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R. Simmonds "essex man" (England)
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Debussy: Images / Childrens Corner Suite
Debussy: Images / Childrens Corner Suite
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great music from Monsieur Claude Debussy, 5 Sep 2014
Im afraid I have caught the Debussy bug - mainly from listening to The Preludes - and this seemed a natural step for expanding my knowledge of his piano music. Well I have to say the music is superb.The disc has the Images I and II and these are beautiful short `paintings in music` with some interesting homages to Rameau and Haydn. If you love the Preludes this disc is for you. In addition of course there is the well known bit [the Golliwogs cakewalk] in the Childrens Corner suite [which was written and dedicated to his then 4 year old daughter Chouchou] but the whole disc makes lovely listening. The Penguin Guide I have states `that the acoustic of the Rosslyn hall in Hampstead is pleasing and allows the sound to expand` and goes on to say `Tirimo`s playing is distinguished and there is never any doubt to his Debussian credentials`. They state it to be a fine disc, something I very much agree with. The music is superb in that beautiful watery style that Debussy captures. In all, 76 minutes of superb sound. Sit back and enjoy.


Israel P.O.60th Anniversar
Israel P.O.60th Anniversar
Price: 13.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I was there., 22 Aug 2014
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These double albums are a recording of a concert given in Tel Aviv on Boxing Day1996. As others have said this CD is excellent - the artist list and programme make it one of those concerts you wish you had been lucky enough to have been to. The first album is perhaps the more memorable with lovely performances of Bachs concerto for 2 violins in D minor, played by Isaac Stern and Gil Shaham, and the Halvorsen Passascaglia and Sarabande [Perlman and Zukerman] - these all being outstanding. The later piece I have never heard before and its absolutely lovely. The second CD contains the Brahms Second Symphony and it is excellent but not as attention grabbing as the earlier pieces [although I absolutely love Brahms] Both albums are live but frankly the key is `do you notice this when the music is playing?` and frankly the answer is no. The overall quality of the RCA recording is excellent. Buy it, and rest assured you will not be disappointed. Like me, you will wish you had been in the stalls - but in this case your ears can still enjoy the moment .


Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 2 & 8
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 2 & 8

4.0 out of 5 stars Penguin gives it 3 stars, 22 Aug 2014
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I bought this recording and the Symphonies 5 and 7 recorded by Mackerras and the RLPO on the strength of the Penguin Guide [agreed it is a 2006 edition]. I repeat their review for your assistance. `Mackerras rounded off his outstanding Beethoven cycle with performances of these two even numbered works which bring out the dramatic bite to performances at once refined and full of sharp contrasts, with exhilerating results`. I can warmly recommend this recording [and the Symphonies 5/7]. They are both excellent and crisp renditions, this one being made in 1997. You wont be disappointed.


Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7
Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7
Price: 16.41

4.0 out of 5 stars Penguin gives it 3 stars, 22 Aug 2014
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I bought this on the strength of the write up in my copy of the Penguin Guide - I can do no better than repeat their short review - `Sir Charles Mackerras and the RLPO also give revelatory performances of both the fifth and the seventh. Tempi are on the fast side in all four movements but, thanks to rhythmic control they never sound hectic. the superb recording is both weighty and atmospheric`. Couldnt have said it better myself. You do notice the slightly faster speed but yes these are nice recordings made in 1992. the fifth is a particular favourite of mine and the final movement of the where Beethoven reconciles everything is particularly powerful. Dont think you will be disappointed. Worth having a look at Mackerras and the RLPOs recording of symphonies no 2 and 8 which again are warmly recommended by my copy of the Penguin Guide.


Elgar: Cello Concerto/Enigma Variations
Elgar: Cello Concerto/Enigma Variations
Price: 24.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Elgar - like it should be., 7 Aug 2014
This is a great coupling of two of Elgars popular pieces of which I have been pretty familiar for some 40 plus years. I have other recordings and it was the other excellent review plus Robert Cohen that drew me to this recording [I have him playing the Bach Cello and that is superb]. All I can add is that the recording and the playing are absolutely how it should be - well balanced in the Enigma Variations and a superb controlled performance of the glorious Cello Concerto. Thoroughly recommended. A joy to listen to. Sir Edward would be well pleased I think.


Bach: Cello Suites, Vol. 2
Bach: Cello Suites, Vol. 2
Offered by FlorenciumBear
Price: 5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Graet Bach, but not just for the beach, 24 July 2014
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I have reviewed Volume 1 of these Cello Suites played by Robert Cohen. They are excellent and fully recommendable. No less than the Gramophone in 1990 had lots of positive stuff to say [see my other review for fuller details]. The sound and feelings that so come through in these suites make them a real contender for a desert island disc. They cater for most of human emotion so may be great for the one you save when the sea comes in to wash the other 7 away. I would say to anyone listen to the Cello Suites and in the case of this performance it is up there with the best, although perhaps it would be the Fournier rendition that would be the desert island choice. Great stuff - buy it, you wont be disappointed. All you need is the island!!


Bach: Cello Suites, Vol.1
Bach: Cello Suites, Vol.1
Offered by Music-Club
Price: 37.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bach, 24 July 2014
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I have a number of copies of Bachs Cello Suites - I love them! With the cello in particular I feel there is such an audible difference between soloists and between instruments and in the case of Robert Cohen I really enjoy his rendition of these well played Suites.
To quote directly The Gramaphone in 1990 which said as follows -
`This playing of Bach's unaccompanied cello suites is impressive - Cohen has imagination and a good sense of style as well as secure intonation and satisfying tone..The young British cellist, Robert Cohen, plays a modern instrument—actually it dates from 1692 but is strung and otherwise modified to presentday requirements—and draws a warm, resonant sound from it. His approach to these great works follows the tradition established by Casals and maintained in various ways and in varying degrees by generations of cellists since. Cohen's performances have many virtues, among the greatest of them to my mind being a complete absence of empty virtuosity and intrusive showmanship. This is serious playing which makes a real attempt to reach the heart of the music without the aid of artifice, flamboyance or an excess of personal mannerism. His choice of tempo is invariably unhurried and he is not afraid to take more time over a piece, even than Casals if he feels that it is justified. Cohen has a nice feeling for phrases which he articulates and punctuates effectively. In short, he gives the music shape and character with a very well-controlled bowing arm and an intuitive sense of where best to place emphasis`.
The whole package is great. He chooses slightly slower timing in some places but when required he can put his foot on the gas. Overall a very listenable and satisfying recording. Fully recommended especially at a great secondhand price. Enjoy it - I have!


Play Bach /Vol.1
Play Bach /Vol.1
Offered by Music-Club
Price: 37.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Play Bach - Live, 24 July 2014
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This review is from: Play Bach /Vol.1 (Audio CD)
I bought this `blind` as there are no details on it. I shall try to put this right. Before starting Ive loved the Trio for 50plus years and have seen them live on a number of occasions. Its the old trio of Loussier, Garros and Michelot and its recorded at a live venue. I think a number of tracks may [?] have been taken from Live at the Champs Elysees - namely - Prelude No 1, Partita in B flat and Prelude No 12. Its difficult to be precise as my Champs Elysee copy is vinyl. Anyway, in addition there is Chorale No1, Choral, Jesu que ma joie demeure, Aria and Tocata and Fugue in E Minor. In all 59 minutes of the Jacques Loussier Trio live and brilliant. Recordings are likely to be 1960s re released in 1987 on CD. Sound is very good for time and analogue. In my book Jacques can do nothing wrong so my view maybe a tad bias but I can only say its great and in this 80th birthday year of Jacques everyone should be listening to Play Bach - its timeless, like Bach himself. Great music, great jazz - buy it, you cannot go wrong.


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: 10.23

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.


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