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Tim WC1 "timwc1" (London)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 20 Oct 2013
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I bought four of these chairs to use with a slate table on our garden patio. They are sturdy and comfortable, fine left outdoors, and I really like the style of them. Perfect.

Shane - Original Soundtrack
Shane - Original Soundtrack

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful score, 20 Oct 2013
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A wonderful score, full of melody, feeling and drama, brilliantly remastered, with an excellent booklet of background information. Strongly recommended.

Juarez (Spanish import, plays in English)
Juarez (Spanish import, plays in English)
Dvd ~ Paul Muni
Offered by Amazin' Movie Store
Price: 18.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Note the Spanish subtitles - but Korngold shines through, 20 Oct 2013
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This DVD plays in English, but be warned that you can't switch off the Spanish sub-titles: they are on the screen all the time. The picture and sound are reasonably good quality.

As a film, it's a mixed bag, but a very interesting and enjoyable one. It held my attention and had some superb visual-dramatic moments, though also rather a lot of clumsy ones.

What is problematic for the film's overall impact, but fascinating to watch, is that 1930s Hollywood, in setting out to celebrate Benito Juarez as the inspirational founder of Mexican democracy, in fact generates much more warmth for the Austrian Hapsburg emperor and empress that Juarez quite rightly overthrew. Bette Davis' performance as the empress is absurdly hammy, but still manages to win the audience onto her side. And the imbalance is almost toppled completely by the score by the great film composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

For Paul Muni's Benito Juarez, Korngold provides perfectly efficient but unengaging accompaniment. For Bette Davis' Empress Carlotta, especially in her love-scene on the palace balcony with her husband, he composed the exquisite string theme that later became the second subject of his Violin Concerto. Like the Hapsburgs in Mexico, Korngold in 1939 was an Austrian exiled to the new world. His musical yearning for home is more vivid and poignant than anything else in the film.

Anthony Adverse (Region 2)
Anthony Adverse (Region 2)
Dvd ~ Akim Tamiroff
Offered by Acid Vibes
Price: 12.16

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music, likeable film, acceptable DVD, 22 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Anthony Adverse (Region 2) (DVD)
This film is essential viewing for lovers of Korngold, as it has his first Oscar-winning score. The melodies may not be quite as memorable as the composer's absolute best (The Adventures of Robin Hood or King's Row) but the inventiveness, humanity, warmth and sheer energy of the music are utterly breath-taking. It is beyond me to understand why there aren't as many different recordings of this music - by orchestras and conductors across the world - as there are for the works of the other Wolfgang. I think it must be nothing more than snobbery about film music.

The film itself is in many ways a dated and clumsy melodrama, but the story rambles along enjoyably enough, with some impressive set pieces and likeable acting - especially from Olivia De Havilland, who absolutely lights up the few scenes that she's in.

Fortunately this DVD (which, despite being Spanish, can be viewed in its original English form without any subtitles) has pretty good sound. The picture quality is a bit blurred, but acceptable enough.

Roll on the day when a fully restored version is issued...

The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers [1946] [DVD]
The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers [1946] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Barbara Stanwyck
Offered by FILMNIGHT
Price: 2.47

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality print, 11 Feb 2001
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This has the classic elements of an interesting, enjoyable 1940s film noir, with the hero oscillating between two heroines, who appear in moral disguise. Barbara Stanwyck is wonderfully two-faced; Kirk Douglas puts in an amazingly assured first film appearance as her drunk husband; and Miklos Rozsa's score manages to underline the drama at the same time as commenting coolly on it.
BUT this DVD is taken from a very poor quality print, with blurred picture and crackling, hazy sound. I regret buying it, and wish I'd waited for someone to release a digitally remastered version.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2008 10:54 AM GMT

Korngold: Sursum Corda / Sinfonietta
Korngold: Sursum Corda / Sinfonietta
Price: 12.77

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to orchestral Korngold, 3 Feb 2001
This CD won a "Gramaphone" award in 1995 and is probably the best CD of Korngold's orchestral concert music currently available in the UK.
It is a good introduction to the composer, consisting of the four-movement "Sinfonietta" and the 20-minute-long symphonic poem "Sursum Corda" (meaning "Lift up your hearts"). Both works were written in Vienna around World War I when Korngold was at the height of his fame as a youthful genius. They are flowing, dramatic, beautiful works on a grand scale - likely to seduce into Korngold's fan-club anyone who already enjoys Richard Strauss, Berg, Mahler, Elgar or Puccini.
Like Mahler (who declared Korngold a genius as early as 1906), Korngold composed for the Vienna Philharmonic. As Korngold's stature continues to revive in the 21st century, the VPO may one day perform his works again. In the meanwhile, the problem with most Korngold recordings is that the orchestras do not sound opulent enough. The BBC Philharmonic makes a remarkable exception in this recording (and to only a slightly lesser extent in their other Korngold recordings for the Chandos label). The sound is bright and spacious, the playing warm and rich, the conducting confident, intelligent and much more powerful than it seems at first.
The melodies are sophisticated and quite complex - they can take a few hearings to sink in, but then they get right into the blood. Korngold's inventiveness and the structural development of his ideas are quite breath-taking, and, just when you think he is being too clever, he touches with gentleness or opens up to passion.
This is especially true in the last movement of the Sinfonietta - where the themes build up and overlap in long, climactic waves which manage to be both exuberant and absolutely humane.
The only really comparable recordings of Korngold orchestral works are from the 1970s - Charles Gerhardt's RCA recordings of selections from the film scores (intermitently available in the UK as imports) and Rudolph Kempe's recording of the Symphony on Varese Saraband (currently available in the US only).

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