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Antonio Robert (Slovakia)

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California
California
Price: £7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 22 Aug. 2016
This review is from: California (Audio CD)
The punk group hits home with "California". The album reminds of the great classic "American Idiot" by Green Day from 2004. Certainly one of the most pleasant surprises on the music scene in 2016.


Nelson Freire - Bach
Nelson Freire - Bach
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A different Bach - introspective and, most of all, romantic, 18 Aug. 2016
Nelson Freire makes Bach his very own. There is not a hint of polyphonic stuffiness and maze, which some critics state as critique of Bachian compositions, to be felt here. Everything is luminous, bright, yet thoughtful and accomplished. The Brazilian master infuses the great Baroque music with a special pathos, vulnerability and feeling. It will not be to everyone's liking - this is not a Bach of classical, scholarly style - but as a statement, it is very relevant. Comparisons with the great Wilhelm Kempff come to mind, there is a considerable cross-section of the same repertoire, for example of the English suites, they both recorded the No. 3 with its exquisite opening prelude. Freire opts for transcriptions of Busoni and Myra Hess (BWV147) instead of the equally beautiful Kempff ones. The total impression of this Bach is that is different, special and demanding repeated listens - not just to appreciate Bach style more, but also the Freire's.


Innocent Blood
Innocent Blood
by P. D. James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

5.0 out of 5 stars One of P. D. James' best ever, 16 May 2016
This review is from: Innocent Blood (Paperback)
This is a rare stab of PD James at psychological novel, and a very good one. The plot, concerning a young woman adopted into a well-to-do family, embarking on a journey to find her biological mother, is rather easy to follow. But the nuances and details of characters' actions are so well put together and motivated that they make a series of happening chances completely believable.
The novel is deliberately paced, yet very rewarding, Baroness James shows that - if she wanted - she would do without a great detective. Here, she did it on the level of best works written by her excellent peer, Ruth Rendell. The final 60 pages are action-packed but written in a very elegant, thoughtful manner. It makes for a beautiful reading experience.


Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas Nos 28-32, Op 101, 106, 109-111
Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas Nos 28-32, Op 101, 106, 109-111
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves other versions far behind., 10 May 2016
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This is just a splendid coupling of CDs. The celebrated performances of Maurizio Pollini from the mid-1970's are breathing such an immense amount of authenticity and sheer joie de vivre into the music. Compositionally, these are pieces which dwarf pretty much all of what this genre had seen before. Only Liszt and Schumann later came close with their sonatas, and not quite close, to the genius of (then already deaf!!) Beethoven. Pollini plays the enormously difficult Hammerklavier with supreme skill, while letting the slow part linger steadily, and all other movements of all sonatas are interpreted with such authority that it is rightly possible to call these versions definitive. The contrapunctal genius is quite astonishing in the No. 32, with Pollini giving all of himself to find and play it. Amazing, wonderful, marvellous. Words fail me.


Greatest Hits (Ger) (Us Import
Greatest Hits (Ger) (Us Import
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent pop songs standing test of time, 24 April 2016
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Take That ruled British charts for almost four years, similarly as the gender-levelling Spice Girls did after them. Taken chronologically backwards, from the last greatly successful single "How Deep Is Your Love" (in early 1996) to humble beginnings of the late 1991, this compilation faithfully chronicles eight British number ones Take That had in the UK plus just about all other hits of their career. Most of them were penned by Gary Barlow and these still sound rather fresh today, mostly the great smashes "Back For Good", and "Pray", although among the best cuts are definitely also the covers, the mentioned Bee Gee song, "Re-light My Fire" (recorded with LuLu) and the Barry Manilow's "Could It Be Magic". This is not a boy band close to Swedish-cute pop sounds of Backstreet Boys or 'NSync, or even similar to the very American Boyz II Men. Musically, they rather may be kin to New Kids On The Block, although the added British flair is completely theirs, and, here and there appears a hint of English R&B.


Abbey Road
Abbey Road
Offered by the_record_factory
Price: £9.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minutes of blissful nostalgia, 24 April 2016
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This review is from: Abbey Road (Audio CD)
Harrison's best two songs ever, Lennon's inspired rock-and-rolling, Starr's rare bolt of fun-and-creativity and McCartney's contrasting comic relief are making "Abbey Road" another unique Beatles album. Recorded as their last one, with songwriting honed to perfection, but never taking themselves too seriously, the Fab Four send lightnings of genius throughout the work. One of the most important messages of it also is, that covering these songs brings very risky results. I have heard some horrible versions of "Here Comes The Sun" and even Michael Jackson was a bit too bold when remaking "Come Together" for his 1995 album. These originals are simply untouchable. Other unforgettable moments come with guitar solo of "I Want You" and "Golden Slumbers" with its nakedly parenting "sleep pretty darling... do not cry." You won't, either. You'll marvel.


Notorious [1946] [DVD]
Notorious [1946] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cary Grant
Price: £4.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling chemistry between Cary and Ingrid, 24 April 2016
This review is from: Notorious [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
This movie really gets better with repeated viewings. This said, it must be added that the spying plot is now hopelessly dated – the only way of making it current would be getting back to bipolar world of Cold War era. What this movie stands out for is the perfect chemistry between the two leads. Cary Grant is cast against type as a cool, but sensitive and vulnerable secret service agent, while Ingrid Bergman carries the movie on her tall, graceful figure (and stylish outfits by the great Edith Head), as a daughter of American Nazi collaborator. Trying to make up for the reputation of her family, Bergman falls for Grant – and vice versa. One of the great romances of the world cinema, the film is enhanced by excellent script by Ben Hecht, sparklingly marvellous Grant-Bergman dialogues and sure hand of director Alfred Hitchcock with his unfailing sense of suspense. Also starring the dependable Claude Rains as Bergman's suitor.


Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Alfred Cortot, Vol.1
Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Alfred Cortot, Vol.1
Offered by rareclassicalcds
Price: £16.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past, 9 April 2016
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The career of Alfred Cortot just about ended with the end of World War II, and indeed, these recordings were made between 1923 and 1935. Technique the pianist had was brilliant and he had his own way with all pieces. From today's listening point, Chopin Etudes are still a highlight, a benchmark. Of Schumann on the second discs, the miniatures constitute a nice mosaic, which, of course, fails to make a "big picture" impression. On the other hand, Kreisleriana may well be the definitive version, trumping with sweeping drama even the versions of Horowitz, Argerich and Uchida.


Nikita Magaloff: Piano
Nikita Magaloff: Piano
Offered by martins bits
Price: £8.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless live recording by a mature master, 19 Feb. 2016
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This review is from: Nikita Magaloff: Piano (Audio CD)
Nikita Magaloff is known, among other things, for his complete Chopin recordings. This programme, recorded some eighteen months before his death, shows his very mature pianism. A representative of Russian piano school, Magaloff took a number of not very often recorded pieces, turning many of them into definitive live versions. These include "Les cloches de Geneve" of Liszt's "Années de Pélegrinage" (first year, Switzerland), and Mendelssohn's "Variations sérieuses." Very notable as well is the excellent version of 12 Etudes No. 8 by Scriabin. Chopin is represented by Valse Brillante Op. 34 No. 1 - with a lot of personality. All in all, a great testament to Magaloff's artistry.


Cockroaches: An early Harry Hole case
Cockroaches: An early Harry Hole case
by Don Bartlett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Just a "so-so" whodunit, 12 Feb. 2016
This was my fourth Nesbo I read (and on TV I have seen the rather implausible "Headhunters"). Following the excellent "Redeemer" (still by far the best of the four) and the overrated "Snowman", I decided to start chronologically. The Australia-situated "Bat" was decent for a debut, but with Thailand-set "Cockroaches" I was in for a disappointment. Overlong and in details too complicated for a regular reader (stock market and stuff), as a whodunit this is just mediocre (although all clues are there to discover the murderer and I was able to do so). The final fifty-or-so pages are nailbiting alright, almost making up for the slow pace of the book until then. I say almost, since the gory details and the depth of depravity of the culprit was just about too much for me to take. I plan to read "Son" and maybe "Police", as these have the ravest reviews. But with "Cockroaches", Jo Nesbo, for me, fell from the platform and became only one in a parade of many good detective writers.


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