Nicholas Casley

Top Reviewer Ranking: 108
Helpful votes received on reviews: 88% (5,658 of 6,416)
Location: Plymouth, Devon, UK
Anniversary: 31 Dec
Birthday: 19 Mar
In My Own Words:
Because I know what I like, I rarely get to give a review anything less than three stars. This is not ONLY because I like to think I am a positive guy: it's just that I wouldn't buy gangsta rap CDs, or zombie movie DVDs, or books on cricket in the first place.

As for me, I am a forty-something, gay man who is in a civil partnership with my other half who I have been with for more than twenty yea… Read more

Making the most of life by travelling inwards as well as outwards.


Top Reviewer Ranking: 108 - Total Helpful Votes: 5658 of 6416
Vangelis: Mythodea - Live In Athens [DVD] [2002] <b>DVD</b> ~ Vangelis
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery of the Sound, 1 Sep 2014
This DVD is of a performance at the Temple of Zeus in Athens of Vangelis’s ‘Mythodea’. The performance took place n 2001 and lasts 76 minutes, including an encore of the ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme.

Vangelis himself sits alone in what appears to be a doughnut-shaped bunker in the centre of proceedings, surrounded by the London Metropolitan Orchestra (who?), the Choir of the National Opera of Greece, percussion ensembles, and the two vocal soloists Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle. It’s an impressive set-up, with the production designer focussing more on the Greek pre-classical age. His set matches the primitive nature of much of the music, especially the often heavy emphasis on… Read more
Samuel Barber: Orchestral Works, Vol.2 ~ Samuel Barber
4.0 out of 5 stars Positive Melancholia, 29 Aug 2014
Volume two of Marin Alsop’s review with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra of the works of Samuel Barber features three works. At the age of 49, this is (I am ashamed to say) the first time I have experienced two of these three pieces, so my review is more about the music than the performances. They were recorded in 1999 and 2000. The sound throughout the CD is very good.

The ‘Cello Concerto’ of 1945, featuring Wendy Warner has soloist, is by-and-large a cheerful work. The first movement alternates sunny episodes with those of a more contemplative nature. The second opens with a wistful variation of the first’s main theme. It becomes quite a marvellous movement in itself, like… Read more
From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795 (New E&hellip by James E. Fraser
Volume one of ‘The New Edinburgh History of Scotland’, written by James Fraser, is a bit of a disappointment: not for what it has to say, but for the way it is said. Its eight centuries are covered in thirteen chapters. The book is structured in three parts, which gives a good indication of its trajectory: 1. The Passing of Caledonia 69-597; 2. The Age of the Kings of Bamburgh, 576-692; and 3. The Pictish Project, 692-789. There are eleven maps and twenty-five (mostly genealogical) tables. A seven-page guide to further reading concisely points to traditions old and new, as well as being useful in itself. The book also has a seventeen-page (in smaller font!) bibliography.

In his… Read more

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