Profile for Peter Grant > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Peter Grant
Top Reviewer Ranking: 70,552
Helpful Votes: 58

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Peter Grant (London)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Havergal Brian, Six Orchestral Pieces From The Tigers
Havergal Brian, Six Orchestral Pieces From The Tigers
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the great art works about the First World War anticipates 'Oh ..., 27 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hopefully the full opera from the only full performance will be released soon. One of the great art works about the First World War anticipates 'Oh What a Lovely War' by over 40 years


Aerial
Aerial
Price: £6.04

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Boundary of Pop, 27 Aug 2014
This review is from: Aerial (Audio CD)
It's very interesting reading the reviews of 'Aerial'. It pretty much boils down to whether you think that songs about washing machines or reciting the value of Pi can make great music or not. It's really the same debate that surrounds much modernist art - for example can a painting that is simply one colour really be art? If your answer is 'no' then buy the latest pop drivel instead. If however you think, say, Ellsworth Kelly or Philip Glass are great artists then this is the 'pop' music for you. Bush is one of the very rare musicians remotely capable of achieving similar flights of imagination and of course those songs aren't about washing machines and numbers at all.


The Quantum Enigma
The Quantum Enigma
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pinnacle of Achievement, 28 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Quantum Enigma (Audio CD)
Epica's best album since their very first (Phantom Agony) and perfect to recommend if anyone ever asks what is meant by 'symphonic metal'. All the band's strengths are on display, intelligent lyrics, beautiful vocals from Simone, plus the orchestrations are becoming ever more confident. Essentially the voices and lead instruments are now performing solo parts in an overal symphonic vision rather just acting as counterpoints to the orchestral passages. Really Jansen and his collaborators now ought to attempt a full-scale metal opera and/or a major film director should let him score their next epic.


The Phantom Agony - Expanded Edition
The Phantom Agony - Expanded Edition
Price: £18.31

5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Album, 2 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is not only one of the finest symphonic metal albums ever made but also right up there in classically influenced rock music, all the way back to things like 'Close to the Edge' and 'Atom Heart Mother'. So not just for those who like metal but anyone who enjoys progressive rock and even opera fans. Simone Simons (who I think was still a teenager when it was recorded) has a highly distinctive mezzo voice (she's since moved more towards a higher range soprano) and sounds rather like an angelic choirboy. The themes on the record are also extremely thought-provoking continuing Mark Jansen's critique of religion and including the outstanding 'Feint' written following the murder of controversial Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. Rock music at its absolute peak.


All Quiet on the Home Front: Life in Britain During the First World War
All Quiet on the Home Front: Life in Britain During the First World War
by Richard Van Emden
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nasty, Brutish and Long, 10 Feb 2014
My impression is that this is two books in one. The first (the good bit) are the first hand testimonies of the people involved. I assume this was the part contributed by Richard van Emden and they stand alongside his other contributions from his extensive research among primary sources for the War. The second (the bad bit) is the interpretation of what they mean in terms of the overall social impact of the War on the lives of ordinary people. I assume this was the bit added by Steve Humphries but my apologies if I'm wrong. Often in the face of quotes to the contrary the book is determined to say that the War was one of unrelieved misery, hardship and ill health when most of the evidence is that living standards, especially for the poorest, actually rose. In a discussion on how people were poorer because of the war (p 245) they suggest this was exacerbated by many people having to pay income tax for the first time and make it sound as if tax thresholds had been lowered. In fact there was a rise in gross wages as far more people reached the threshold for paying the tax. Perhaps most outrageous of all is the claim (p 231) that ‘most men died in their late-forties to mid-fifties.’ This is, of course, utter nonsense. The life expectancy for males at birth during the war was around 50. If one reached manhood, your life expectancy was significantly higher. Humphries and van Emden almost comically reveal their failure to understand simple statistics by immediately quoting as an example of how most men died in early middle age a person who ‘had a heart attack and was run over by a steamroller’!


George Szell Conducts Wagner
George Szell Conducts Wagner
Offered by Media Vortex
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introduction, 2 Feb 2014
Whilst not disagreeing with the flaws in Szell's approach I would wholeheartedly recommend this disc as a first introduction to Wagner. If you're not sure about listening to whole operas of 4 hours or more and uncertain about Wagnerian singing try this first. Szell's wordless selections brilliantly highlight the sensational drama of Wagner's music. Many years ago these performances really got me hooked on Wagner and I'm sure will do the same for many others.


Citizen Soldiers: The Liverpool Territorials in the First World War (Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare)
Citizen Soldiers: The Liverpool Territorials in the First World War (Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare)
by Helen B. McCartney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Essential Books about the First World War, 31 Oct 2013
Having read pretty much all the books on the First World War published in the last 20 years I would unhesitatingly select 'Citizen Soldiers' as one of the best. It combines meticulous research at a local level with a broad thesis regarding the nature of those who fought in Britain's army. Following the lead of scholars such as John Bourne and Gary Sheffield, McCartney argues that the men who joined the Liverpool territorials remained civilians in khaki who maintained their close ties with home throughout the conflict. Her scholarship helps demolish the idea that civilians and soldiers were alienated from each other, that the troops resented those who remained at home and that the 'truth about the war' from hidden from the British public. Elegantly written this is a book that will be enjoyed by the general reader as well as specialist historians and helps further dispel some of the myths of the war.


A Fine Brother: The Life of Captain Flora Sandes
A Fine Brother: The Life of Captain Flora Sandes
by Louise Miller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

5.0 out of 5 stars At Last the Biography Flora Sandes Deserves, 31 Oct 2013
I would wholeheartedly agree with the other glowing reviews of Louise Miller's outstanding book. Flora Sandes remains a heroine in Serbia and yet is too little known in her home country. Miller superbly negotiates the fine line between a fully researched academic history and an entertaining account. Though Sandes was unique her example remains an important beacon in women's long struggle for equality though I have no doubt she would never have thought of herself as a feminist icon!


Cinema and the Great War (Cinema and Society)
Cinema and the Great War (Cinema and Society)
by Andrew Kelly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £83.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Films are not history, 22 Jan 2013
Andrew Kelly nails his colours firmly to the mast with his opening sentence: 'No war was as violent, pointless and as miserable as the First World War.' Even if we agree that the war was like this it doesn't take much reading of military history to suggest that this remark is hyperbole. The rest of the book tries to prove this statement which, as it was written in 1997, was, to say the least, a minority view among historians of the war. Kelly therefore takes a very narrow critical stance on the films he discusses, rating them in relation to how 'anti war' they are (the higher up the Kelly 'anti war' barometer the better the film). His even greater error though, and unforgivable in a film critic, is that he regularly suggests that the films under discussion are objective documents that provide a valid historical interpretation of their subject. This is both dubious and, more importantly, totally devalues any comments he makes about them as films. Interestingly he fails to even mention David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia' probably because it doesn't fit his thesis or perhaps, as there's not a trench in site, has forgotten it is set during the Great war at all. Though it only covers British films Alan Burton's chapter on the war in Monk and Sargeant's 'British Historical Cinema' is vastly superior and far more objective.


Up the Line to Death: War Poets, 1914-18
Up the Line to Death: War Poets, 1914-18
by Brian Gardner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Poems, Woeful History, 19 Nov 2012
Whilst the poems in Gardner's anthology remain iconic and moving examples from their period the author's totally outdated and innaccurate depiction of the war as 'futile slaughter' should have consigned it to the remainder racks long ago. If you want an anthology that properly depicts the entirity of First World War poetry buy Martin Stephen's 'Never Such Innocence'.


Page: 1 | 2