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Mahler - Symphony No 6 (LSO Jansons)
Mahler - Symphony No 6 (LSO Jansons)
Offered by KAOZI168 Classical_ ''Dispatch within 1 day to the world ''
Price: £10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre, 9 Nov. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is difficult to see what the fuss was about with this recording. As a performance it by no means challenges the best and most characterful available, and as a recording (as with so many from this source) it belongs in the very bottom drawer, not the very top.


Mahler - Symphony No. 6
Mahler - Symphony No. 6
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £6.14

3.0 out of 5 stars Gustav and Bernard go for afternoon tea., 8 Nov. 2016
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This review is from: Mahler - Symphony No. 6 (Audio CD)
It is strange that so pleasant a character as Bernard Haitink should so divide opinion. Some find him dull, neutral, lacking in energy, devoid of interpretative insight. Others find him unfailingly musical, self-effacing, balanced, lucid. On many occasions I am in the latter camp. I admire much of his Bruckner, his LSO Beethoven Symphonies contain some superb things (even if they do sound like they were recorded in a small under-the-stairs cupboard). The VW cycle is, I reckon, the best there is. I remember my Dad coming back from a concert at the Free Trade Hall, in Manchester: he had just heard Haitink conduct the LPO in the Elgar 2nd Symphony. He pronounced it the best concert he had heard (he had heard Furtwangler conduct the Brahms 4th Symphony and Richard Strauss conduct Kirsten Flagstones in the Four Last Songs). Anyway - I have, until now, never paid attention to Haitink's Mahler, and I am sure therefore that he has recorded much better Mahler than this. This though, for me anyway, is a non-starter in this symphony. There are positives: the orchestral playing is superlative and the recording is magnificent, rich, deep and clear. As an interpretation though - well it isn't really an interpretation - Haitink (as is often the case) simply wants the music to speak for itself, but in this piece, of all pieces, that just won't do. Mahler's (I think greatest) symphony pits terror of mortality against a heroic desire to survive, to never relinquish the joys and the beauties of life, even though we are doomed to. If the music does not make the contrast sufficiently between the terror, and the heroic and the beautiful, then the piece cannot make its emotional impact. Bernstein (in my view) is all terror - his hero just gets beaten up over and over again, it is brutal, scary maybe, but he misses the point, as does Solti. Tennstedt is spot on, especially caught live. Karajan is superb and probably best of all. Haitink simply makes no contrast whatever between the different aspects of the symphony. It is not a matter of tempo either - Barbirolli shows that you can choose grim tempi and still maintain tension as well as making the romantic moments take wing, but with Haitink the whole piece, heroic or doom-laden, lacks drive and energy. It often sounds very beautiful, but it is never heroic, and it is never frightening, or even a little bit tense. It is simply lackluster.
A safe recommendation, in the most pejorative sense.


Brahms: The Four Symphonies, Violin Concerto & other popular works
Brahms: The Four Symphonies, Violin Concerto & other popular works

5.0 out of 5 stars True bargain., 27 Oct. 2016
This compilation is a winner. True the Halle do not have the absolute whack of the Berlin Phil, but I'm not sure the Brahms Symphonies require it, a bit of air in the texture doesn't hurt. These are real performances though, of a piece with themselves, beautifully played and richly, even glowingly recorded. Nothing here is for massive effect, although dramatic moments certainly tell. But there is balance between the lyrical and the darker side, between the dramatic and the relaxed, so that the whole cycle is deeply satisfying. On top of the four excellent symphony performances you also get much else, including a really cracking Violin Concerto and an absolutely superb (truly) Alto Rhapsody, with a dark toned Bernadette Greevy simply eating up the solo part.
A fabulous bargain - All hail the minnows!


Mahler: Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"
Mahler: Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"
Price: £15.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a top contender, 27 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Boxy sound and a performance that skates (hurriedly) over the surface.
In no way a match for Tennstedt's extraordinary account on the same label either as a performance or as sound.


Symphony No. 5 (Welser-Most, Lpo)
Symphony No. 5 (Welser-Most, Lpo)
Price: £11.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot stuff, 26 Oct. 2016
This symphony, in Karajan's epic and magisterial performance, changed my life.
In theory I ought not to like this, very rapid, rendition, but, in fact, I absolutely love it, and would keep it, along with the Karajan, in preference to any other recording I have heard, which are Sinopoli (YAAAAAWWWWN), Jochum in Dresden (CRUUUUUDE), Barenboim in Berlin (why bother when the Karajan is so much better?), Chailly in Amsterdam (DULL) Haitink in Amsterdam (Honest, but plain stuff).
The LPO play like their seats are on fire and the recording is simply SPLENDID. The whole thing feels like it was meant to happen. The slow movement somehow manages to find a slower tempo within the actually very fast one, I find it very moving.
This is one of those recordings which could not be a first or only choice (Karajan every time in Bruckner 5) but which Bruckner lovers should hear.
A triumph.


Mahler: Symphony No.3 (2 CDs)
Mahler: Symphony No.3 (2 CDs)
Price: £10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Superbly recorded but overrated, 23 Oct. 2016
Mahler's Third Symphony is a riot of the imagination. It (along with the 7th) shows his approach to symphonic writing at its most individual, its most characteristic, and its most utterly bonkers! It is beautiful, stirring, maddening, naïve and gorgeous, all at the same time. Chailly's performance is superbly played by an orchestra with great depth of tone, beauty of sound, and unanimity of execution. It is also superbly recorded, every strand of the texture can be heard; climaxes are rich, spacious and powerful. Unfortunately it is also DULL, DULL and DULL.
To my ears Chailly simply doesn't get it: he is ponderous when he should be exciting; serious when he should be playful, smiling and relaxed; straight laced when he should be unbuttoned; and reverent when he should be romantic and passionate.
Bernstein (Sony, not DG) and Tennstedt get to the heart of the thing from beginning to end.


Beethoven: Symphony No.9 'Choral'
Beethoven: Symphony No.9 'Choral'
Price: £8.62

3.0 out of 5 stars Vastly overrated, 18 Oct. 2016
The first two movements are rapid, quickfire, no more than efficient in my book, lacking the required grandeur. The third movement is prettified and soupy. As to the finale - not long ago I was in my car with my daughter (she sings in choirs a lot - as do I) and the finale of this recording was playing. She said, "This choir are terrible," and they are - elderly sounding, and strained. For good singing Solti's (first) Chicago recording is the one to beat, but his slow movement is dead in the water. Klemperer is better in the slow movement (one of his greatest moments) and also has a superbly sung finale, but his second movement lumbers. Tennstedt (twice caught live) is better altogether, but you have to put up with less than state of the art recording, and audience noise. Probably there is no perfect recording of this symphony... except for Norrington's of course.

(that was a joke)


Picos de Europa: Car Tour and Walks (Landscapes)
Picos de Europa: Car Tour and Walks (Landscapes)
by Teresa Farino
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good as far as it goes, 28 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a reliable guide and contains some good walks. When the author says that walks may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers, he can be trusted.
But - it is perfectly possible for the ordinary common or garden British fell-walker to climb higher, and to have more adventurous walks in the Picos, than any of the walks in this book.


Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4
Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4
Offered by digitalmediadistribution
Price: £7.24

5.0 out of 5 stars An improvement, 28 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very good performances - in superb sound. Preferable to Davis' Boston recordings of the same works.


Vango Trail 35 Litre Rucksack, Black, One Size
Vango Trail 35 Litre Rucksack, Black, One Size
Offered by Summits outdoor
Price: £21.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not an improvement, 28 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is not as good as the previous incarnation of the Trail 35, especially for big people.


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