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Dr. S. J. Wyatt (UK)
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Rossini: William Tell (French version)
Rossini: William Tell (French version)
Price: £16.78

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happened in Act Four?, 15 Sep 2011
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This is a fine recording with Gerald Finley outstanding but I'm puzzled by the disfiguring cut in Act 4. The libretto says it's scenes 5 and 7 that are cut but I think it's scenes 5 and 6 which include a trio for Mathilde, Jemmy and Hedwige and a prayer for Hedwige together with a musical build-up for the approaching storm and some helpful plot exposition. There's about ten minutes of rather good music gone and with someone as talented as Marie-Nicole Lemieux on hand it seems perverse to cut her only solo. Anybody any idea why this was done?


Albéniz: Iberia / Granados: Goyescas
Albéniz: Iberia / Granados: Goyescas
Price: £7.25

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DELIGHT, 9 Mar 2011
I've had this double cd in my collection for a number of years. I play it a lot. The music is superb and atmospheric and the playing outstanding.


The Space to Move: Essentials of Movement Training
The Space to Move: Essentials of Movement Training
by Christian Darley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.57

5.0 out of 5 stars AN ENCHANTING BOOK, 22 Feb 2011
This book contains wonderfully practical advice for anybody who wants to improve their understanding of the role of movement in theatre. The exercises comes from years of experience in teaching movement and are clearly and vividly explained. But more than anything, this book is filled with the inspiring personality of a great teacher who died tragically young. That is what raises this far above the average "how to" theatre book.


Arias for Durastanti, Senesino, Cuzzoni
Arias for Durastanti, Senesino, Cuzzoni

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TURN DOWN THE BASS, 16 Aug 2010
The female performers on this collection are excellent - the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sublime. Drew Minter has a sweet and engaging voice if not a lot of power. But David Thomas? Yes, he can hit the notes but his wobbly unvaried delivery makes every single aria sound the same. How did this guy get to make so many recordings? If you buy this set, be warned about disc four even though the set is excellent value.


Purcell: The Fairy Queen [Purcell: The Fairy Queen Glyndebourne Festival 2009] [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Purcell: The Fairy Queen [Purcell: The Fairy Queen Glyndebourne Festival 2009] [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Sally Dexter
Price: £29.99

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BOG STANDARD PRODUCTION VALUES, 18 July 2010
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Previous Glyndebourne on dvd I've watched have usually been based on BBC broadcasts. The standard of this as a visual record of a wonderful production is a lot lower. There are too many covering shots which are far too dark and the limited camera angles mean that the focus is sometimes not where it ought to be. The sound quality is also a bit erratic picking up an excessive number of bumps and coughs. I loved this production when I saw it and this is useful as a visual record but I don't know how much sense it would make to someone who didn't see the original production. It makes me very wary of buying Opus Arte dvds of works I've not seen in the theatre.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2010 4:33 AM BST


The Eloquence of Desire
The Eloquence of Desire
by Amanda Sington-Williams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELOQUENT INDEED, 21 Jun 2010
THE ELOQUENCE OF DESIRE is an engrossing and atmospheric novel. This story of a married couple in the 1950s banished to Malaya after the husband's affair with the boss's daughter has the sharp edge, clarity and narrative drive of a Somerset Maugham.

But Amanda Sington-Williams brings her own distinctive voice to the material. The descriptions of Malaya evoke the people, landscape and climate vividly and sensuously. The sounds and smells are almost tangible and there is a palpable background of unease and tension as the political situation constantly threatens to explode into violence.

At the same time the writer has a wonderfully compassionate and insightful view of her all too human and believable characters. This is particularly true with George, the husband. On one level, this man is a selfish serial adulterer but we are lead to understand his motives and he emerges as a complex, if fallible, human being. The same understanding is offered to all characters, major and minor.

Thoroughly recommended!


Purcell: Theatre Music
Purcell: Theatre Music
Price: £23.97

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PITY ABOUT THE SINGERS, 18 Mar 2010
This review is from: Purcell: Theatre Music (Audio CD)
This is the only complete collection of Purcell's theatre music so it is obviously worth acquiring to enjoy this wonderful music. Recently I revisited this set having had versions of it in my collection for over twenty years. Very quickly I realised why I didn't play it very often. The singers are "on the book", there is no sense of theatre or dramatic involvement in how they deliver this music. Listening to David Thomas delivering three dramatic songs from Don Quixote is like listening to paint dry (if that's possible) The wobbly unvaried precious middle class delivery is so at odds with the gutsiness of this music it's almost painful. Some singers, notably Judith Nelson, bring a fresher and more appealing approach. But still we have to hope that the new Naxos version is going to bring the guts and drama back into this music. A new version is certainly overdue.


Handel in the Playhouse (Ballad Operas)
Handel in the Playhouse (Ballad Operas)
Price: £15.16

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE SONGS NOT THE SINGERS, 11 Mar 2010
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This is a lovely idea for a cd and I was very much looking forward to listening. The arrangements are fresh and enjoyable but the project is badly let down by the singers, particularly the tenor. Not only do they have rather nondescript voices, their performances have not the slightest feel of the playhouse about them. Any sense of rumbustiousness, humour, strong characterisation or theatricality is missing. Much better to have got a couple of actors who can sing than this pair. A real disappointment.


Muddy Boots and Silk Stockings
Muddy Boots and Silk Stockings
by Julia Stoneham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DELIGHT, 19 Sep 2009
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I'm rather surprised to read the preceding review of this novel. Julia Stoneham is a very skilful writer with a good story to tell. Her research is careful and pays off in the well-observed period detail. And her characters are lively and I for one want to know what happens to them in the sequel.


Shadows in Wonderland: A Hospital Odyssey
Shadows in Wonderland: A Hospital Odyssey
by Colin Ludlow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.53

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WITTY AND WISE, 20 Feb 2008
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Most people who had endured hospital experiences like Colin Ludlow's would - if they wrote anything - write a long self-pitying and angry rant against the medical system. What is so good about this book is that Ludlow not only gives a restrained, lucid and often witty account of what happened to him but goes beyond that to offer an original, thoughtful and thought-provoking meditation on the nature of hospitals and to ask - do we get the hospitals we deserve? Recommended reading for medical professionals, patients and friends and families of patients, or anybody who might one day end up in a hospital. Practically everybody, in fact.


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