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Parade of Hilarious Reviews

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Initial post: Apr 9, 2012 7:51:07 AM PDT
Dichterliebe says:
In our browsing here at Amazon and elsewhere, we've all read reviews that make for some truly priceless reading. (Who knows? We may have even written some of them.) Some are intentionally funny but it's the unintentional that get most of my laughs. Some are ignorant but they're still delightful because they're sincere. Some are axe-grinding, some are projection, etc.

If you come across a particularly good one, please share it here. Copy/paste or post links.

I'll start with short example:

Item reviewed: Mahler 150th Anniversary Edition


"I am not an expert on details and nuances of music recording technology but at least the first symphony is rendered impotent by a very weak opening. The opening note is hard to hear and the intoduction is barely audible. Strange!"

3 stars out of 5 on a 16-CD boxed set due to the above 'flaw'.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 8:21:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2012 8:51:58 AM PDT
Gwac says:
I remember a review of Grumiaux's solo Bach that was posted before mine. It made me feel totally uncreative in how I describe music. I think he has made some changes since the initial review but many of the entertaining descriptors are still there. I really like this review.

5.0 out of 5 stars; Title: Belgian Waffle, May 13, 2011
By (name deleted) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Bach: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (Audio CD)

Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin played by Grumiaux are ethereal. At times, his tonality gives a neonylon impression as though what is being heard is a synthesized woodwind. The colors are predominantly cool (i.e. blues, greens, indigos). Other times, it seems there are bells ringing and bubbles swirling at the points where the dimensional harmonies he achieves meet.

Despite his more prevalent discipline, as opposed to say Milstein (who almost seems to be composing as he plays, pulling off starkly unique feats), Grumiaux achieves some of the same relationships of texture, tone, speed, and power which are those that are most often unruly occurrences. For example, listen to the consistency of his technique in Gavotte en Rondeau ... not only does his tempo go in and out of a vortex, the notes therein slice so on a silver surfboard. The latter third of this piece, however, is given to feeling indiscriminately rushed.

The Bm Sarabande and Tempo de Borea are also exemplary of Grumiaux's middle-of-the road position as far as effectively employing some dissonance, but not in so extensive a manner that the music threatens to fall apart. This has both pros and cons - there is excitement and triumph in flirting with spontaneity, but equal risk as well. (For heroic examples of incredibly unpredictable successes listen to Milstein's Bm Sarabande, Am Fuga, or Ciaconna). There is immense and terrifying power as well on the Gm Fuga by Grumiaux, much as some say of Kremer's performance of it. If Kremer is tenderly metaphysical, Grumiaux is cosmically mystical.

Grumiaux's performance of the EM Prelude is my absolute favorite. It's a perfect delight. The tempo of it is wisely slower than most. I say wisely because Hahn and Fischer arbitrarily slow down so many of these pieces with little payoff (except for a couple of effective executions like the EM Loure), while equally hurrying others. I find it extremely odd. This Preludio's tempo, however, allows it a warranted opportunity to expand. There is a searingly brilliant quality to the dueling music lines before the one falls away into a meditative diffusion which will be upon the listener before he/she realizes how emotionally moving it is. It's like finding Jesus covering you up because you unintentionally fell asleep.

Similarly airy qualities are brilliant on the Am Andante, the Dm Giga, and the Allegro assai. Even with the lauded church production of Holloway's recordings, his Dm Giga is no more the better than Grumiaux's, which wafts like a misty fog up into a hazed rainbow architecture - at once the speed of light and static. The harmonies are so soft, it sounds like there is a myriad of crystalline female angels belting backup vocals 150 feet away.

Grumiaux's playing reveals those qualities which Bach's compositions were purported to have and which always had me so willfully intrigued before I began to discover them - those qualities being spinning spirals of notes and clustered planes of harmony, the consequent processions of which are startlingly profound."

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 8:35:24 AM PDT
Dichterliebe says:
That is a GREAT review. Very creative and very, very funny. Possibly tongue-in-cheek but I like to think it's completely honest. Even the title's a hoot considering Grumiaux's status -- he'd love it.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 8:50:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2012 8:52:18 AM PDT
Gwac says:
Another one came to mind. This one is of Gardiner's Beethoven Symphonies. Gardiner fans be warned: sense of humor required for admittance ;-)

7 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars; Title: The Little Engines that Almost Could, October 23, 2011
By (name deleted) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Beethoven: The Symphonies (Audio CD)

Now nine Thomas the Tank Engine-style locomotives embarked on an adventure. Back at the signals office, their boss was the Spry Controller. He was a man who kept his feelings to himself. He was also thoroughly convinced of his own rectitude. According to some, he knew the signals and the vagaries of the line like few others - yes indeed.

There were Trains One and Two: Bash and Dash, whom no-one really cared about. The third train was named Napoleon. He was an extrovert and a noisy one at that. Lady was the fourth train. She was more demur than the others - marginally. The fifth train was our friend Captain who was the most famous of them all - and boy, did he know it. Daisy, who loved nothing more than a genial trip through the countryside, was the Sixth Train. Dancer was emblazoned with the Number 7. Clarabel, who was a real jokester, was Number Eight; Clarabel never received much attention but that did not curtail her high spirits. Diesel brought up the rear at Ninth. Some of other trains found Diesel to be a bit pretentious and solemn but he knew what he was about. Everyone wanted to ride Diesel. It was a joyful experience.

Dawn was upon them - it was the Day of the Big Adventure. At first light they set off together. With gusto, the Spry Controller urged them onwards. Now as much as they wanted to roam far and wide, an odyssey was beyond them. Sure, there were mountainous ridges and dark valleys on the line but their clipped little wheels and puny engines restricted them to the plains . It was a convivial journey. There was no rowdiness. Many a bright whistle was tooted. Corners were sprucely negotiated. Those little engines were working overtime. But it wasn't all pleasant: every so often they would run into those nasty German locomotives - controlled by Mad Willy or Almost Evil Herbert - who would brutalise our friends and push them off the tracks. With stout little hearts, our friend would dust themselves off and restart their journey. The Spry Controller pleaded with them to stay the course. Come the close of day, they spluttered back into the depot, somewhat sooty and worse for wear. Dancer was missing some wheels. The Spry Controller, attired in a tweed jacket, praised them for their doughty efforts. Perhaps it was not the most high powered or memorable trip to be made on the railway line but those little trains were damned proud of their efforts and who can blame them?

Now, there is a rival train-line run by Crazy Nick Beethoven-Harnoncourt: 9 Symphonies. Its engines have far more horsepower and they are not deterred by those beastly locomotives from Germany. Perhaps it also warrants a tale or two.

Toot toot. Toot toot. "

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 9:03:00 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 16, 2012 10:33:10 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 10:01:41 AM PDT
I enjoy these 2 appreciative reviews of Arvo Pärt's Alina:

"I think I like it. Well I like it- but it's hard to get way into this one. In one way it 'takes one away' and in another way- it doesn't go far enough in that regard. So you are stuck about 2/3 the way there. Know what I mean?"

"Alina is like listening to water. It obliterates all other sounds and events. I find it one of the most relaxing pieces of music I own. I rarely listen to the entire CD without falling asleep!"

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 10:04:31 AM PDT
KenOC says:
"...those nasty German locomotives - controlled by Mad Willy or Almost Evil Herbert - who would brutalise our friends and push them off the tracks. With stout little hearts..."

Well, I can't really tell what he thinks of Crazy Nick, but the review is great fun!

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 10:10:17 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Dec 17, 2012 4:47:33 PM PST]

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 10:44:45 AM PDT
Not classical but funny:

About >>Mudcrutch<< self-titled debut on

>>This was yet another plonk plonk plonk boring middle of the road lift music CD that my husband seems to enjoy. Ideal for background music as you play Canasta with the other inmates of the old folks home. At least it's not Meatloaf. <<

I like the CD by the way...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 11:41:57 AM PDT
Gwac says:
Ha ha... I should write some reviews of my wife's favorite books and music ;-) Plenty of comedic potential there.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 11:18:59 AM PST
In a review of a CD with Italian opera arias:

>>I like the lyric soprano and mezzosoprano. If I wanted to hear shreaking, I'd have stayed married. Not really, but it is a good line. <<

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 12:02:31 PM PST
scarecrow says:
How about the review, of recording CD or Book where they tell you upfront,"Well I really haven't heard this yet, but I look forward to it. . ."
"or I only read a little of the first chapter of the book, but the rest of it looks good' ' "

If you're interested in this, Pierre Bayard has books on how to get by---- by not reading books, it looks or sounds like you did. . "

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 5:40:40 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 17, 2012 5:51:21 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 10:19:38 AM PST
How about this on Bernstein's Mahler?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2013 11:30:56 AM PST
T. Anderson says:
funny. somewhat exasperating, as well. i find many reviews like that one. maybe it's just me, but i want a review of the performance, not the music, and so many music reviewers do that. for a popular album, of course; the music is new. but for classical, unless it is a newly composed piece performed by or conducted by the composer, i don't need someone's opinion of the compositional merits. i want an opinion of the performance.

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 11:32:31 AM PST
T. Anderson says:
i just noticed, amazon deleted one of my earlier posts (Dec 17, 2012 5:40:40 PM PST). wow!! i wonder what i wrote???

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2013 1:14:07 PM PST
Tero says:
Read my last mystery review. I did finish the book, just.

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 4:12:02 PM PST
<<<i don't need someone's opinion of the compositional merits. i want an opinion of the performance. >>>
well then there are just out and out bizarre statements like:
"""The resistance to Mahler generally by the VPO has been legendary but has been gradually broken down some what over the effluxion of time."""

the statement just doesn't seem to have any basis in reality whatsoever.
Mahler pretty well established himself everywhere in the early LP era.
the VPO hardly seems to have been slow on this.

Maybe he is talking about VPO's ban on mahler before and during WWII. but that doesn't really seem specific to the VPO either.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2013 5:04:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2013 5:08:06 PM PST
Mahlerian says:
That was mostly the influence of the Nazis, who banned Mahler's music as degenerate along with Jazz, atonality, and Weill.

I don't know who that person thinks he's helping, besides himself, by writing and publishing that review. The next one's even worse, because there aren't any other reviews to balance it out. No clue whether the performance is any good or not, but I doubt he even listened to the disc, because he probably would have at least liked some of it. I'm more irritated by the one person who voted this review helpful than the reviewer, and I am sure that they didn't listen to the disc either.

Choral Works

I doubt he seriously could have found the following offensive.

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 5:13:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2013 5:15:55 PM PST
you have a point there.
I mentioned horror of Martin Pinsky in another thread.
if you've 'investigated' him before, nevermind.
But this guy rarely talks about the performance at hand.
Often he doesn't even talk about the works on the disc and is all around nasty when this is pointed out.(i'm not the only one from this thread to get his ire).

He also self publishes his own music and even a novel and has actually reviewed one of his discs himself Toys On the Prairie

he even pats himself on the back for his own review.
Read the first comment of this thing.

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 5:19:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2013 5:28:01 PM PST
Mahlerian says:
Yeah, I've seen you mention him around here before. But that review never fails to elicit a laugh (or two, or three...). I wonder what his writing sounds like before it's put through the thesaurus, though (or whatever it is that made him substitute idyll for idle...). After several paragraphs of rant and obfuscation, I tend to forget that he's ostensibly talking about Hindemith.

Another good quote:

"Once in a while in Shoatakovch as he is meandering along, an exquisite melody emerges as if the composer just awakened to it. Harris does this sometimes."

I'm looking through these right now, and I came across this one. What does it have to do with anything, let along to product he's supposed to be reviewing?

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 6:23:50 PM PST
T. Anderson says:
yeah, that guy is bizarre. i came under fire from him, as well, for calling him out. i couldn't help myself.

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 7:45:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2013 7:48:44 PM PST
<<<I'm looking through these right now, and I came across this one. What does it have to do with anything, let along to product he's supposed to be reviewing?>>>
that is an interesting performance for me. That was the set of Weill symphonies I had on vinyl and 'learned' them from. I actually have FOUR recordings of those two symphonies on CD but not the deWaart. I would love to read a comparison to say the Bertini on EMI or the Beaumont on chandos(my two favorites).
Instead a review it is a weird article about shostakovich.

I assume for copyright reasons I cannot 'cut and paste' from his vanity press novel
but do a 'peek inside' for a real hoot.
A couple of paragraphs goes a long way.

Or watch this Youtube video...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2013 11:30:25 PM PST
D. M. Ohara says:
It could have been something quite innocent: for example, a posting of mine was once deleted because I used the three-letter word beginning with 'a' which means 'donkey'. Apparently, it has another meaning.....

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 12:01:27 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 7, 2013 12:39:25 AM PST]
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  33
Total posts:  107
Initial post:  Apr 9, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 2, 2014

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