Profile for M. Hayward > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by M. Hayward
Top Reviewer Ranking: 22,214
Helpful Votes: 64

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
M. Hayward "Dr Soil" (Hampshire, UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
pixel
My First Summer In The Sierra: The Journal of a Soul on Fire
My First Summer In The Sierra: The Journal of a Soul on Fire
by John Muir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Take me there!, 27 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At the time, this was an untrammelled wilderness. Or was it? Muir accompanies a large flock of sheep being moved from the lowlands into the mountain pastures. Purple prose and acute observation without any new age "seeking oneself" - he's there for nature not some kind of self-discovery.


Nielsen: Saul and David
Nielsen: Saul and David
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Neglected opera needs a hearing, 27 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nielsen: Saul and David (Audio CD)
I saw this opera twice when I was an undergrad at UCL many years ago - there may have been the first UK performances. This version, sung in English, is a little earlier. Yes, the sound is less than ideal, with the orchestra in the pit, but the performance is very good, with excellent leads. Nielsen was a great symphonist, and while the drama may be underplayed, the sweep of the music carries one through the two hours, and while melodically Nielsen may not be Puccini (I think this is roughly contemporaneous with Butterfly) he writes good tunes. This year is the 150th anniversary of Nielsen's birth, so let's hear more of his fine music.


The Mountains of California
The Mountains of California
by John Muir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars California Dreaming, 27 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought to replace an old paperback I discarded to Oxfam for some reason. This is more scientific observation than travel, but it's a pioneer effort in more ways than one. I want to go there.


Adams: Become Ocean [Ludvic Morlot, Seattle Symphony Orchestra] [Cantaloupe: CA21101]
Adams: Become Ocean [Ludvic Morlot, Seattle Symphony Orchestra] [Cantaloupe: CA21101]
Price: £13.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immerse yourself, 27 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Alex Ross likes it, so I took that as a recommendation. I like it, but whether it's great music ("what's that?" - but I think there is) is another matter. It is an elaborately constructed musical arch about 42 minutes long, all with a slow pulse. There is nothing to frighten anyone who dislikes dissonance. One review (elsewhere) detected no feeling, but that's wrong. It is heartfelt (JLA has been an environmental activist) but not heart-on-sleeve. I will listen to it again when it's not a soundtrack to my daily commute. I may play the DVD. The packaging is eco-friendly card (no plastics), which some may feel to be shoddy, and there are no informative liner notes.


Landmarks
Landmarks
by Robert Macfarlane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Landscape interpreted through language., 27 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Landmarks (Hardcover)
I purchase everything by Macfarlane. I take an interest in place names and landscape language. Therefore I bought this. I am very pleased to have it accessible. Unlike his previous efforts I have not felt drawn to read it cover to cover straight away, but I have read selectively, partly as I am reading John Muir's "My first summer in the Sierra" with an introduction by,... Robert Macfarlane. There is plenty of his lucid prose amongst the glossaries of interesting and beautiful words. As a a geography teacher I never thought anyone would find "gabions"and "groynes" worthy of such exalted company, but there you go. No problem with the Welsh words as they are pronounced as written (badly, if you're English), but the Gaelic? Sound them out as if they are phonetic, it's hopeless. However, a pronunciation guide would have been clutter.


Mozart's Operas: Cosi Fan Tutte / Don Giovanni / The Magic Flute / Le Nozze Di Figaro
Mozart's Operas: Cosi Fan Tutte / Don Giovanni / The Magic Flute / Le Nozze Di Figaro
Price: £13.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Bargain, 22 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a Beethovenian, I have to concede that Mozart understood people better, and could do sexy (e.g. Cosi). These are all good performances, and as someone who has neglected opera and enjoyed symphonies and concertos it is clear that Mozart is a surpeme master of all genres. The somewhat tedious recitatives are tolerable because they are in Italian, except for the 'Flute, where the spoken German shows what a beautiful language that is. Some great voices in top form, with old-school conductors who could be relied upon to turn in fine performances of the traditional kind.


French Opera Masterworks
French Opera Masterworks
Price: £22.09

4.0 out of 5 stars A good way in to French opera sans Massenet, 22 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I only knew the Berlioz (though I hadn't listened to it since I got rid of my vinyl) and the Bizet. The latter is a cracking performance, with Verrett a sexy Carmen and Solti driving the action along at a fair lick. I can't at the moment understand why the Gounod sustained opera houses for so long, but the Delibes is melodic and beautifully orchestrated. Samson et Dalila is surprisingly good music, and my opinion of St S has gone up. The performances are all very good, I understand (not being an opera connoisseur), and the recordings variable but acceptable, occasionally good - I think the Carmen is available on its own for nearly the price of this box! Brief notes in a booklet, no timings. Historical pedantry: the Eiffel Tower post-dates all of the operas here!


III
III
Offered by Side Two
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars If you like them, get it, 22 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: III (Audio CD)
Purchased as a Christmas present for my wife, so I'll give it an average of our two scores...


Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals
Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals
by John Gray
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Progress in an illusion, 22 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Weird cover. Otherwise a sane if rather pessimistic book. The human race is irredeemable. His arguments are not to be taken without challenging them or sometimes dismissing them, but this is a thought-provoking book that has led me to more of his writings. The left is suspicious of Gray because he has been a free-marketeer and thatcherite, but there is more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner etc....


Red Sky at Sunrise: Cider with Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, A Moment of War
Red Sky at Sunrise: Cider with Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, A Moment of War
by Laurie Lee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Life-enhancing, 22 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can see why readers love Laurie Lee. His style is unforced, natural and a delight. He is full of life, wide-eyed and thirsting for stimulus. It is remarkable that, like Patrick Leigh Fermor's travels, these youthful journeys were written up so much later. Books to return to again and again.


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