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aiya "Rag"

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Weleda Revitalising Hair Tonic 100ml
Weleda Revitalising Hair Tonic 100ml
Price: £9.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best hair product ever, 19 April 2016
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OMG, my hair has been miraculously transformed. I only wish I had known about this tonic sooner. I had always relied on gels, foam, ( last count at least 10 different ones next to my hairdryer) to get some body into my limp and lifeless hair. After using this a few times, my hair long begin to resemble those massive cascades of perfect hair one sees on TV adverts, without the need for gels and foams, or even blow dry. I don't use it daily, just three times a week. ( i keep it next to the Tv remote so I won't forget) I'd always had a slight allergy to shampoo and conditioner, even the most expensive ones irritate the scalp and this somehow counters the irritants, which Dr Hauschka Neem hair lotion does as well, but that doesn't give you hair like Niagara Falls. These days even when I put actual oil on the hair to nourish it, the hair remains bouncy and voluminous. Really worth trying, takes all the bother out of hair maintenance.

Ling Bao Tong Zhi Neng Nei Gong Shu
Ling Bao Tong Zhi Neng Nei Gong Shu
by Wang li ping
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.28

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than nothing, 16 April 2016
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This books sacrificed immense density of meaning for brevity and clarity that may or may not be the entire point being made in the classics. If one cant read chinese, one has no choice, but if one can, then this makes one uneasy. But some of the instructions for practical work are reassuringly detailed.

Who is the book pitched at? I wonder.

the three stars is for the translation, no reflection on the ling bao nei gong shu

Ayurveda and Marma Therapy: Energy Points in Yogic Healing
Ayurveda and Marma Therapy: Energy Points in Yogic Healing
by David Frawley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.84

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed, 17 Mar. 2016
Marma therapy for dummies. Like all of this authors books, he talks around and around the subject, linking this and that together never arriving at a coherent synthesis because he simply doesnt get it himself, fully. His books never flow like Svoboda's for that reason. So after enduring six boring chapters of this book with nothing insightful yet on the title subject, i gave up like i did on his consciousness book. I shall make a point in future to avoid this author's books and reread Svoboda's masterful ones instead. Those writers who knows the subject inside out have no need to write lots of dumb books with big titles, and throw in the kitchen sink,instead if one reads carefully the way the information is connected to a whole picture in a good book, one finds such condensed versions contain megabytes of wisdom which Frawleys books dont. They read like he's finding out himself as he goes along. In this one, he even has to announce how large a portion of the book he wrote himself.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2016 4:30 PM BST

The Hermetic Art: The Teaching Concerning Atomic Transmutation
The Hermetic Art: The Teaching Concerning Atomic Transmutation
by Volpierre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.76

1.0 out of 5 stars this isn't a book, but a chapter of the Golden Manuscript that is for sale on amazon, 23 Feb. 2016
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The one star I gave this book is to highlight the misleading nature of the reprint. It is not a comment on the quality of the book's content. Firstly, this isn't a book, but a chapter of the Golden Manuscript by Frater Albertus which is for sale as a reprint on amazon. In fact , several of the Frater Albertus reprints are each an individual chapter in the Golden Manuscript which was Frater Albertus' own private manuscript. Frater Albertus was the founder of the Paracelsus College, and on their Australian website, some of his writing can be read and downloaded. Those that are freely available, are what has been reprinted in these books. So for this publisher to first sell them together as one book, and then the chapters individually as different books, and in the case of this title, to not even mention it has already appeared in the Golden manuscript is misleading. Furthermore, the enthusiastic reviewer who claims the ' wet' method that this book discusses really works. clearly hasn't read Frater Albertus' Alchemist of the Rockies Mountain because on page 90, he recounts a conversation with Caseliet, Fulcanelli's assistant who was adamant that ONLY the dry method can produce the REAL stone. Excerpts of the impossible to get Rockies Mountain alchemist can also be found on the Paracelsus website.

Violin Virtuoso Masterpieces (Elman, Seiger)
Violin Virtuoso Masterpieces (Elman, Seiger)
Price: £7.20

2.0 out of 5 stars these isn't the best of Elman, 23 Feb. 2016
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I bought several Elman recordings recently. This one has the worst sound. The playing sounds flat and screechy, and the technique of the elderly Elman here, as many reviewers have observed, doesn't reflect the artistry of the performances in his prime. They sound not even half hearted, more like quarter hearted. The attraction of this CD are the huge number of pieces, which seem like the feast, but after listening to this CD I returned it to amazon. Do explore the other Elman Cds' as not only are they better soundwise, some of them are truly magical.

Grieg: Lyric Pieces Gieseking (UK Import)
Grieg: Lyric Pieces Gieseking (UK Import)

5.0 out of 5 stars pellucid, 22 Feb. 2016
Walter Wilhelm Gieseking (5 November 1895 – 26 October 1956) was a French-born German pianist and composer.

Quotes about Gieseking[edit]
A tall, hulking man walked on to the stage at Carnegie Hall last week, bent himself into an awkward bow at the piano, and played superbly Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C Minor, three Scarlatti sonatas, Schumann’s C Major Fantasia and the first book of Debussy preludes. He was Walter Gieseking, come from Germany for another extended tour, and he played, as he has always played, music that he himself has tried truly and found good.
Time Magazine, February 24, 1929
Three seasons have passed since Gieseking made an inconspicuous dé in ∆olian Hall, Manhattan (TIME, Feb. 22, 1926). “His European notices were so superlative,” said Manager Charles L. Wagner afterward, “I knew no one would believe them so I decided to let his music speak for itself.”
Time Magazine, February 24, 1929
His music spoke so eloquently that Sunday afternoon that members of the small audience told their friends. No one, according to some, had ever played Bach like Gieseking, and they rhapsodized over an amazing technic, a style that was as fluent and easy as it was immaculate. But his Bach, others said, could not compare with his Debussy which surely was the essence of poetry. The controversy, as over most artistic matters, might have been endless, for Gieseking is not a specialist.
Time Magazine, February 24, 1929
He is, critics say unanimously, a great musician. To appraise him seems almost impertinent and so they write of his playing in awkward, halting sentences which struggle with big words like “pellucid” and “perfection.”
Time Magazine, February 24, 1929
I was impressed mostly by Gieseking [Horowitz said in 1987]. He had a finished style, played with elegance, and had a fine musical mind.
Vladimir Horowitz, quoted in Harold C. Schonberg, Horowitz: his life and music
is an enchanted thing like the glaze on a
katydid-wing subdivided by sun till the nettings are legion.
Like Gieseking playing Scarlatti;
like the apteryx-awl as a beak, or the
kiwi's rain-shawl of haired feathers, the mind feeling its way as though blind,
walks with its eyes on the ground.

It has memory's ear that can hear without
having to hear. Like the gyroscope's fall, truly unequivocal
because trued by regnant certainty,

it is a power of strong enchantment. It
is like the dove- neck animated by sun; it is memory's eye;
it's conscientious inconsistency.

It tears off the veil; tears the temptation, the
mist the heart wears, from its eyes -- if the heart has a face; it takes apart
dejection. It's fire in the dove-neck's

iridescence; in the inconsistencies
of Scarlatti. Unconfusion submits its confusion to proof; it's
not a Herod's oath that cannot change.

Marianne Moore, "The mind is an enchanting thing"
Gieseking played all of the German composers and went as far afield as the Rachmaninoff concertos. He was one of the few international favorites who interested himself in contemporary music, [...] But his greatest fame came as an interpreter of Debussy and Ravel. In his prime (about 1920 to 1939; after the war he sounded almost like a different pianist) there was no subtler colorist. His knowledge of pedal technique was supreme, and in particular he was a master of half-pedal effects. Never did he create an ugly sound. The sheer limpidity and transparency of his playing would alone have been memorable even if it had not been backed up by a fine musical mind.
Harold Schonberg, The Great Pianists (revised ed., 1987), p. 448
Walter Gieseking was a victim -- artistically, at least -- of World War II. When the Germans started the war, Gieseking (1895-1956) was among the greatest pianists alive. When Germany was defeated six years later, Gieseking, though only 50 years old, was a shadow of his former self. Although he was later cleared by an Allied court, Gieseking -- whose world fame would have made him welcome anywhere -- willingly collaborated in the cultural endeavors of the Third Reich.
What remained of him pianistically, however, made it seem as if he had been punished by a higher court. Although his reputation as a great pianist remained until his death in 1956, Gieseking's numerous postwar recordings -- many of which continue to be available on the EMI label -- have always called that reputation in doubt. Even though some of those recordings, particularly those of the music of Debussy and Ravel, are distinguished enough, none justifies Gieseking's huge reputation.

One is grateful, therefore, that this year's Gieseking centennial has brought forth several of the pianist's prewar recordings, most recently the first two volumes (a third is expected in the next few months) of the pianist's concerto legacy (APR) and another disc that collects four of the Beethoven piano sonatas Gieseking recorded between 1931-39.

These performances show us a pianist who was not merely a great virtuoso, but the man who liberated the pedal. Like the two pianists most influenced by his example -- Sviatoslav Richter and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli -- Gieseking's imaginative use of the pedal, combined with his sophisticated ear, permitted him to cultivate a tonal palette without antecedent in its range and subtlety of color and dynamics. And while Gieseking may not have been a profoundly emotional interpreter, he had a profoundly musical mind that rarely failed to bring music to life.

Stephen Wigler, "Lightness made Gieseking reigning pre-WWII pianist", The Baltimore Sun (August 27, 1995)

The Fourth State [DVD]
The Fourth State [DVD]
Dvd ~ Moritz Bleibtreu
Offered by Wowudo
Price: £2.45

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time, 12 Feb. 2016
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This review is from: The Fourth State [DVD] (DVD)
Every time I search Amazon for new Nordic Noir this dvd would appear among the results. It has no business being there because it's neither Nordic nor is it remotely of the same quality. After a few years of ignoring it, finally in a moment of weakness I ignored the bad reviews and bought this dvd. It is an amateurish attempt at an intelligent thriller. I won't repeat what other reviewers have said just want to say I wish I had listened to the bad reviews because the viewing was a waste of time, the few good moments were given no material to sustain it but the unnecessary lingered for an eternity. In the end I fast fwd them esp as the dialogue is cringingly awful, spoken wth accents so thick they needed subtitles except those weren't available.

Catalogue of the National Museum of Afghanistan 1931-1985 (Art, museums and monuments series)
Catalogue of the National Museum of Afghanistan 1931-1985 (Art, museums and monuments series)
by Francine Tissot
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars The illustrations are thumbnail in size, 10 Feb. 2016
Two years ago I bought this book at the British museum, a loose neglected copy in bad condition most likely forgotten by everyone. I felt compelled to write this review because of the shocking prices the sellers are asking. The illustrations are tiny in this book, literally thumb nails, in black and white and blurry, by contrast the free Unesco download of this same book on the net has much sharper clearer and bigger pictures which is essential if one wish to study the details of each object.

Offered by PGTA
Price: £3.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, 6 Feb. 2016
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Well made, fits my iPad mini perfectly and looks truly stylish and amazing it came from China so took just over a week. This product exceeded my expectation in every way and I love the white color. I'm about to purchase another one as a spare. Even the pen is great quality

Kaleidoscope: Piano Encores
Kaleidoscope: Piano Encores
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure joy, 12 Oct. 2015
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Since buying this CD 3 months ago, I've been listening to it several x a week. I bought it because Boris Berezovsky whose music I really like, said in an interview that Cherkassky is one of his favourites. That these encore pieces managed to hold my interests over several months demonstrate the intricacy and musicality of Cherkassky's playing. Always something new to discover, the moods varied, the interests inexhaustible, with the added bonus of beautiful melodies which the pianist clearly delighted in.

Here's an interview with Cherkassky by the pianist Stephen Hough in 1991.

Shura Cherkassky: An Interview, 1991 by Stephen Hough
I first heard the name Shura Cherkassky when my teacher, Gordon Green, mentioned during a lesson that he had recently been to a wonderful recital by him in London. Gordon's face lit up as he recalled the concert, with that subtle mixture of admiration, amusement and awe which is a common reaction to Cherkassky's art. One simply does not attend a recital by him in the same way or with the same expectations as with other artists. The only thing that is expected is the unexpected. To see him merely as the last in a long line of Russian virtuosos is to ignore his wide and often experimental repertoire (from Lully and Handel to Boulez and Stockhausen). To see him principally as a miniaturist excelling in encores and candied cameos, is to forget the towering architectural grasp of, say, his Liszt Sonata. He is all of these things and more besides. After all which other pianist can reduce his audience to guffaws of laughter as in the Shostakovitch Polka from The Age of Gold, or Mildred Couper's Irish Washerwoman Variations?

If it is difficult to 'pigeon-hole' Cherkassky's art, it is even more so to find out who is behind it. A number of people had indicated to me that interviewing Cherkassky would not be easy. It wasn't - not because he is an unapproachable person, far from it. Rather he is so totally instinctive and intuitive, that questions such as, "How do you do this?" or, "Why do you do that?" fall on perplexed ears.

Sound? … from Hofmann? "No, it's just my own."
Pedalling? "What to say, I wouldn't know."
Fingering? "I never write in fingerings."
Teaching … Masterclass? "I could never teach."

The truth is that sound, pedalling and memory (three areas in which Shura excels), all come as naturally to him as breathing. He is refreshingly free from the studied clichés drawn out by most interviews - his playing speaks/sings for itself.

As our conversation continued, many intriguing facts surfaced. His mother, a fine pianist and his first teacher, had once played the Tchaikovsky F major variations for Tchaikovsky. Cherkassky himself played for Rachmaninoff in New York ("33 Riverside Drive … you see, I remember!"), who accepted him as a student on the condition that he cease giving concerts for two years, and alter his entire technique. ("He told me that the positioning of my hands was all wrong.") It was decided instead for the young Cherkassky to study with Hofmann, who encouraged him to play frequently in public. Later in life he played Petrushka for Stravinsky who made the interesting suggestion to play a certain passage loudly and incisively, but with the una corda (soft pedal).

We then began to discuss practising, and here more concrete methods emerged - very concrete in fact! "I practise by the clock, for me this is the only way. Four hours a day. If I wasn't absolutely rigid about the whole thing I'd go to pieces. You need iron discipline - sheer will power. So many great talents disappear about a short while because they get conceited and don't work properly anymore. You have to work all the time". I then asked how he filled this four-hour shift, how he approached certain problems. "When I practise it sounds like I can't play! - so I like to work completely in private if possible. I put my fingers very precisely on every key, making sure that they are absolutely in the centre, and I play very slowly. Have you noticed that when pianists get older how their playing often isn't clean anymore, especially in chords? Well this is how I have to work." I asked him if he learned this method from anyone. "Not really - although a fellow-pupil of Hofmann, Lucy Stern (a great talent who died very young), used to practise like this too."

We also spoke about repertoire, of which Cherkassky has a vast and varied amount. "I'm working on the Ives Three Page Sonata at the moment which is a new piece. It's very important for me to learn new pieces, to keep fresh. I enjoy the challenge of contemporary works - Stockhausen, Messiaen, Bernstein." What about gaps, pieces still to be learned? "I don't play much French music - no Faure and only a little Debussy and Ravel. I would love to learn more, but it's all a matter of time."

Outside music, Cherkassky loves to travel, and spends brief vacations in some of the hotter places on the globe. Sleeping and eating are well regulated, and a key to his remarkable health and strength. "I sleep between nine and ten hours every night, and very deeply. I never drink alcohol. On the day of a concert I eat a huge lunch, then sleep in the afternoon from about 3.30pm to 5pm. I then have a thermos of tea and some fruit in the hotel before going to the hall".

As we finished our chat, I became more and more aware of paradoxes of Cherkassky: his spartan, tiny flat with its huddled baby-grand piano (only two pedals) and the luxuriant opulence of his pianism; his rigid routine and stopwatch working methods, and his audaciously free rhythm and rubato - recitals stretching out with armfuls of encores; and the final contradiction of course is the most obvious - a man celebrating his eightieth birthday whose youthfulness, in appearance as well as energy, is totally unique.

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