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Reviews Written by
Mr. L. Zhang "LeighLei" (Beijing, Mainland China)
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The Final Concert
The Final Concert
Price: £22.07

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The swan's song from a maestro, 13 April 2010
This review is from: The Final Concert (Audio CD)
Bernstein declines bodily, but never decays mentally. The Britten and Beethoven recording itself offers an arguably convincing reading that silently yet confidently defies any cynicism or aesthetic purism by amateur crtitics like Changqiaowopo.

To start with Britten's Sea Preludes, Bernstein deLiberately slows down its tempo to create a dreamy mood that is carefully maintained throughout. The orchestral coloring is indeed less than dazzling or shiny, yet it paradoxically opens up a new way that is strangely untypical of Bernstein, ie, serene and unaggressive. It greatly inspires and induces thoughts, instead of arguing violently for sth specific or concrete. Not only a great musician per se, Bernstein turns out to be a masterly "painter", not with brushes, but the baton!!!

As to Beethoven's Symphony 7, Bernstein refuses to be as fiery as before. Instead, he becomes somewhat introvert and indirect. To those who claim this reading as too sluggish or un-Beethoven, I can only argue that their minds seem to be too narrow and fixed to adapt to any new ideas or new ways of thinking. One thing must be stated clearly, that is, Bernstein does not try to be too "individualistic" here, as Changqiaowopo wrongly and unfairly accuses. He observes all possible repeats exactly in accordance with Beethoven's notations, and conducts the sforzandi extremely literally in the Scherzo. The narrative tensions are gradually built up to a due climax, forming a natural contrast between sound and silence, not exaggerating at all, as Changxiaowopo unwittingly(somewhat freakishly, I have to say) argues!!!For me, Bernstein's creativity lies in the heightened emotions ¡°recollected in tranquility¡±£¨Òý×Ô»ª×È»ªË¹Ê«ÂÛ), as is reflected in his reading of Beethoven 7th. He is indeed sad and mourning for his incoming demise(who will not?), but he does not weep or sob in a cowardly way. He blends the meditations on his own fate with Beethoven's elegaic yet occasionally exuberant subjectivity. He is really conversing with Beethoven in due respect, and talking so well in the most ineloquent way!!!Even Karajan or Carlos Kreiber have to look up to this landscape of golden sunset for their own shameless lack of restraint and depth!

Strongly Recommended!!!


Into the Depth of Time: Accordion & Viola
Into the Depth of Time: Accordion & Viola
Price: £16.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, bewitching and enthralling!!!, 11 Jun. 2009
The splendor of the string, this time the viola that can convey both beauty and depth...Coupled with the airy and even errie accordion! What a combination!!!


Such Sweet Thunder (CD)
Such Sweet Thunder (CD)
Price: £9.29

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 11 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Such Sweet Thunder (CD) (Audio CD)
Catherine Dale's performance always features a certain mild beauty...Not bordering on violent extremity, yet still moving in a heart-felt fashion...This is music that demands to be heard!!!


Cello Century of British Women
Cello Century of British Women

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second-rate performer and performance!, 11 Jun. 2009
For those unfamiliar with compositions of women musicians, this is a good try! But I have to say that this is merely second-rate in every way.Sorry


Finzi: Cello Concerto / Leighton: Suite 'Veris Gratia'
Finzi: Cello Concerto / Leighton: Suite 'Veris Gratia'
Offered by ForteMajor
Price: £8.85

5.0 out of 5 stars FInzi's cello concerto is a masterpiece of the highest quality!!!, 20 Jan. 2009
Wallfisch is indeed a wonderful artist who has both a big and dramatic tone in his cello, and also a strong flexible sensibility to new and contemporary trends! This one is simply his best, unmatched by anyone else, even by himself. In fact, he has never performed so well after this cd! The rivalling versions, either lack the heart-felt emotional output (like Yo-yo-ma's, quite strange ), or technically less satisfactory( like Tim Hugh's)! Only if Du Pre had ever played this piece, I feel perhaps he may be threatened!
Wallfisch's Moeran cello concerto is also a must in the desert island! His other cds are not essential collections, though.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2010 12:18 PM BST


Distant Light, Voices/Kremer
Distant Light, Voices/Kremer
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £33.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and powerful indeed, yet far from a desert island cd!!!, 20 Jan. 2009
Frankly speaking, I have high regards for the Russian and Baltic music. Of them, Vasks and Kancheli often move me beyond words.
What is especially cherishable in Vasks is his great restraint and forbearance in a world full of tensions and conflicts, just like Christ! But this violin concerto has too many unduely discordant sounds which seem to be highly unsettling. Kremer seems to instill "successfully" some of his "ugly" sounds within this music. He can do well like this in Schnittke and Glass, but he seems to convey nothing very uplifting inside Vasks's world! The sound of the violin sometimes verges on becoming dry and sharp noises.
In my opinion, the desert island cd should be Vasks's cello concerto, performed by David Geringas, whose sounds resemble Rostropovich's so much, yet retain a certain mildness that suits Vasks perfectly!


vasks: distant light voices
vasks: distant light voices

4.0 out of 5 stars Kremer is good at conveying the modern feel, yet this work seems to be far from a desert island cd!!!!!!!, 5 Jan. 2009
Frankly speaking, I have high regards for the Russian and Baltic music. Of them, Vasks and Kancheli often move me beyond words.
What is especially cherishable in Vasks is his great restraint and forbearance in a world full of tensions and conflicts, just like Christ! But this violin concerto has certain discordant sounds which seem to be highly nauseating. Kremer seems to instill "successfully" some of his "ugly" sounds within this music and makes it less "Vask-like", more "Kremer-like". He can do well like this in Schnittke and Glass, but he seems to convey nothing very inspiring inside Vask's world! Dry, sharp stuff!
In my opinion, the desert island cd should be Vask's cello concerto, performed by David Geringas, whose sounds resemble Rostropovich's so much, yet retain a certain mildness that suits Vasks perfectly!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2009 12:07 AM GMT


The Piano Teacher
The Piano Teacher
by Joachim Neugroschel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.06

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing, enchanting and strangely uplifting classic!!!!!!, 5 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Piano Teacher (Paperback)
There is no necessity in recounting the storyline, for it is not complex in inself. What strikes one greatly is the dark and gloomy atmosphere that haunts every character and everywhere; the compex human psyche that is both repressive and aggressive, torturing and tortured. It is a miniworld which is both seemingly strange, abnormal and strangely familiar. Suddenly we feel that Jelinek just tells us what part of us really are!!!
An easy comparison can be found with Shostakovich. The wrath, the pain and the piercing cry for heaven, yet the salvation is still in the wind...
There is no destiny in any one's hands. If you feel helpless, you are both right and wrong; if you feel you can overpower others, you are still half right and half wrong...
That is why there is no real end to this story; yet there is a stange glimmer of light when Erika mutilates her arm in the end...that is sth for us to discipher for ever!!!


Forgotten Romance
Forgotten Romance
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £18.95

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare dish, yet still not appetizing enough!, 5 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Forgotten Romance (Audio CD)
This cd features a good commercial design that can guarantee a good sale. Rubinstein's music is revived not long ago, and Liszt's compostitional skills for the cello fire men's curiosity. All of the works here are very romantic. There is no denying that beauty is there, and the two artists cooperate well enough to do them justice. However, the mediocrity of the music itself is still painfully obvious, even including the now-famous Grieg cello sonata( Wallfish even played its concerto version). The sugared notes, the nostalgic atmosphere, as well as some technical display...everything that is meant to be popular is there. However, where is the depth? Where is the something that is really thought-provoking?
This is a very nice dish prepared by two amazing artists( one of them is even my pen pal), yet frankly speaking, they are not essential purchases, simply not appetizing for long!


Erhu Chant
Erhu Chant
Price: £18.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There is a maidenly beauty, yet still not mature enough!, 4 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Erhu Chant (Audio CD)
Yu Hongmei has a rare talent for perceiving the most romantic core of a piece and bringing it out in her bows of the erhu. Her tone seems to be well compared to Andras Schiff's piano playing of Bach, natural, unadorned, clean and virginal.
Yet, she lacks the mature colorfulness of intonation in Song Fei and the masterly ancient classic flavor in Huifen Min.
Unfortunately, this is the most easily available one on the market. But rest assured, for you will surely not feel disappointed!The variety of erhu playing is interesting! Neither Mutter nor Mullova can stand alone as masters!


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