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Profile for Dr Stephen Hall, Ireland > Reviews

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Dr Stephen Hall, Ireland "Dr Stephen Hall" (Newtowngore Leitrim)

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Bach Cello Suites: Susan Sheppard by N/A (1999-09-01)
Bach Cello Suites: Susan Sheppard by N/A (1999-09-01)
Offered by FHL Store
Price: £44.21

5.0 out of 5 stars "... without affectation and patchiness...", 5 April 2016
While recently listening to several 'baroque cello' renditions of the suites I really couldn't find any to compete with Ms Sheppard's of 1999, despite confirming that it was given a rather resonant acoustic in an English country house. Admittedly I didn't buy my copy from Amazon (but recently bought a modern 'cello from Amazon for comparisons).
Then when I signed into my account to buy a new Sheppard copy I found that it had become N/A. My original CDs have seen better days.
If you want the suites played with deep honesty and understanding -- but without affectation and patchiness between the individual ones -- THIS is the one to have and live with.
Stephen Hall, Ireland


The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation
The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation
by Izaak Walton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One that should be allowed to get away....., 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Whilst we get the full Walton and Cotton texts more or less in the original language I cannot recommend this edition.
Whether interested in fishing or not, the work is a classic of English prose (not 'Middle English' as some reviewers seem to think) but there are no notes or references to give context as can be found in most other editions I have read.
Equally irritating is the inelegant printing to the bottom of each page for no explicable reason.
Forget this inferior product and go for the Oxford Classics instead .


Agatha Christie's Poirot : The Mysterious Affair At Styles (David Suchet) [DVD]
Agatha Christie's Poirot : The Mysterious Affair At Styles (David Suchet) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Philip Jackson Hugh Fraser
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £8.79

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles, 11 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent DVD with all props and costume as accurate as the layman could wish. However, I think Amazon should make a point of indicating where subtitles are absent because approximately 1/3 of the population has hearing difficulties.

Dr S F Hall


Brahms: Symphony No. 4 | Mendlessohn: Symphony No.4 Italian (Sir Adrian Boult) (ICA Classics: ICAC 5093)
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 | Mendlessohn: Symphony No.4 Italian (Sir Adrian Boult) (ICA Classics: ICAC 5093)
Price: £11.59

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Butterfly upon a wheel, 26 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sir Adrian's late Brahms live performances were probably among the greatest Brahms we shall ever hear. Ay, there's the rub because the 'engineers' who allegedly re-mastered the original BBC tape actually prevent us from hearing the sounds as the BBC broadcast them. I know because I have a copy of the BBC tape and played it to compare with this production -- rather destruction -- by Reynolds Mastering, UK. Bad choice ICA and I hope that other releases did not use the same crowd.
The equipment used is listed and some of us will understand where those entrusted with the sacred job went awry. Too many fancy toys in the hands of people not trusting their ears comes to mind.
The result is a shambolic sheen at the top end, variable and wobbly low end and absence of middle so we miss the crucial harmonics.
Boult's legendary divided strings can be heard but crudely as the knob twiddlers skew horizontal balance foolishly to give expansion but at the expense of depth of field and general coherence.
They even manage the very clever trick of using echo so that the Albert Hall sounds as it did before the acoustic 'mushrooms' were installed.
Mendelssohn is less mauled but there is no saving this 're-mastering' from being catastrophic.
10 stars to Boult, the orchestra and the BBC tape quality. Such a shame that ICA made a bad choice and perhaps the BBC tapes will appear again without being mauled to oblivion.


Mediaeval Thought: St.Augustine to Ockham
Mediaeval Thought: St.Augustine to Ockham
by Gordon Leff
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-united with an old friend, 31 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dr Leff's book was definitely off-syllabus when I was a Philosophy student in the '70s but I wanted to understand some of what was going on while the church was Aristotelian through to Descartes -- who we did study of course.
Gordon Leff's concise book explained a lot and showed how several mediaeval thinkers foreshadowed the big names of The Enlightenment, sometimes with exact congruence.
My old copy was lost years ago so finding this one in a condition much as mine was when I last saw it was like being re-united with an old friend.


American Elegies
American Elegies
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £15.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adams conducts the music of others with love., 29 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: American Elegies (Audio CD)
To the UK generation immediately after mine (I was born in 1949) there has been a sense of "too much Adams" but this is probably more to do with how his music is used than its quality. (Glass suffers the same fate).
The man's musicianship is immense and he is not stuck in his own groove.
The Ives songs here are presented with a freshness too often lost nowadays as Ives is too often treated as a grand old man rather than the genius Webern recognised. Adams lifts the songs, and 'Question' from false familiarity to truly great works. Dawn Upshaw's unique voice is understood completely by John Adams.
His own Eros Piano is well chosen as being in a different medium from the other pieces but rather overshadows the weakest work on the disc, the David Diamond Ravel Elegy.
Shuffling the tracks is well worth the effort.
The Ingram Marshall Fog Tropes is quite well known over here in the cinema world rather than concert hall and Adams gives it authority in the directed parts.
For me, though, the key work on this marvellous disc is the Feldman. I remember Maxwell Davis conducting it in London and it is strange that Feldman is relatively hard to find at the moment.
'Madame Press...' requires playing and direction of perfect concentration and John Adams shows his love for the music on this disc at his most dignified in the Feldman especially.
This disc cannot be over-praised.


Music of the Middle Ages
Music of the Middle Ages
Offered by marxwax
Price: £14.50

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate but ultimately diasppointing, 30 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At least this Munrow disc is free from the crudeness of some of his records and we can hear what a genius he was when not distracted by 'folksy' tendencies.
The engineering is good old fashioned DGG but the pieces are laid out in an uninspiring way.
There are better versions of these pieces by far.


Tallis;Lamentations
Tallis;Lamentations
Offered by marvelio-uk
Price: £11.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe equalled but not yet bettered, 30 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tallis;Lamentations (Audio CD)
The Deller Consort recordings of decades ago were as new to my generation as the avant-garde music we were all so excited about.
Deller's approach was not the crash, bang, wallop of Becket and Munrow nor with the somewhat dry scholarship odour of Greenberg.
Early music superstars like Saval were unknown and Deller's musicians were all individual experts without egos to match such as tended to float over the Atlantic now and then.
Vanguard (USA) had the imagination to record Deller's group at a key time and this version of the Tallis Lamentations is among the best of the productions.
Perhaps other musicians have drawn level with Deller in the exquisitely proportioned Lamentations but, for me, none has bettered this marvel.


RHA MA150 Noise Isolating In Ear Earphones
RHA MA150 Noise Isolating In Ear Earphones

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much.........FUSS, 21 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
While these earphones (and the aluminium ones I have tried) have the huge range others have reported the fact is that cable noise totally wrecks what could have been a good product.
The hype here on Amazon has a sense of trying to say something superlative but just because RHA has good customer service is beside the point.
When I buy something I expect it to work and not be fussing with it all the time.
Yes the bass is deep; yes the harmonics of even a piccolo can be heard but only if one sits motionless and the earpieces make a perfect seal -- yes more fussing. But move just a little bit and cable noise kills the music stone dead!
Indeed, even when sitting stiffer than a dead parrot the extreme highs and lows actually leave a middle hole in all sorts of music, most notably bog standard pop classics recorded before the days of digital 'doodling about'.
Maybe rave reviews on Amazon UK are because the product is British. So am I but warn others off this producer (not marque as it pretends to be) until and unless the cable noise problem is solved.


Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar"
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar"
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How come not found?, 7 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The listing for this was confusing when anyone taking the trouble to browse a bit would have known that it was Barshai with the WDR Orchestra.
Whether it comes singly or in the full set it is brilliantly performed and Barshai's special feeling for the late symphonies shines in this Babi Yar.


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