Profile for Musica Vita > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Musica Vita
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,651
Helpful Votes: 408

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Musica Vita (Birmingham, UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
pixel
Draper 45543 2,200-Watt Garden Vacuum, Blower and Mulcher
Draper 45543 2,200-Watt Garden Vacuum, Blower and Mulcher

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good garden vac, with few drawbacks, 18 Oct 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I took delivery of this garden vacuum cleaner yesterday: prompt service from Amazon even with free delivery. I spent the afternoon clearing leaves, mostly dry ones, from the borders and paved areas of my fairly large garden. I was very pleased with its ability to suck up leaves from the space between plants, and even where leaves had fallen on top of plants. It caused far less damage than a rake, and was much quicker than removal by hand. It would not reach into some areas, for example between rockery stones, and some manual work was needed. I have not yet been able to try it with wet leaves; no doubt later in the season there will be opportunity!

It does work best if you make the leaves into a pile first, and it was quite fascinating watching the machine gobble up quite large quantities of leaves and thin twigs. It was also effective on the paved areas, although not quite as thorough as a broom. The bag is easy to remove and refit.

I have only one quibble: the pivot for the shoulder strap is too far forward. It seems to be close to the centre of gravity so that the machine balances when held on the strap. The nozzle starts to tilt upwards as the bag fills up, and I had to support the machine from the back. The pivot should be farther back so that the nozzle naturally points down. As it is, the wheels on the end of the nozzle do not have much to do. Next time I shall try re-positioning the strap onto the handle and see if this improves the handling.

Recommended, but get yourself some ear protection as it is very noisy.


Sapphire 11125-02-21R Radeon HD 3450 256MB LP PCI E 2.0 Graphics Card
Sapphire 11125-02-21R Radeon HD 3450 256MB LP PCI E 2.0 Graphics Card

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good value card; works with Linux, 13 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Something you won't find in the manufacturer's blurb is that this card works well on Linux systems. I bought it to use with a cheap computer to show my numerous photos on a 28-inch HDTV which can also be used as a monitor. The motherboard on that computer has only a basic VGA connector and this gives a fuzzy image with a very limited range of resolutions. Using this card with the DVI connection the image is sharp and there is a good choice of usable resolutions.

No setup was needed either with Debian Lenny or using an Open-Suse "live CD" distro. It just worked, straight out of the box!


Franz Schubert: Impromptus D 899 & 935  Moments musicaux D 780  Piano Sonatas
Franz Schubert: Impromptus D 899 & 935 Moments musicaux D 780 Piano Sonatas
Price: 15.05

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, 14 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my favourite version of the B flat sonata D960. I have recordings by Brendel and Richter and have heard various others play this sonata but none of them gets to the heart of Schubert as well as Kempff. His tempo for the "allegro molto moderato" first movement is just right and he resists the temptation to speed up and slow down gratuitously as many others do, so the music just continues on its unhurried way right up to the last bars: and Kempff observes the exposition repeat, so it is quite a long movement. It is the slow movement which is the heart of this work and the central section, with its triplet accompaniment, is magical. I at least feel that I have been given a glimpse of another world.

The same qualities are found in the A major sonata, the Impromptus and the Moments Musicaux. The only one I do not like is the F minor impromptu D935 No 4, but I have never been impressed by that work no matter who plays it.

In my opinion the quality of these recordings is excellent despite their age.


Brahms: The Complete String Quartets/Clarinet Sonatas
Brahms: The Complete String Quartets/Clarinet Sonatas

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class, 14 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As usual the Quartetto Italiano are out in front with their characteristically detailed yet passionate performances. The C minor quartet can be a "tough cookie" and many interpretations are less than convincing, but not these; in fact I really appreciated this work for the first time on hearing this performance.

The A minor and B flat major quartets are delightfully performed and I could listen to them time and time again.

I did not previously know the clarinet sonatas but Pieterson and Menuhin give fine performances of what are some of Brahms's last musical thoughts.


Hama Delta Slim Charger c/w 4 x 2500mAh AA Batteries
Hama Delta Slim Charger c/w 4 x 2500mAh AA Batteries

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable, 14 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This charger worked perfectly for about 6 months but one day it made a fizzing noise at switch-on, and never worked again. I know this is the throw-away society but it ought to last longer than that.


Keyboard, Mouse & Wireless Receiver Combo
Keyboard, Mouse & Wireless Receiver Combo

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good product and cheap!, 14 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am very pleased with this keyboard and mouse. The USB adaptor needs to be pointed towards the work area but otherwise I have had no problems and they are very pleasant to use. No setting up was required with my Debian Linux system and both devices work perfectly well with rechargeable batteries. There is a slight delay between clicking the mouse and seeing the effect on the screen but this is something you easily get used to.


Schubert: The Last Four Quartets including Death and the Maiden, Rosamunde, Quartettsatz
Schubert: The Last Four Quartets including Death and the Maiden, Rosamunde, Quartettsatz
Price: 8.08

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassable performances, 2 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I agree with most of what has already been written here. It is true that the recording of the D minor quartet has some thumps on it but these are not a great nuisance, and I find that the Italians really do plumb the depths of emotion which are contained in these great quartets. I have never heard the A minor quartet played so well, and their interpretation shows beyond any doubt that this work is in no way inferior to the D minor, as some people allege.

The amazing G major quartet receives such an intense performance that it is almost unbearable if you are not in the right mood. It is also a long work in this recording, as all Schubert's repeats are observed.

The performances of the Quartetto Italiano are certainly 'studied' and some people may find they lack spontaneity because of this. Indeed it was a long time before I appreciated their late Beethoven. But persevere and their virtues will become apparent!


Schubert: Complete Trios
Schubert: Complete Trios
Price: 7.99

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 2 July 2009
The Beaux Arts Trio capture the mood of the B flat Piano Trio to perfection: Schubert at his most genial and charming, very similar in mood to the Trout Quintet. So also the Notturno. But the E flat trio is a far more serious, profound work and in my opinion their interpretation misses its tragic depth, especially in the slow movement which is altogether too jolly and jaunty.

The Grumiaux Trio give a characteristically faultless performance of the String Trio.

So of the major works on these discs, two are very good, one indifferent.


Belkin Pro Series High Integrity VGA/SVGA Monitor Replacement Cable 7.5m
Belkin Pro Series High Integrity VGA/SVGA Monitor Replacement Cable 7.5m

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Make sure that it will be suitable!, 2 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a high quality product, but beware: the technical description is wrong! It is not a 15-pin connector, but a 14-pin and it did not work with my monitor. If yours is a high-resolution monitor, be sure to find out (before you buy) whether it works with a 14-pin vga cable or needs a 15-pin.


Beethoven: Symphony No.9
Beethoven: Symphony No.9
Price: 8.82

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full-blooded Beethoven, 27 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Tennstedt and the LPO bring their long experience of Mahler to Beethoven's Ninth, and it pays dividends. Every nuance of this remarkable score, written when Beethoven was completely deaf, is brought out, whether it be from the brass, woodwind or percussion. The drums are incisive and I wonder whether the timpanist sometimes used both sticks together, as Mahler often specified. But there is no lack of delicacy when required: the pianissimo passages are very quiet and the subtle scoring of parts of the finale is brought out superbly.

The restless, troubled first movement is excellently played and is truly frightening in places, and is followed by a scherzo which really is molto vivace and suitably exciting, but with hardly any loss of orchestral detail. Then in the wonderful adagio molto, one of the greatest of all slow movements, Tennstedt gradually takes us from deep sorrow, through consolation, to a vision of hope. The clamour that begins the finale follows on immediately, which I do not like, but is probably what Beethoven had in mind. The late Neville Cardus frankly described the finale as "inferior music" and too often it is an anticlimax compared to what has preceded it. But Tennstedt has the measure of it and keeps his grip on it throughout, so the "joy" of Schiller's Ode is well expressed.

In an age where period-instrument performances are all the rage it is so good to have a full-blooded romantic interpretation. So many so-called authentic performances are at best merely interesting and too often gimmicky. Tennstedt and the LPO give us a performance which may not be "authentic" but is undoubtedly genuine and moving. My only quibble is that Beethoven's indicated repeats in the scherzo are not observed.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8