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Hymns - Spheres
Hymns - Spheres
Price: £19.10

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! Hymns/Spheres in all its glory, 19 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hymns - Spheres (Audio CD)
Finally we have the release that we Jarrett fans have been clamouring for since Noah built the Ark - the full double album of Hymns/Spheres available for the first time on CD. It's been a long wait, but it's worth it in the long run.

These improvisations may not be to everyone's taste (I would suggest, for someone new to Jarrett's music, that they start with the Koln Concert before diving in the deep end here), but I personally found the work challenging and moving by turns. There is some noticeable hiss in quieter sections when listening on headphones, but the sound of the organ itself is fantastic. Folks who are interested in Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and the organ works of Olivier Messiaen should investigate this. Highly recommended.

Well done ECM - now, how about releasing the full three-record set of the 1981 Bregenz/Munich concerts on CD?


Perrier Andy Warhol Sparkling Mineral Water Can (24 x 33 cl)
Perrier Andy Warhol Sparkling Mineral Water Can (24 x 33 cl)
Offered by 118store-com
Price: £14.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perrier sparkling mineral water (24x330ml cans), 6 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nice to see this on the market again - I seem to remember these years ago (and I also think there was a variety that included a lemon flavour).

This makes a refreshing alternative to all the sugary drinks out there, and the canned version somehow tastes better than the bottled one.

Cheers Amazon. Well done - will certainly be ordering these again.


Hamerik: The Symphonies (Symphonies Nos.1-7; Requiem)
Hamerik: The Symphonies (Symphonies Nos.1-7; Requiem)
Price: £38.60

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting..., 17 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The music of Asger Hamerik was an unknown quantity to me until I happened to come across this set on Amazon. The seven symphonies are (for the most part) what I would consider typical late-romantic era music, which is quite pleasant to listen to. The Requiem is a moving, powerful work that should be heard more widely.

The performances by both the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Radio SO are first rate and well recorded. Conductor Thomas Dausgaard, the orchestras, choir and soloist are to be commended for bringing the music of what I would imagine to be a little-known composer to our attention.


Dvorįk: String Quartets (DG Collectors Edition)
Dvorįk: String Quartets (DG Collectors Edition)
Price: £19.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Czech chamber music, 13 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
On these nine discs you have every note that Dvorak wrote for the string quartet - 14 numbered quartets, two separate quartet movements, a fragment and the piece called "Cypresses". These are played by the Prague String Quartet who obviously have this music very close to their hearts.

I have spent the past few days listening to the full set (taking it at 2-3 discs a day), and this is absolutely beautiful music. The recordings were made between December 1973 and 1977, although they don't show their age at all, being wonderfully clear.

It's hard to say which is my favourite piece as they are all equally good. I know these recordings were considered as the benchmark for many years and it is certainly not difficult to see why.

If you want to investigate the romantic era string quartet, this would be an ideal place to start. This is music that will move your soul and carry you away. I cannot recommend this set highly enough - and this written by someone who (in his teenage years) used to think chamber music was boring!

Buy, listen and enjoy - you'll find it's well worth it.


Langgaard - String Quartets
Langgaard - String Quartets
Offered by JILcat
Price: £25.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quizzical composer writes some nice quartets, 8 Feb. 2012
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From everything I have ever read about Rued Langgaard I gathered that his music was so unusual that he was not recognised as a composer in his own lifetime and was considered one of the "odd bods" of the music world. Having said that, this set is a pleasant surprise.

This set is not the complete quartets. I have checked up on the web and found that, in addition to quartets 2-6 and the variations on "O Sacred Head now wounded" included here, he wrote a first (numbered) quartet (which a fellow reviewer on Amazon US has indicated was reworked into quartets 4 and 5), an unnumbered A-flat quartet from 1918 (approximately 22 minutes long) and a 28-minute piece for string quartet called "Rosengaard Play". It would have been interesting to have the full set, but what we have here is very nice.

Some of Langgaard's music can be obscure and angular (Quartet 2 strikes me this way), but some works have a type of beauty. My personal favourite is Quartet 6, while the opening movement of Quartet 5 is also very attractive. Other individual movements also have their merits.

The music is excellently performed by the Kontra Quartet, who have also recorded the complete quartets of Nielsen and Holmboe. The recording is very good, and the set can be recommended to anyone with an interest in late-romantic Nordic music. Thanks to Dacapo for providing us with this insight into one of the more interesting composers.


New Horizons: Volume 2
New Horizons: Volume 2
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neophonic Niceties, 8 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: New Horizons: Volume 2 (Audio CD)
This is the second of two volumes in the "New Horizons" series issued by the very enterprising Tantara label, and it's every bit as good as the first. The first disc features the Los Angeles Neophonic Orchestra conducted by Stan Kenton in a concert recorded in March 1965. This again features ambitious, complex compositions sometimes verging on the "third stream" combination of jazz and classical music, and most of the items are receiving their world premiere performances. It's all good, exciting music, but the last two items stand out for me. These are "The Invisible Orchard" by Shorty Rogers that clocks in at 21 minutes (the track is listed as "excerpts", so one wonders how long the whole piece is), and "Il Saltimbocca", a 16-minute clarinet tour de force featuring Buddy de Franco as soloist. Hear and marvel!

The second disc is a series of mostly live performances by the New York Neophonic Orchestra and the Neophonic Jazz Orchestra, both conducted by Joel Kaye and recorded over a number of years. This disc is more or less a showcase for the composing and arranging talents of Johnny Richards (who wrote or arranged 10 of the 14 tracks), with some other works by Ray Starling and Joel Kaye. These are much shorter than some of the pieces on disc one, and my personal favourites are "La Suerte de los Tontos" (The Fate of Fools) and the album closer, a great version of "Caravan". Kenton may not be conducting, but these boys certainly know how to swing.

If you like big band jazz, you'll love this. The recording quality may be slightly rough in places, but dive in and enjoy. Highly recommended!


Daylight Moonlight: Live In Ya
Daylight Moonlight: Live In Ya
Price: £11.14

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another live joy from Kitaro, 6 Feb. 2012
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I am delighted to finally have heard this album after many years searching for it. The concert features many well-known pieces by the composer, plus some that haven't been played for a while. The recording is excellent, and the fact of it being recorded in a temple adds a spiritual dimension to the proceedings. Incidentally, just take a listen to the harmonies when all the monks' voices come in on the opening track - that's a real "hair on the back of the neck" moment for me.

The concert ideally should be seen as a composite work, but standout tracks for me are "Mercury", "Magma" and "Water of Mystery". The closing version of "Heaven and Earth" is quite different from the version on the "Enchanted Evening" album - much more restrained with no overdome electric guitars. IMHO this album is far superior to "Enchanted Evening". Highly recommended.


An Enchanted Evening
An Enchanted Evening
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maestro Kitaro enchants and delights, 6 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: An Enchanted Evening (Audio CD)
I bought this disc for Christmas to replace a copy that I gave to someone as a present years ago. I remember it made a vivid impression on me when I first heard it, and if anything, a few years down the line it sounds even better.

Recorded live (some information about the venue and date would have been interesting), this, I think, is one of Kitaro's best. My personal favourites are "Dance of Sarasvati", "Spirit of Taiko", a lovely version of "Silk Road", "Kokoro" and "Heaven and Earth".

I'm currently burning in my new pair of Sennheiser HD 380s, and this disc was a marvellous test for them. Every note came through clear as a bell, the phones coped well with a number of changes of dynamics and sound levels, and the clarity of the recording gave you the impression of sitting in the middle of the band. All I can say is - WOW!

This disc really should be heard. If you enjoy music by artists such as Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, Rick Wakeman or Tangerine Dream - go on, jump in!


Music for Zen Meditation: Remastered
Music for Zen Meditation: Remastered
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £13.33

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oasis of peace, 5 Feb. 2012
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I first came across this music on vinyl in the 1970s during one of my rambles round the record shops in Johannesburg during my teenage years. 35 years or so later, I finally got round to buying a copy - and found out what I'd been missing.

This is definitely not jazz, nor would I describe it as particularly new-age music - rather an early essay into the realms of world music. The three instruments (clarinet, koto and shakuhachi) create a wonderful interplay, quiet music to lose yourself in.

Obviously geared to assist with meditation, this won't be to everyone's taste, but if you have an interest in Eastern cultures (as I do) or you perhaps want to relax or unwind at the close of a hard day, this may well appeal to you. This really did bring a sense of peace to me.

The remastering of the 1964 recording is extremely well done, and the stereo channel separation is excellent.


Harmony Of The Spheres
Harmony Of The Spheres
Price: £12.88

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful harmonies..., 5 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Harmony Of The Spheres (Audio CD)
This is my first experience of the late Neil Ardley's music, and it's a marvel. A seven-movement suite featuring some of the foremost names in British jazz-rock, this is music that cries out to be heard.

The seven tracks follow one another without a break, and it's not easy to pick out favourite tracks as they are all excellent. Though "Headstrong, Headlong" is powerful and the closing "Towards Tranquility" quite beautiful.

The playing by all members of the ensemble is masterly, and the 1978-79 recording reproduces wonderfully on my sound system, with each instrument clear as a bell and excellent channel separation.

I know 1970s fusion/jazz-rock is very often derided, but if you enjoy extended instrumental suites that are well performed, you should try this.

Thanks for the music, Neil. May you rest in peace.

I hope that one of the more enterprising labels will reissue Neil's "Symphony of Amaranths" at some future date.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2014 7:58 AM BST


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