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Cosima Wagner: The Lady of Bayreuth
Cosima Wagner: The Lady of Bayreuth
by Oliver Hilmes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb account of a fascinating (not in a good way) character, 19 Mar. 2017
A superb account of a fascinating (not in a good way) character. I found the style and pace meant that I was unable to put this book down and read it a week which is quick for me. All in all the Wagner's seem to have been a pretty repulsive lot!


Trixie Cuddly Cave for Hamsters, 14 x 11, Brown
Trixie Cuddly Cave for Hamsters, 14 x 11, Brown
Offered by WUNDAPETS
Price: £6.98

2.0 out of 5 stars my hamster made a whole in it;, 30 July 2016
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my hamster made a whole in it ;( how hes still living i don't know it looks charming but mine destroyed it


Brow Shaper Hair Removal Dermaplaning Tool Set of 2 Pink Leopard Print Colletion Pain Free, Safe and Portable. Great for Eyebrows, Peach Fuzz and all Types of Facial Hair
Brow Shaper Hair Removal Dermaplaning Tool Set of 2 Pink Leopard Print Colletion Pain Free, Safe and Portable. Great for Eyebrows, Peach Fuzz and all Types of Facial Hair
Offered by Instant Beauty Fix
Price: £14.95


Puccini: The Operas
Puccini: The Operas
Price: £33.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... quality of sound on these gorgeous recordings is very good, considering that some of them come from the ..., 30 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Puccini: The Operas (Audio CD)
I would only add to previous reviews that the quality of sound on these gorgeous recordings is very good, considering that some of them come from the late 1950's. They are all in stereo and well remastered.


Becoming Queen
Becoming Queen
by Kate Williams
Edition: Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful insight into the lives of one unknown royal princess and one of the best known., 26 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Becoming Queen (Audio CD)
An enthralling read about the tragically cut short life of Princess Charlotte and how that event led to Queen Victoria becoming queen. The narrative never loses interest and the liberal use of quotes gives a great insight into the characters portrayed. George IV comes across as odious, his brothers hardly any better and the young Queen Victoria as single minded. I yearn for the author to write a second book charting Victorias life from 1841, where this book left off onwards to 1901. Very well and entertainingly written.


The Jagged Green Line
The Jagged Green Line
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story of love for a man and for a place, 22 Dec. 2014
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A really good love story and written by someone who has obviously spent years imbibing the spirit of Cyprus, its people and its landscapes.


Serenade Haffner K250
Serenade Haffner K250
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £40.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best Haffner Serenade., 21 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Serenade Haffner K250 (Audio CD)
Had to review after playing this CD again last night. I have this version and one by Neville Marriner and the Academy. Now let me first say the Harnoncourt I am reviewing is big sound, large orchestra and booming brass and those who like smaller ensembles will perhaps dissaprove, but rest assured it is the very symphonic sound world that makes this interpretation electrifying. Witness the start of the main Allegro first movement with it's surging theme (perhaps the very moment when Mozart reached creative maturity). The pulsating finale is also intoxicating. I am a great Marriner version but his smaller feeling version just sounds limp next to Harnoncourt. It may not be Mozart as he would have heard it, but it is perhaps Mozart as he would have chosen to hear a work where he is clearly flexing his creative muscles to the limit, if he was alive in the modern orchestra world. Shame this recording seems to be going gradually out of circulation. By it now if u want a new dimension Haffner. I've got to buy Harnoncourts Posthorn Serenade now even though I love Marriners interpretation.


Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
by Matthew Boyden
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music, shame about the man!, 14 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Richard Strauss (Hardcover)
Matthew Boyden's biography of Richard Strauss is at all times highly readable and avoids the over technicality of many music biographies. A good biography is one that you don't want to put down and this is definitely in this category. However if you want the man to live up to the music, you will find little in this book to give you comfort. Strauss comes across as egotistical and self driven to the point of nausea, his greed for money at the expense sometimes of musical value is sometimes hard to swallow and his at best neutral attitude to Nazi Germany and its leaders will also put many off the man and even some off his music. My only criticism is that one often looks in vain for something positive about the man and although the author extols the virtues of the music, he does at times seem to take a very anti Strauss view of the man. In regards to vanity, one could cite several other great composers, not the least Wagner, and a certain amount of selfishness seems to be a pre-requisite of genius from the many biographies I have read. Strauss' greed for money and status is less common in composers who generally have quite a bad business sense, but in this materialistic age can one really criticise Strauss for perhaps being one of the first materialistic composers! In regards to the Nazi era, although it is difficult to defend Strauss for his laisse-faire attitude and for seeming to say that as a composer he was above politics, it must be remembered that Strauss was aged 70 when Hitler came to power, and how many of us in our retirement years would have railed against Hitler! I have also read more sympathetic views of Strauss' during the Nazi era, which emphasise that he did try to help some of his Jewish relatives in the camps, insisted on the Jewish Librettist Zweig's name featuring on an opera billing and had at least some regrets when he realised the extent that the Nazi's had in fact destroyed Germany and it's people. This said, this is a very fine biography, I would just like to read one that maybe was a bit more pro Strauss the man, to get a balance. In conclusion though the truth may well be summed up in Toscanini's quote 'To Strauss the musician I take my hat off, to Strauss the man I put it back on again'.


Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps
Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps
by Anne Applebaum
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.38

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read, 14 Dec. 2010
I am currently reading this book and approaching the end. I knew a little about the horrors of the Soviet prison camps before reading this book, but the true scale and depth of the arrests, shootings and depravities committed and endured is what this book conveys so brilliantly. The horrors of the Nazi concentration camps are well known. The horrors of the Soviet Camps, where millions died of hunger, cold, being shot for no crime at all and forced labour is an episode in history that is less well documented. This is what makes Anne Applebaum's account all the more valuable. It is one of those books that once you start reading it compels you to continue, with a kind of morbid curiosity and a sense of disbelief at how a regime could treat its citizens in this way. Such history should be taught at all schools so that future generations can learn from it and also be inspired by some of the things people survived and the courage shown by some to stand up to the regime. Imagine every night living in fear of a knock at the door, being dragged from your home and family and sent to the Arctic wastelands of Russia from where you may never return. The wealth of detail in the book betrays the massive amount of research that the author must have undertaken. At the same time the book is never dry, like a lot of history books can be.

If you want a powerful narrative and to learn about the evils of the Stalin era and beyond this is the perfect choice. Well worth 5 stars.


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