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Feel The Spirit [John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers] [Collegium: CSCD523]
Feel The Spirit [John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers] [Collegium: CSCD523]
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Shearing is great, 19 Nov 2014
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I purchased this for George Shearing's Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare. They alone are worth the price of the CD -- refreshingly different from anything else, and beautiful. Recordings are good too, as are the rest of the pieces. Total playing time is almost 75 minutes, so good value.


J.S. Bach: St Matthew Passion
J.S. Bach: St Matthew Passion
Price: £15.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance, 5 May 2014
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I grew up on Harnoncourt's 1971 recording which was a refreshing change from the grossly ponderous Klemperer performance that is still touted today (surely more for its soloists than anything else). I learned to enjoy the quirks of that Harnoncourt recording and have long tried without success to obtain a CD to replace the old LPs. However, having purchased this 2000 version I am now entirely satisfied: the earlier quirks are gone but the overall performance retains Harnoncourt's unique combination of lightness, transparency and devotional intensity. I've stopped searching.


The Best Of Peter Sellers
The Best Of Peter Sellers
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £4.08

3.0 out of 5 stars For Sellers fans only, 5 May 2014
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I was looking forward to this compilation, having known and enjoyed many of the items over the years from various sources. The best sketches are still great, and are alone worth the price of the album, for example Auntie Rotter, Balham - Gateway to the South, and Suddenly it's folk song. The rest are frankly no longer very funny and come across as distinctly dated.


Jazz Moments
Jazz Moments
Offered by adrians_records
Price: £18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted performances, 5 May 2014
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This review is from: Jazz Moments (Audio CD)
Unusually for early Shearing, this is a trio not a quintet. This exposes the exquisite subtelties of Shearing's piano style and his rich harmonic colours. It is a disc to be savoured quietly in dim lighting.


Unchained Melodies: The Complete Singles Recordings 1955-1978
Unchained Melodies: The Complete Singles Recordings 1955-1978
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Goon fanatics, 14 Oct 2013
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This is an essential purchase for Goon Show fanatics (who will probably have most of the items on LPs and singles). Transfers are excellent. Only 4 stars because I'm beginning to find a lot of the humour very dated, lavatorial and no longer funny.
If you don't know the Goons, their characters and the UK politics of the 50s and 60s, you might find this compilation confusing, although there are many hilarious moments of a universal nature.
All the popular numbers are there:
Unchained melody
Dance with me Henry
Bluebottle Blues
I'm Walking Backwards for Christmas
The Ying Tong Song
Bloodnok's Rock and Roll Call
You Gotta Go Oww!
My September Love
I Love You
Eeh! Ah! Oh! Ooh!
Whistle Your Cares Away
A Russian Love Song
The Raspberry Song
Rhymes


The Roaring 20s
The Roaring 20s
Price: £14.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent selection, for those who like this sort of thing, 14 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Roaring 20s (Audio CD)
5 stars if you are into this music, bearing in mind that the transfers are from (very) old 78's and pianola rolls.
If you don't know this music, it is a good introduction, but I would hesistate to rate it as so much depends on taste.
The tracks are as follows:
1. If you knew Susie – Jack Shilkret & his Orchestra
2. The Shiek of Araby – Pianola Roll
3. I'm tellin' the Birds, tellin' the Bees – Jack Shilkret etc
4. That's my Weakness Now – Pianola Roll
5. Canadian Capers – Paul Biese Trio
6. Rose Marie – Piano Roll
7. Collette – Paul Whitman & his Orchestra
8. Where the Lazy Daisies Grow – Pianola Roll
9. Ain't Misbehaving – Jack Hylton & his Orchestra
10. My inspiration is You – Pianola Roll
11. The Wedding of the Painted Doll – Pianola Roll
12. Don't bring Lulu – Jan Garber and his Orchestra
13. Always – Pianola Roll
14. Where, oh Where do I Live – Fred Douglas
15. The Birth of the Blues – Pianola Roll
16. I Miss my Swiss – Golden Gate Orchestra
17. Ain't She Sweet – Pianola Roll
18. Hello, Swanee, Hello! – The Syncopated Four with piano...
19. Ramona – Pianola Roll
20. Charleston – Savoy Orpheans


English Song
English Song
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blissful mastery, 22 Mar 2013
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This review is from: English Song (Audio CD)
These early recordings of Pears, Britten and Bream in their prime are masterpieces of sublime performance. They are a compilation of three different issues, two of which were on 10-inch LPs in the mid-1950s. Mercifully the order of the works on the original releases has been preserved, as these are also outstanding examples of intelligent programming. The first two sets (tracks 1-7 and 8-22 respectively) are of Elizabethan songs, accompanied most sensitively by Julian Bream, while the final set (tracks 23-34) are of mostly little-known but beautifully crafted 20th century songs, accompanied incomparably by Britten.

Listening to all the Elizabethan songs of the first two sets in sequence can become tedious; it is best to listen to each of the three sets individually as they were originally conceived as separate programmes.

Why it has taken so long for these performances to be issued on CD is beyond belief. They ought to be in every musician's and music lover's collection as supreme examples of the art of performance and programming.


Peter Pears - A Treasury of English Song
Peter Pears - A Treasury of English Song
Price: £15.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasury indeed, 6 Feb 2013
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My prayers have been answered. For almost the past 50 years I have been awaiting the release on CD of a marvellous recital by Pears accompanied by Britten, originally released on a 10-inch LP in 1955, later re-released on a 12-inch LP, but not until now on CD. This recital forms part of the second CD of this two CD set. It is included in its entirety and in the original sequence, which is important as the songs follow the programme of a well-planned live recital given at the 1949 Aldeburgh Festival. The songs in the recital (and indeed all the songs on the CD) are from the 20th century, some better known than others, but all worth hearing and given truly memorable performances. Pears and Britten are at their prime, and incomparable in this music.

The songs of the original recital are as follows:
Bridge: Go not, happy day
Butterworth: Is my team plouging
Ireland: I have twelve oxen
Moeran: In youth is pleasure
Warlock: Yarmouth fair (a real delight)
Holst: Persephone
Berkeley: How love came in
Britten: Let the florid music praise! (the highlight of the set, a great song so sensitively sung and accompanied)
Oldham: Three Chinese Lyrics (utterly charming)
Bridge: Love went a-riding (a fitting conclusion to the recital, worthy of an encore)

The (mono) recordings are generally good throughout the CD, though the piano in the above recital is a trifle dull (and out of tune in the bass). Don't be put off by that; the performances transcend every blemish. The remaining items on this very generous collection are as interesting, but have been released previously on CD, so if you are a collector of Engligh song you may find some duplicates. No matter: the recital part described above is alone worth the whole price. You won't be disappointed.


Take It From Here, Series 1, 2 & 4 (The Golden Age of BBC Radio Comedy)
Take It From Here, Series 1, 2 & 4 (The Golden Age of BBC Radio Comedy)
by Frank Muir
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £13.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Glums, 30 Nov 2012
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Don't buy this if you are looking for the Glums. These shows pre-date their appearance. Many of the gags relate to the current affairs of the (immediate post-war) period, and may go over the heads of younger listeners. But given those caveats this issue is brilliant, and an absolute must for TIFH fans.

The sound quality is a little shrill, which is understandable given the vintage, and the transfers appear to be taken from well-preserved disks given the occasional surface ticks. Nevertheless, everything is crystal clear and far superior to what must have been heard over the medium-wave radios of the time.

More, more please (and five stars once the Glums appear!)


Piano Mania [DVD]
Piano Mania [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Cibis

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not technical enough, 26 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Piano Mania [DVD] (DVD)
This is a fascinating documentary about how far a piano technician will go to adapt an instrument to the whims of excessively fussy performers in pursuit of perfection. As such it is good, but I would have preferred to learn more about the theory behind the many tiny adjustments that are part of the technicians' art. Fot instance: why does the piano tone "sing" when tuned (or detuned) in a particular way. Some answers are hinted at, but not explained. I guess these supreme masters of their craft don't want to give away all their secrets!


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