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Reviews Written by
R. Simmonds "essex man" (England)
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Rachmaninov/Chopin/Cello Sonata
Rachmaninov/Chopin/Cello Sonata
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A great Chopin, 8 July 2014
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I bought this CD, without knowing the pieces, because of the Chopin. He wrote little chamber music and since I love the cello [plus Chopin piano music] this seemed an interesting gamble. Well the piece is absolutely lovely. It appears it was written right at the end of Chopins life [performed by him in Feb 1848 and he died in October 1849]. The piece had a major injection of input from Chopins friend and cellist, Auguste Franchomme. Yes there is a continual tussle between piano and cello and the piano writing of Chopin often wins but overall the work demonstrates an inherant maturity. It is a superb and well worth a gamble. The playing and recording are excellent to my ear at least. The Rachmaninov is very listenable but demonstrates that Russian tension which contrasts nicely with the more settled maturity of the Chopin. Overall an excellent buy and fully recommended especially if it comes with a reasonable price tag. The soloists are unknown to me but are a married couple living and playing in the UK. Notably the cello of Gregor-Smith [a 1694 one made in Cremona] has a particularly beautiful mellow tone - Buy it and enjoy the wonders of Chopin!!!


Chopin: Favourite Piano Works
Chopin: Favourite Piano Works
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Face The Music, 3 July 2014
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I admit to buying this CD for the playing of Joseph Cooper. He plays the raindrop prelude and follows with nocturne no.2. They are both beautiful and bring back memories of the lovely man who hosted Face the Music. Other contributors are Peter Katin and Ilana Vered. The overall collection is a charming mixture of some of the most popular works of Chopin but it is none the poorer for that. Lovely relaxed listening for a summer day. Usual high quality Decca recording of course. Recommended. Go on - face the music.


BEETHOVEN: PNO CONC NO4: PNO C
BEETHOVEN: PNO CONC NO4: PNO C
Price: 15.20

4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely 4th., 3 July 2014
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A sensitive rendition of the first and second movements of the fourth concerto make for a really listenable experience. I'm afraid I knew nothing of the performers when buying this CD but having listened I can confirm the sound and quality of performance are excellent. The recording from Meridian is top notch. The emperor concerto cannot be dismissed but for me it's not out of the top drawer. This CD is worth it for a lovely 4th and at all at a bargain price. You can't go wrong.


Helios Overture, Op. 17
Helios Overture, Op. 17
Price: 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful atmospheric music, 10 Jun 2014
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I heard this on Radio 3 and had to buy it. Download was cheapest way. The overture was written whilst Neilsen stayed in Greece in 1903. It pictures the sun rising over the Aegean, an atmospheric beginning, through to full orchestra culminating in the music subsiding as the sun sinks over the horizon. Neilsen wrote on the score - `Silence and darkness. The sun rises with a joyous song of praise. It wanders its golden way and sinks quietly into the sea`. A great tone poem. Brings back memories of all those wonderful Greek sunsets. A must to at least hear even if you dont buy.


Beethoven: Piano Trios Vol.3
Beethoven: Piano Trios Vol.3
Offered by Naxos Direct UK
Price: 4.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Companion for Symphony No 2, 29 May 2014
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I did buy this CD for the Piano Trio arrangement of Beethovens Second Symphony and have to say it makes a great addition to the piece and stands up as beautiful chamber music in its own right. It was written in 1803, the same year as the second was performed so we are looking at Beethovens contemporary thoughts on his symphony in small form. It is a very listenable piece of chamber music, finely played to my ear. The Trio in C minor which accompanies is quite lovely and apparently Haydn, when hearing it on its debut performance said good things about it but advised against its publication [bit of professional rivalry perhaps]. Overall this is a great disc. Production up to normal high Naxos standards and great enjoyable music from The Master. Easy to recommend.


Beethoven's Adagios
Beethoven's Adagios

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent idea, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Beethoven's Adagios (Audio CD)
I usually avoid CDs which take excepts from differing pieces as they invariably sound disjointed when played all the way through. Not so with this very well presented collection of slow Beethoven movements. It really works and does not jar when you move onto a new piece. Very sound individual recordings from the Erato label so virtually all the recordings come from Erato or Teldec meaning good recordings and excellent performers. A great album I play in the morning to bring me into the day in a less fraught state of mind. Beethovens romanticism at its best. You will enjoy this - I have, and continue to play it.


Brendel Plays Bach
Brendel Plays Bach
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Brendel Plays Bach (Audio CD)
Brendel playing Bach really works. I have played this recording to a number of my instrumentalist friends and the unanimous verdict is that Brendel manages to show a delicate, emotional approach to Bach which is a delight to listen to. This is a must for anyone loving Bach. The Italian Concerto is absolutely superb and worth the price of the disc on its own. Thoroughly recommended.


Schubert: Piano Quintet "Trout"; Adagio and Rondo Concertante, D. 487
Schubert: Piano Quintet "Trout"; Adagio and Rondo Concertante, D. 487
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A watery trout, 27 Feb 2014
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I wholeheartedly agree with the reviewer when she commented about the waterlike quality of this disc. I have a number of copies of The Trout but this recently acquired copy holds its own with many top price versions. The sound is crisp and direct and the sound has real presence as though they are in the room with you - no doubt aided by excellent acoustics when recording. This is very recommendable especially at its bargain price. Buy it - I`m sure you wont be disappointed.


Grieg & Schumann : Piano Concertos /Solomon
Grieg & Schumann : Piano Concertos /Solomon
Offered by vinylandcds
Price: 9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent elderly recording, 29 Jan 2014
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This was recorded in 1958 but don`t be put off by that. The Orchestra is a little bright in places but generally gives a nice clear but warm sound. The piano/orchestra balance sounds just right to me. I previously only owned the John Ogden recording but bought this recently [secondhand and cheap]. It really is worth every penny and is my preferred copy overall although I have a soft spot for Ogden playing the Schumann. Its good to have a couple of copies to compare the differences. Overall buy this recording and you wont regret it. Good for an old un.


Grieg / Schumann: Piano Concertos / Franck: Variations Symphoniques
Grieg / Schumann: Piano Concertos / Franck: Variations Symphoniques
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 12.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A British Affair - well almost, 29 Jan 2014
This is a very full programme lasting 76 minutes. I did buy it for John Ogden and, agreed, the recording is some 50 years old now [1962] and perhaps the recording isnt quite as crisp and well balanced but its very musical for all that. The Schumann is the recording really worth the price of admission. Both the Grieg and Schumann are played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra under Paavo Berglund. The Franck is tacked on at the end and is played by the Philharmonia Orchestra under John Barbirolli. Its a nice piece very much in the romantic era. Sleeve notes are pretty much non existent but overall I would say this is pleasant recording but if you like the sound of older recordings [a little warmer], on balance, for the sound I prefer Solomon and the Philharmonia Orchestra under Herbert Menges playing the same programme [except the Franck]. Here the sound is a little warmer and the whole piano sounds more engaging to my ear [not bad for a 1958 recording]. Either way I hope you enjoy the music.


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