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R. Simmonds "essex man" (England)
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Bach: Christmas Cantatas
Bach: Christmas Cantatas
Price: £7.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Bach to buy, no question., 13 Dec. 2016
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Yes at first thought this CD would be selected for playing at Christmas but no this is to be played all year - it is absolutely divine. The orchestration is so light and delicate which really suits that more cosy feeling one associates with Christmas. The vocals are clear albeit that one can appreciate that German is not the soloists first language. The recording is crystal clear with just the right amount of depth associated with a church.
Overall this is a beautiful CD and most enjoyable. I can only fully recommend it, not just for December but throughout the year. Great music and lovely performers. Buy it is all I can say.


The Frog 1956-62 [German Import]
The Frog 1956-62 [German Import]
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £9.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Ben`s still as smooth as silk, 1 Sept. 2016
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I`m sure the other person who reviewed this CD is correct however despite the technical issues this cut of various tracks from Ben Webster works pretty well. Yes the recordings do not have that clarity we have all come to expect from the CD age but the the playing is still as smooth as silk. I guess its all about horses for courses and I would be the first one to say that my hearing is regrettably no longer as keen as trained gundog . The music is still great and in my opinion, listenable and evocative of the age.
My one and only love, Night and day, My ideal, and Where or when all feature Art Tatum and for me what is nice to hear is Tatum playing tracks on the same CD as Peterson. I think its this feature makes the CD worth buying especially at these very low prices.


Debussy: Piano Works
Debussy: Piano Works

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sample of Debussys works for piano., 27 Aug. 2016
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This review is from: Debussy: Piano Works (Audio CD)
This programme of Debussy works is well chosen and gives one a good sense of the diverse piano music he wrote. The 2 arabesques are beautiful and the acoustic really aids the watery theme - recording took place at a church I know well (St Johns Church, Loughton, Essex). Other highlights are of course Clair de Lune and the beautiful Reverie and La Cathedrale Engloutie. I think this CD is designed to introduce you to Debussy and it certainly achieves that really well. The playing and recording are excellent in the slower watery passages but when things quicken up the resonance does somewhat blur the sound, such as in Passepied. Even if you have a better knowledge of Debussys work this is a good mix for not too demanding listening. At the price of this disc secondhand you really can't go wrong.


LIVIVO ® Solid Brass 2-Way Double Outside Garden Tap Adaptor & Hose Connectors 3/4" Watering Flowering Gardening Multi-purpose
LIVIVO ® Solid Brass 2-Way Double Outside Garden Tap Adaptor & Hose Connectors 3/4" Watering Flowering Gardening Multi-purpose

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every outside tap should have one., 3 Aug. 2016
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This is a great product. Simply screw to your outside tap and magically you have two outlets so you can keep your hose connected whilst also being able to fill the watering can. I went for the brass version rather than the (more expensive) hozelock plastic version simply so that it could be left on throughout the year without fear of frost damage. It's a delightfully simple idea, well made in nice solid brass. No leaks from anywhere and fits in a minute. Quick and free delivery. Really useful - every tap should have one!


Brahms - The Composer
Brahms - The Composer

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great find, 6 July 2016
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This review is from: Brahms - The Composer (Audio CD)
I bought this first and foremost as a lover of Brahms and secondly as it was cheap it didn't look like a big risk if it was poor quality etc. However I have to plead as being pleasantly surprised. Turning to disc 1, the 2nd piano concerto is split over 2 cds, half on each. As far as the line up goes the pianist is Hans Richter- Hasser who was pretty unknown to me but see ratels this recording with Von Karajan and the Berlin Phil seems very well regarded and I would not disagree - sound may be a bit distant/big hall but good definition to all the players and good balance between piano and orchestra. Also included is a cracking copy of Symphony No1 where the sound is more direct and full as befits Brahms 1st. CD2 obviously contains second half of the piano concerto with perhaps one of the great recordings of the Violin Concerto with Menuhin and Rudolf Kempe and the Berlin Phil again. This was recorded one year earlier in 1957 but don't be down on that - the sound is good rounded analogue with superb balance again between orchestra and soloist. This is perhaps the standout recording for me and probably makes it worth the price for this one disc alone. In addition we get the Tragic Overture, well played but as it usually us, there to fill up the CD. Finally, incredibly we get on CD no 3 the German Requiem. Here again we have Von Karajan with the Berlin Phil recorded in 1976. I confess to not having this in my top ten pieces of music and haven't got much to compare it to beyond saying that the recording sounds pretty good to me.
At the price secondhand, this box set of 3 CDs is worth the cost for the Violin and Piano Concertos. If you're looking for sleeve notes I'm afraid there are none but the quality of the music and musicians make this a great find and at the price, a bargain not to be missed. If the piano concerto had been on one disc I'd have given it a full house but it's little hardship to swop discs - bit like turning over a vinyl record (all those years ago).


Baroque Orchestral Works (Pachelbel: Canon & Gigue; etc) /Pinnock
Baroque Orchestral Works (Pachelbel: Canon & Gigue; etc) /Pinnock
Price: £13.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baroque of the first order with a couple of special gems., 2 July 2016
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In this, the year of Trevor Pinnock's 70th birthday, this is a great album to taste what he has done in forming the English Concert to bring to audiences the sound of baroque music on authentic instruments . The first thing that strikes you on listening to the album is the uncluttered sound and the ability to discern each instrument. On each piece you feel really connected to the music in a very intimate way. The production and recording are of the first order.
If you are looking for a CD to put on at either end of the day to either relax you or gently to bring you into the world this is a great choice. The Purcell Chacony is beautiful written in 1680 for Charles II reign all when Purcell was only 21 - it's divine. Turning to the Charles Avison Concerto Grosso this is indeed an undiscovered gem. Apparently Avison, originally from Newcastle and a popular composer in his day, wrote concertos based on Scarlatti's harpsichord sonatas. This one is real baroque with all the feel and delicacy of that era. Each note is lingered on and appreciated.
The Purcell and the Avison then make this disc worth the price of admission for me. They are gems. A fully recommendable disc and in my view a demonstration disc quality recording. Enjoy it - I am.


Mozart: Piano Concerti 18 & 20
Mozart: Piano Concerti 18 & 20
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £14.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A superb recording of two contrasting concertos., 25 Jun. 2016
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Concerto 18 is represents the lighter side of Mozart which contrasts superbly with the minor key of Concerto 20 where there is that feel of conflict between piano and orchestra. The recording is absolutely top notch! Concerto 18 being recorded at one of my favourite locations Walthamstow Assembly Hall in 1984. The playing is absolutely superb with all the feeling you would expect from Ashkenazy, who performed those fabulous recordings of the Rachmaninov Concertos. Of particular note on this recording is the romance movement of 20 which is sublime - if you've never heard it buy the CD for this alone. This is beautiful music of the first order. Secondhand prices make this a bargain not to be missed.


Haydn: Cello Concertos
Haydn: Cello Concertos
Offered by WORLD WIDE MEDIA MARKET
Price: £33.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Mork [but no Mindy], 26 May 2016
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This review is from: Haydn: Cello Concertos (Audio CD)
Truls Mork is certainly a cellist worth following.These pieces are happy and light [with of course the obligatory adagio movements] and Mork manages to really get feeling into the playing which comes through to ones ear. Every note is crystal clear aided by a superb Norwegian Chamber Orchestra under the superb Iona Brown [ex Academy of St Martins in the Fields I think]. For anyone wishing to hear more of Truls Mork I can fully recommend his https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-Cello-Suites-Truls-Mork/dp/B0009PEYGM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464262299&sr=8-1&keywords=mork+bach+cello. He really does shed some new feel to these superb suites.
This recording then is a great recommendation. Beautifully clear recording, superbly balanced between soloist and orchestra. Definately a winner.


Elgar - Enigma Variations; In the South (Alassio); String Serenade
Elgar - Enigma Variations; In the South (Alassio); String Serenade
Price: £10.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sit back and hear every last detail as though you are there., 25 May 2016
Having been brought up early in my teens with Th Enigma Variations I possess numerous copies of this fantastic piece. So hearing something new and fresh is quite novel but I have to say this live recording is engaging from the first bar. The sound is so immediate and 'live' so much so that it brings the work to life with such a freshness and youthful feel. After this many of my other old favourites are going to sound staid and rather lifeless.
My advice to anyone would be to get a few readings of The Varitions as the speed and balance varies so much between conductors and orchestras. Whatever, the work will live as one of those supreme pieces where Elgar portrays all his friends through the medium of some wonderful music.
Buy this one for real sense that you are there hearing every detail. A real cracker of a recording which when added to the superb In The South and Serenade for Strings makes this an odd-on winner in my book. Enjoy it


Schumann: Cello Concerto
Schumann: Cello Concerto
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £73.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wunderbar, 13 Jan. 2016
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I bought this CD really to try to compare this recording with the identical programme from Heinrich Schiff [which I have previously reviewed]. Schumann: Cello Concerto
Frankly to my ear this is not an easy task. At the outset i would have to say that these are both excellent recordings of some superb works of the romantic cello repertoire. Buy either and honestly you cant go wrong. Yo Yo Ma cant do much wrong in my book. That said I think I would put the Schiff ahead by a gnats whisker in all the pieces with the exception of the Cello Concerto. His playing has that more emotional languid feel which really does it for me. This may show in the longer times taken by Schiff on every piece with the exception of the Cello Concerto.
In this live [with what can only be described as an extremely quiet audience] recording its the Cello Concerto, with the Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis, that just comes over fuller and slightly better balanced but as with so much music, so many of these things are down to personal preference, not to mention the quality of our hearing! Interestingly, comparing the timings Yo Yo is slower in the Cello Concerto [25mins 37 sec] against Schiff on 22 min 07secs.
Overall then my advice is buy this record and enjoy it. At the price of the secondhand copies its definately worth buying the two and getting the best of all worlds.Sit back and enjoy.


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