a great writer, 2 Sep 2012
What a great writer Horgan was, (the 'dean' of Southwestern writing as he was once called) both for his fiction and non-fiction. Yet he seems relatively neglected today, whilst highly respected. For his fiction he wrote the finest novel ever on the Southwest, 'A Distant Trumpet', and for his non-fiction this prize-winning panorama, both history and literature of the Rio Grande in New Mexico and its border with Mexico, and all who have been connected with it, from geologic times through to the historic and modern periods. Superb prose, lyrical and erudite and always interesting the writing is never dry, a point to be mentioned as Horgan was a real scholar and at the same time a skilled craftsman.
The highest recommendation then.


The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke: July 3, 1880-May 22, 1881 v. 4
The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke: July 3, 1880-May 22, 1881 v. 4
by John Gregory Bourke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 46.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Important and monumental set of diaries, 28 Aug 2012
Bourke was General Crook's aide-de-camp on the Western frontier for fifteen years and he kept a huge set of diaries (see the review to Volume 1 of the series). Bourke had an insider's view of the Apache compaigns in Arizona and also the Sioux wars on the Northern Plains. He was a perceptive observer, fluent and engrossing - always an interesting writer - and later became a noted ethnologist. In fact a considerable part of this fourth volume deals with his ethnological work which was under official army sanction and the Bureau of Ethnology. This took him to the Navaho country of northern Arizona and the Zuni lands in western New Mexico. There are, in addition, details of several tours ,including Yellowstone National Park, the Uinta Agency and to Santa Fe. Staff duties also included being in on the Ponca Indians' delegation to Washington regarding their homeland and the subsequent Commission to visit the Poncas with generals Crook and Miles and the Secretary of the Interior.

Bourke was a prolific diarist giving many, often amusing, insights into the social life of his friends and colleagues in addition to chronicles of the life, customs and characteristics of the tribes.

What makes these diaries so enjoyable to read is the refined and colourful writing, fluent and perceptive and there is hardly a dry paragraph. Impressive and extensively annotated with a biographical appendix on Indians, civilians and military personnel named within they are of great value and a treasurable acquisition for all interested in the American West


The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke: November 20, 1872-July 28, 1876 v. 1 (Diaries of John Gregory Bourke)
The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke: November 20, 1872-July 28, 1876 v. 1 (Diaries of John Gregory Bourke)
by John Gregory Bourke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 44.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Important diaires for all interested in Western frontier history, 28 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
John Gregory Bourke was Generel George Crook's aide de camp for fifteen years and kept a monumental set of diaries from his time as young cavalry lieutenant in Arizona in 1872 until his death in 1886. Robinson has embarked in a Herculian task of transcribing the large bulk of the manuscript diaries and the publications will cover up to a possible eight volumes over the next few years.

The importance of the venture cannot be overestimated as it provides an on-the-spot perspective into how the hostilites against the Indians were conducted, in addition to many insights into the characters of many individuals Bourke came into contact with, and also the social conditions of the time. Descriptions of tribal life and customs and of army life, and Bourke's skill as a diarist is in the way he makes the mundane interesting. He later became a noted ethnologist.

This first volume describes the first years of Bourke's life as aide-de-camp with the Apache campaigns and dealings with Cochise, then, with Crook's move to the Northern Plains the stories change to the Sioux and Cheyenne. Ethnographic notes are to the fore also with the expedition which covered visits to the Hopi villages in 1874.

There are two considerations to keep in mind with diaries such as these. While the reader is offered a close insider's view of events it may not have the more balanced and wider historical outline of the objective historian, but on the other hand the historian will be without the actualities and experiences of the diarist as the contemporary events unfold. But Bourke was a perceptive observer wherever he was, of both events, Indian life and culture, flora and fauna etc. and the prose is consistently interesting and mostly well-constructed.

This is an engrossing volume and one is at Bourke's side as he brings both the routine of day-to-day life and the more momentous events colourfully before the reader. Highly recommended.


Mahler's Heavenly Retreats: My Encounters with the Masters 'composing Houses'
Mahler's Heavenly Retreats: My Encounters with the Masters 'composing Houses'
by Keith James Clarke
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A love of Mahler shines through, 8 Aug 2012
This unusual look at Mahler and his music by concentrating on his summer-time composing houses, is a most suitable and endearing one for both newcomers to his life and music as well as others. The book is short and to the point but it also includes a DVD and a CD.
What matters is that the author's love of the composer shines through and it touches the reader and listener.


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