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Dennis (London)

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Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Goth Girl 1)
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Goth Girl 1)
by Chris Riddell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.69

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 20 Sept. 2013
Quite possibly the silliest thing I've read all year, this is a rollicking tale that will entertain primary age kids, with the added bonus of a slew of sneaky references to Gothic literature and jokes for the adult reading aloud. (Which should be done in ALL the voices. Obviously. Rehearse if you must.)

Superbly illustrated by the author (visual jokes abound), it comes as a handsomely packaged hardback (stitched binding no less!) with metallic purple edging and endpapers embossed with silver skulls that are alone worth the price of admission.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 4, 2013 9:18 PM BST

Gesualdo: Tenebrae Responsories, Benedictus & Miserere
Gesualdo: Tenebrae Responsories, Benedictus & Miserere
Price: £7.25

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clumsy, 22 Feb. 2010
Gesualdo's music for tenebrae is some of the most outrageous and arresting music from the Renaissance, and holds it own against the 20th century avant-garde. Sadly, this recording doesn't capture that.

From technical point of view, what makes this music so stunning are the extraordinary harmonic shifts and bizarre intervals, all which serve to accentuate the text. Unfortunately, less than optimum intonation, differing approaches to vibrato, and in some cases, just plain clumsy ensemble, serve to obscure rather than reveal and accentuate the text and the meaning.

The third disc contains the responsoria for Holy Saturday which - judging from a very unscientific skim of Google - seem to be better known and more recorded, is the least disappointing.

Both The Tallis Scholars and Collegium Vocale do better choral recordings, and for a one-to-a-part, I'd recommend the Hilliard Ensemble.

Cooking with Pomiane (Modern Library)
Cooking with Pomiane (Modern Library)
by Edouard de Pomiane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure, 10 Oct. 2009
A pleasure to read and a pleasure to cook from.

The translation is a bit stilted in places, and I'd be curious to see the original, but can't find a corresponding work on that fits the title.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2013 12:22 AM GMT

Il Giardino Armonico-Viaggio Musicale/Monteverdi/Rossi/Cima
Il Giardino Armonico-Viaggio Musicale/Monteverdi/Rossi/Cima
Price: £16.07

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Delirium, 28 April 2009
This is a whirlwind tour through Northern Italy at the start of the 17th century, with some stunning solo and ensemble work, especially by the wind players, as recorders, dulcians and cornetti tackle the virtuosic sonatas and dances.

A CD best experienced with your tray secured, seat back in the upright position, and seat belt firmly fastened.

Handel: Messiah (Dublin Version, 1742)
Handel: Messiah (Dublin Version, 1742)
Price: £22.21

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and Intimate, 28 April 2009
If you're looking for a grandiose and majestic Messiah, then stop reading now. Beecham is the chap. This is a small-scale performance, with twelve singers and around that number of players, in an exploration not only of the content, but also the scale, of the work's first outing in Dublin.

As might be expected, the tempi are generally brisker than a larger performance, but never overly rushed, and not relentlessly fast. What really stands out is the elegant phrasing, the razor sharp ensemble, and the diction; you can hear every note and every word.

The Secret of the Semitones
The Secret of the Semitones
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £18.36

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy but Worthwhile, 24 Sept. 2008
Andrew Lawrence-King performs some well known pieces, originally for lute or harpsichord, on a Baroque triple harp, with mixed results.

The so-authentic-it-hurts brigade will approve of the quarter comma meantone tuning, but most listeners will find it somewhat on the pungent side, especially in the Chromatic Fantasia, which opens the disc. In contrast to the standard, lightning fast performances on the keyboard, this is a slow, measured performance, reminiscent of a recitative or improvisation. (A shame that the companion fugue appears to have been omitted.)

The C minor lute/cello suite gets a rather sluggish performance, which doesn't really excite.

In contrast, the outstanding part of the recording is the Partita in D minor (BWV 1004) here transposed to A minor. The dances are poised and elegant, and the final Chaconne is both passionate and tender.

Not as good as La Harpe Royale, but a worthwhile purchase.

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