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Barbara A. Baker (Australia)
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St John Passion [DVD] [2006]
St John Passion [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Masaaki Suzuki
Price: 17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving, 1 Sep 2013
This review is from: St John Passion [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I'm used to thinking of myself as somebody who doesn't much enjoy watching music being performed and who is leery of live recordings with their poor balance, audience participation, singers having an off-night....But I forgot to do my usual nit-picking while watching Suzuki's Saint John Passion.

The soloists and choristers have wonderfully fresh, clean voices and all performers were intensely involved in the story and the music. The highlight for me was Robin Blaze's "Es ist vollbracht" but I loved all the singers, all the instrumentalists and everything about the performance. Masaaki Suzuki is one of my musical heroes.


Survivors: The Animals and Plants that Time has Left Behind
Survivors: The Animals and Plants that Time has Left Behind
by Richard A. Fortey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 25.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, 8 April 2012
The renowned palaeontologist writes vividly about his encounters with creatures whose ancient origins are not difficult to discern in the fossil record. It's always a pleasure to spend a few hundred pages in the company of Mr Fortey - entertaining and stylish writer that he is - and I finished his latest book filled with a renewed enthusiasm for palaeontology - with its geological and biological foundations - and with a desire to at last find out something about botany.


Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors
Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors
by Axel Vervoordt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 31.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless indeed, 26 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I could gaze at the illustrations forever. Vervoordt's designs are always imaginative, individual but somehow "right"- works of art in themselves such as most of us would neither be able to afford nor to fully appreciate if we could. Sigh.


The Monkey King
The Monkey King
by Timothy Mo
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Hong Kong in the early 50s brought to vivid life, 10 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Monkey King (Paperback)
In the first part of this book, life in the household of the domestic tyrant Mr Poon makes for a painful though blackly funny read. Fortunately, humane values establish themselves ever more firmly chez Poon as the book progresses and the personalities of the downtrodden begin to blossom.

This is an entirely individual comedy full of vignettes of life in Hong Kong and the New Territories almost sixty years ago. Every character has his or her share of foibles and every race likewise. The dialogue is a special delight - a strangely Cantonese version of English with no plurals, of course, and hilariously erratic tenses.

This is a novel that relishes absurdity and keeps its humour dry.


The Travelling Horn Player
The Travelling Horn Player
by Barbara Trapido
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Crystalline comedy, 25 Sep 2011
A glittering comedy with black moments. Nicely complex plot which ties itself into interesting knots. We are left to work out for ourselves the moral implications of the behaviour of the numerous characters, who are revealed to us mostly through their actions and speech.

I loved the references to (Schubert's utterly beautiful) Die Schoene Muellerin and the use of dress and interiors to tell us something about the characters.


Wolf: Lieder & Orchesterwerke
Wolf: Lieder & Orchesterwerke
Offered by shakedownrecords
Price: 26.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible, 15 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pretty much the best songs ever composed and performed here by my favourite singer when his voice was at its resplendent best.


The Hand That First Held Mine
The Hand That First Held Mine
by Maggie O'Farrell
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three and a half stars really..., 31 Aug 2011
This book had me reaching for the kleenex and I think that's probably a sign that I was enjoying it. Some of the descriptions of the emotions a mother feels were moving and true but after a while there were too many nappies for me and I began zipping right along till I got to the grownups interacting again.

I think what I enjoyed most was London in the 1950s. I also enjoyed Innes, Laurence and Sinny and felt sorry for Ted. Hating Gloria was satisfying but I'd like to have had the chance to despise her a bit more. Yes, a good read. I don't think the two main characters will linger long in my mind though - they didn't seem complex or real enough for that.


Germania: A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern
Germania: A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern
by Simon Winder
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging introduction, 27 Aug 2011
I had great fun reading this book. Some of the reviews are comparing the author's style to Bill Bryson's. I agree, and I found the book all the better for that. I finished reading it with a strong urge to visit parts of the old East Germany, particularly Thuringia, which I had never considered visiting before.


Johannes Brahms: A Biography (Vintage)
Johannes Brahms: A Biography (Vintage)
by Jan Swafford
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring biography, 27 Aug 2011
I loved the author's enthusiasm and respect for his subject. There was a perfect amount of background information for me and the musical discussions were helpful to an amateur. Completely enjoyable.


Sand: The Never-ending Story
Sand: The Never-ending Story
by Michael Welland
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect book for the amateur geologist, 27 Aug 2011
A simply lovely read. Written with an enthusiasm and elegance that reminded me of Richard Fortey (and I can't say better than that!)


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