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Profile for Walter Meersman > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Walter Meersman (Antwerp, Flanders, Europe)

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Europe's Last Summer: Why the World Went to War in 1914
Europe's Last Summer: Why the World Went to War in 1914
by David Fromkin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No good if you're after the truth, 26 Aug. 2013
This is very old-fashioned history writing : preconceived, prejudiced and partial. Good propaganda, bad for History. The kind of book that could have been written in 1919. There are far better books available on the subject for those who wish to understand how the First World War really came to be.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2013 8:26 PM BST

Hearts of Iron 3 (PC DVD)
Hearts of Iron 3 (PC DVD)
Price: £6.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent game, 24 Mar. 2010
The game is now well patched (as of 1.3 and upcoming patch 1.4 shortly to be released)) and plays almost without a hitch. It may still slow down at times but a restart of the game fixes that. Whoever liked Hearts of Iron II should not hesitate to plunge into III as well. A wonderful game and a huge success considering the towering complexity required of the game engine and the AI.
The use and function of HQs and the multiplication (x4) of the number of provinces, alongside some other changes and/or improvements make for a whole new experience that adds more tactical reality to the warfare.
Not to be missed if you're intested in this sort of thing.

Chariots of War
Chariots of War
Offered by Satsumo
Price: £7.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good, actually, 4 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Chariots of War (Video Game)
The game is turn-based, simple and addictive, a pleasure to play.
The subject matter is also historically highly original.
Not all games must be complicated, let alone nerve racking. Some variety is more than welcome.

Beethoven: Symphonies; Overtures /Anima Eterna ∑ van Immerseel
Beethoven: Symphonies; Overtures /Anima Eterna ∑ van Immerseel
Price: £23.06

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradise never lost and yet regained, 3 Feb. 2010
Here is a Beethoven symphony cycle (again) on period instruments (again). So why should it stick out in the midst of dozens of other cycles ? Yet it does stick out.
These symphonies by Jos Van Immerseel and his small-scale orchestra Anima Eterna are all fresh, full of tintillating life. In fact, the orchestra is perfectly modelled on the size of the symphony orchestra in Beethoven's time, everything has been done in an effort to recreate the sound that Beethoven sought to create and that he would have heard (or wish to hear)himself. The details about the research and the production are explained in a well-written multilingual booklet included in the box.
The sounds. These symphonies are a wealth of sounds, I have never before heard the percussion so clearly and the same goes for practically every individual instrument and yet the music flows and sings with all instruments together, dynamically and harmoniously : this is pure heaven.
I'm very fond of Beethoven's symphonies and I have some two dozen complete cycles in my collection but this one went straight to the top as one of the very, very best.

These were my impressions after I bought the set some 18 months ago and they still hold, even though a few more cycles have since come to caress my senses (and enhance my space-consuming collection). Van Immerseel's cycle is still unique and my favourite for sheer refreshing beauty that captures the attention no matter how often you've heard the music before.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Cased and DVD-ROM Pack
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Cased and DVD-ROM Pack
by Longman
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More fun than a computer game, 29 Sept. 2009
The LDCE dictionary is a beautiful piece of work, a joy to behold and read. If you love books, you'll love this one.
The DVD however is I think the star of this 5th edition : absolutely stunning as a reference work, a learning tool and an assistant when reading or writing an the computer. You can take a look at the DVD's extensive and very informative "guided tour" on Longman's website and yes, it really is that good.

Bruckner: The Symphonies
Bruckner: The Symphonies
Price: £11.47

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 7 Sept. 2009
Perhaps evidently not a first choice for the best version around but still very good. Could also be a good & cheap introduction to Bruckner or a widening of an existing collection as in my case.
The price is if anything too low for what it offers.

Der Ring Des Nibelungen [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Der Ring Des Nibelungen [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unequal quality, 18 July 2008
The Stuttgart Ring is a bit of a challenge.
Its parts are too unequal and too different to allow for a globalised review. What unites the parts is a more or less common iconoclastic approach which works better with some than with others. Directors too full of themselves make a travesty of Wagner in a futile attempt to replace natural genius by artificial originality.
In short, as I feel it : Rheingold **** is a good version all round, Walküre *** and Siegfried *** have their good moments as well as their weak ones : Walküre's Act I is really good, Acts II and III require some effort; I did in fact like Siegfried from beginning to end but this may have been facilitated by the comic element which Wagner built into it.
However, Götterdämmerung * is a travesty destined to show off how brilliant Konwitschny is (according to himself) but which by constantly irritating the viewer spoils the (few) moments when one might be favorably impressed with what is thrusted upon one's unsuspecting eyes.
The orchestra is always good, the singers are never less than adequate.
Still, all in all an interesting experience for the real Wagner lover (or collector). I haven't regretted its purchase but then I'm a collecting lover.

Wagner: Das Rheingold [DVD] [2005]
Wagner: Das Rheingold [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Falk Struckmann
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £21.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent show, 18 July 2008
This very recent production (2004)of the Rheingold is truly a joy to behold. Voices may be a little underweight here and there and the orchestra isn't Bayreuth but the music is certainly enjoyable, the acting is first class, the sets and costumes are timelessly mythological (as opposed to "historical" or exagerratedly "symbolical" and the film quality is of course up to present-day standards.
The visuals are to be preferred to Kupfer's earlier production at Bayreuth (1991). There are no real disappointments here and there is much to relish. No, perhaps there was one small disappointement: I felt Mime was overacting almost to parody, especially is in his dialogue with Loge. But there is so much more to be satisfied with.

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