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Kevin Brough

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Mozart: The Great Piano Concertos, Vol.3
Mozart: The Great Piano Concertos, Vol.3
Price: £5.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Only one of these discs arrived., 13 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this from Zoverstocks and only one of the discs arrived, the first disc was missing from the box. In terms of performance and sound quality the disc which was enclosed is terrific, Uchida is a superb pianist and benefits from having Jeffrey Tate and the ECO together with excellent sound quality, fully digital.

I also own the Murray Perahia recordings of these works and would prefer them to Uchida if the sound quality were better, as it stands with the superior sound I would slightly favour the Uchida although it's a very close call.

Mozart: Violin Concertos No 3 & 5
Mozart: Violin Concertos No 3 & 5
Offered by Music-Finder
Price: £10.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Great performances, poor quality disc., 13 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The 4 star review is for the performances and quality of playing on the disc. I ordered it from Zoverstocks and it had visual damage to the disc which should have been picked up by even the most cursory glance. They have compensated me in full and very promptly so from that side the service was first rate although it should not have been offered for sale in the first place.

The playing on this disc is excellent althoug I also have the Arthur Grumiaux recording son Philips and find them to be superior. If I were to choose only one recording of these concertos it would be the Grumiaux.

Mahler: Symphony No.3
Mahler: Symphony No.3
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £27.79

5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this, 12 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.3 (Audio CD)
This is a terrific recording. I purchased from Zoverstocks and played it complete the day I received it, excellent! I don't know the score well enough to compare with other versions and I understand that Abbado is also excellent with this work but, from my own perspective, I played it, loved it and hope to enjoy for many years to come. Sound quality is very important to me and this recording is very well recorded.
It was well packed and arrived in good order within the time frame stipulated.

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £18.38

5.0 out of 5 stars What a brilliant selection, 14 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
This is a great selection of Thin Lizzy's Greatest Hits. It includes Phil Lynott and Gary Moore tracks from their solo careers along with all of the main Thin Lizzy single hits. It also includes many of the terrific album tracks such as Black Rose. I've been to see Limehouse Lizzy several times and they have re-awoken my passion for this band. So the recommendation is, buy this, go and see Limehouse Lizzy and Rock Till You Drop.

Don Carlo (Pavarotti)
Don Carlo (Pavarotti)

5.0 out of 5 stars What a bargain, 21 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Don Carlo (Pavarotti) (Audio CD)
For anyone who likes Pavarotti this is a terrific set. Anyone who has the five act version and wants to supplement their collection with a version of the four act version should buy this. It's a live recording so there are pros and cons, some of the performance is marred by audience noise and there are no re-takes so you get what the audience heard at a given time. On the plus side there is a continuity and bite which are lacking in many studio recordings.

I paid around £5 for this set. Its a real bargain, normally on bargain cds there are no libretto/translations but this offers a link to the EMI web site which has a download libretto.

I've only played it once so can't offer any valuable critique on individual performances but I really enjoyed it and am very happy with the purchase. Based on that I'd recommend it.

Puccini: Tosca
Puccini: Tosca

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 7 July 2012
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
There are some superb recordings of Tosca. If you bought the Caballe/Carreras/Davis set or the classic Callas/DeStefano/Gobbi recordings or even the much maligned Pavarotti/Freni/Milnes or Karajans great recording with Price in the title role you would not feel short changed. I'm sure there are many more great recordings of this work, there is something about it which seems to draw the best out of great singers. It's an opera with superb dramatic contrasts and yet a dignity and subtlty of score which is often overlooked due to the tremendous moments of dramatic and musical passion which Puccini wrote so well.

So what makes this recording stand out? Several things, for one thing the dramatic intensity is brought out in both the performance and the recording. For another Papanno has an afinnity with the piece which is natural, it cannot be taught. He holds the drama from first to last. The cast is exemplary, Gheorghiu is a Tosca to equal and surpass any of the names above, including Callas! The Scarpia and Cavaradossi of Raimondi and Alagna respectively are from the top drawer, both singers challenged to their utmost by the excellent Pappanno and responding with dignity and fervour.

Any review of a modern Tosca must compare with the classic account by Callas/DeStefano/Gobbi and Sabbata. Well it doesn't surpass it, but it does equal it, and where it gains is in the superb digital recording. Often it is said that the recording quality is imaterial and one fails to notice it when one really gets into the performance. Well that can be true but, to me at least, the quality of recording is a factor.

So there you have it, a brilliant recording of Tosca, expertly conducted and sung with vibrant modern recording. What more could you want?


Puccini: Manon Lescaut
Puccini: Manon Lescaut
Price: £14.31

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Recording, 7 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Manon Lescaut (Audio CD)
I bought this recording when it appeared on the new Decca Opera series at a knock down price. I have the other Freni recording of Manon Lescaut with Domingo and, whilst the performance may be of a very high standard I found the sound to be muffled and not particularly enjoyable. This is an altogether more enjoyable experience to my ear, focussed yet atmospheric with the balace between orchestra and singers well maintained throughout.

The performance is superb, Levine is on top form, I've often found him blustery and overblown to my tastes but this is a great performance, and with first class singers also. Pavarotti and Freni are superb. I've read some reviewers claim that Domingo is a more rounded and dramatic artist with Pavarotti lacking in dramatic intensity. Personally I don't see it like that, I find Pavarotti dramatic yet possessing that incredible ringing tenor voice which is so appealling in Puccini. Freni performance is class, full voiced, living the part and bringing a lifetime of experience to her portrayal of the tragic yet foolish heroin.

Of the versions of this work I own this is the one I will return to time and again although I wouldn't be parted from the Callas/DiStefano account. I doubt, however, that I will listen much to the Sinopoli with Freni and Domingo because I enjoy this one more and it has a better sound.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2014 8:40 AM BST

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2.0 out of 5 stars Scaping the bottom of the barrell., 7 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really like Bob Rotellas work, I've read 'Golf is not a game of perfect' and loved it, I read 'Putting out of your mind' and thought it was a great guide into understanding the mental side of putting. Both books helped me a lot, I met Bob Rotella at the Open and told him so.

Alas, 'The Golf Of Your Dreams' is not up to the same standard. Problem is the subject matter, the entire book is pretty much devoted to giving advice on how to select a professional to teach you the game. Surely this is quite an easy thing to do anyway, without much help. You certainly wouldn't need a book to tell you how to select a pro.

There are a couple of pluses, I like the stories Bob tells about weird and wonderful golf pros he has encountered and his writing style is as easy on the mind as ever, the book is enjoyable and entertaining but it doesn't cover much ground.

I'm sure Bob Rotella will find many more interesting subjects to cover in future books and I look forward to them but this one, I'd recommend giving it a miss.

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £14.16

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Album, 31 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Amore (Audio CD)
The best thing I can tell anyone about this album is that I had a copy, it got damaged, I bought another one. The track selection is superb and Bocelli sings each title brilliantly. I particularly like track 1, Amapola. If I were on the mythical desert island that is one of the tracks I would like to take with me.

I have all of Anrea Bocelli albums and this is one of the best. If you are considering the purchase, buy it now.

Bellini: La Sonnambula / Bartoli, Florez, D'arcangelo, Orchestra la Scintilla, De Marchi
Bellini: La Sonnambula / Bartoli, Florez, D'arcangelo, Orchestra la Scintilla, De Marchi
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £22.45

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest appraisal, 29 Oct. 2010
I really like this opera and this performance. That probably sounds unhelpful to those considering a purchase or seeking to find one who agrees or disagrees with their own view. So I'll explain.

The main 'talking point' in this is the inclusion of a mezzo soprano in, what is normally considered' a soprano role. The arguments for and against are very strong. On the pro side, this was sung by mezzo sopranos in Bellinis time, Malibran for one. The score apparently sings well for a mezzo if the embellishments normally associated with the part are omitted. Many operas have grown 'barnacles' in the form of embellishments which we now consider the norm, the stretta in 'di quella pira' (il Trovatore) for one. However we have, in most cases grown to love them. Just how controversial is the choice of a mezzo in the part? We live in an age when Katherine Jenkins and Sarah Brightman sing 'Nessun Dorma', when Michael Bolton releases a collection of hideously sung opera arias and Paul Potts and Russel Watson are considered opera singers. Cecilia Bartoli is a serious artist who considers her performances carefully and with artistry. It's hardly controversial when you consider it in context.

The recording features a period instrument orchestra and a stellar cast. In order to establish whether it is truly authentic it would be necessary to look at the score and I confess that I have not done so. It sounds good to me though.

Putting it in context I own several recordings of this opera. No one sings the part better than Callas but the 1957 mono sound is not what we are used to in the modern era. Sutherlands early recording is good but it sounds like Sutherland is in a washroom and the orchestra are all together in a near-by phone box. The Naxos recording features excellent singing and a superb digital recording, a first choice for many.

For this reviewer, however, I really like Bartolis performance, dramatic and beautifully sung. The performance has a sense of comittment from all concerned and that makes for great listening. I feel the orchestra sound excellent and like the fresh look at the work which the conductor brings. The cast sound terrific. It is probably the recording I will return to time and again, all things considered.

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