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Profile for J. Bankens > Reviews

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J. Bankens' Profile

Customer Reviews: 24
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Helpful Votes: 155


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Reviews Written by
J. Bankens "Student" RSS Feed (Lake Charles, LA)
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Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son
Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son
by Leroy Aarons
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.76
137 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, August 22, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
An honest account. Everyone should read this amazing book. I grew up as in the same situation and I was lucky enough to pull myself out. Bobby is/was not alone.


Homage: The Age of the Diva ~ Renee Fleming
Homage: The Age of the Diva ~ Renee Fleming
Price: $14.99
62 used & new from $0.01

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Already one of my all time favorite albums, October 26, 2006
This recital disc of mostly obscure operatic arias, is absolutely breath-taking!!!! Renee Fleming has one of the greatest voices around today!!! Her voice is so rich with warmth, vitality, and color. The selections on this disc fit her extremely well. There are also a couple of standards on this disc: Vissi d'arte from Puccini's Tosca, beautifully executed... such line and beauty. Also, Tacea la notte...Di tale amor from Verdi's Il Trovatore (one of my favorites).... although not as well suited for these roles as Leontyne Price or Sondra Radvanovsky, she still does an amazing job on these arias. The two selections by Korngold are so wonderful... they make me melt!!! I could go into great detail about all of these pieces, but I won't. Just purchase this album and you will be very pleased. I will say that the pieces from Janacek's Jenufa are so exciting as well!!! Fabulous album!!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2006 9:03 AM PDT


Mozart - Così fan tutte / Fleming, von Otter, Scarabelli, Lopardo, Bär, Pertusi, Solti
Mozart - Così fan tutte / Fleming, von Otter, Scarabelli, Lopardo, Bär, Pertusi, Solti
Price: $40.49
66 used & new from $7.11

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Magnificent, August 25, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is such a great recording!!!! Georg Solti was such a master when it came to Mozartian repertoire. Anne Sofie von Otter is a splendid Dorabella. Her mezzo voice has such focus of tone and such beautiful color. Renee Fleming shines as Fiordiligi!!!! I love her voice so much. The "Come scoglio" is brilliant!!! She has both amazing low and high notes, which one needs in order to sing Fiordiligi, (a true tour de force for soprano). Frank Lopardo has such gorgeous ring in his voice!!! I am extremely happy with his Ferrando. Olaf Bar did a good job, but I feel his part sat a little low for him during the ensembles. But he did what any good singer would do in that situation; he never once pushed his voice to a point that would produce ugly tone. Michele Pertusi did a fine job as Don Alfonso. I really like the forward placement with which he sings. He never once over darkened like most basses feel the need to do. My least favorite was Scarabelli. Her voice just wasn't up to par with the rest of the cast. Despina is definitely one of the greatest characters in the opera, but Scarabelli didn't give me what the others gave me. Although, she still did wonderfully.


Agnes Baltsa sings Rossini Arias
Agnes Baltsa sings Rossini Arias
14 used & new from $3.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Horne, July 5, 2006
Agnes Baltsa has such a great voice. The reviewer who gave two stars proclaimed that one would be better off with Horne.... Marilyn Horne in her younger years was absolutely wonderful, but that did not last. She makes some of the ugliest sounds in opera. Also, if you want to talk about evident breaks in a voice, Horne is a prime example. Anyway, Baltsa is an amazing mezzo, with a great upper extension.... you will be pleased
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2009 3:48 PM PDT


Verdi - Requiem / Fleming · Borodina · Bocelli · D'Arcangelo · Gerviev
Verdi - Requiem / Fleming · Borodina · Bocelli · D'Arcangelo · Gerviev
Price: $14.99
96 used & new from $0.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass, and choir.....terrible tenor, June 29, 2006
This recording is well done, with the exception of Andrea Bocelli.... I'm not trying to be heartless, but let's be honest here, the only reason Andrea Bocelli is famous, is because of his blindness. He could never join the ranks of Domingo, Heppner, Galouzine, Pavarotti, or Carreras. Even a truly good lyric tenor like Paul Groves would have been a much better choice than Andrea Bocelli. At least Paul, although lacking the dramatic thrust needed to sing Verdi, can resonate and sing with extreme musicianship and beauty. I have no idea why Andrea Bocelli was chosen. I actually feel bad for him.... he had to sing with the other amazing perfomers on this recording. Renee Fleming is electric, her velvety tone and full lyric voice adds such sparkle to this work. She is most definitely one of the greatest sopranos of the last century. Olga Borodina is truly amazing, she represents the sound of a true heavy mezzo with beautiful tone. She doesn't over darken like so many dramatic mezzos do. She and Fleming blend so well together. Idlebrando D'Arcangelo is a bass to die for. You can tell that he is rather young, but that doesn't bother me at all. He brings a fresh sound that doesn't sound too dark or affected. He has such a rich and vibrant tone. Lastly the chorus is outstanding, I truly feel the rath of god when i hear this choir sing!!! Valery Gergiev did an amazing job. It's just unfortunate that Andrea Bocelli had to ruin more music from the classical repertoire. He needs to stick to pieces like "O sole mio" or "Caro mio ben" and leave Verdi's music to tenors that are truly "Verdian."


Art of Cecilia Bartoli
Art of Cecilia Bartoli
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $11.18
96 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, October 1, 2005
This review is from: Art of Cecilia Bartoli (Audio CD)
This is a fabulous album!!! Her arias by Handel, Gluck, Mozart, and Rossini are unbelievable. Her and Bryn Terfel sound great together, especially on the "Dun'que io son" from Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The Handel duet from Rinaldo, featuring the acclaimed countertenor David Daniels is brilliant!! I, however, do not care for the duets with Pavarotti. Her voice is too light to sing Verdi. Pavarotti's voice is also not what it used to be. I'm still rating it with five stars, because despite a couple of bad duets with Pavarotti, the album is a wonderful collection of Cecilia Bartoli.


Music for a While
Music for a While
Price: $15.81
50 used & new from $2.96

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Huge fan of Ms. von Otter, September 30, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Music for a While (Audio CD)
I bought this recording and I really enjoyed it, but it's not my favorite by Ms. von Otter. I still recommend it to everyone. This recital is wonderful, with the exception of "Amanti io vo se dire." It was nice, but a little out of place. I still rate this as a good recital disc.


Anne Sofie von Otter - The Artist's Album
Anne Sofie von Otter - The Artist's Album
Price: $18.17
29 used & new from $0.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite recordings, September 30, 2005
This recording is sublime!!! This is a compilation of Anne Sofie von Otter's favorite pieces. She chose such diverse and lovely music. Her diction is incredible. Her expressive voice moved me to tears in "A dio Roma," by Monteverdi. Her Handelian arias were also wonderful. My favorites from this CD are: all of the German lieder pieces, "A dio Roma" (Monteverdi), "Un sapin isole' se dresse" (Lahore), "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" (Weill), "In quali eccessi...Mi tradi" (Mozart), and "Non piu mesta" (Rossini). She is such an amazing Lyric Mezzo soprano. I love her so much. I also reccomend the Mass in C minor with Anne Sofie von Otter and Kiri te Kanawa, Cosi fan tutte with Renee Fleming (Mozart), and Ariodante (Handel). I strongly advise anyone to purchase this recording!!!


Anne Sofie von Otter - Johannes Brahms Lieder
Anne Sofie von Otter - Johannes Brahms Lieder
24 used & new from $0.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous interpreter of Brahmsian Lieder, September 30, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
She is electrifying in this recording. She is definately one of my favorite singers!!! The "Von ewiger Liebe," is absolutely incredible...Bengt Forsberg's accompanying is also incredible. This entire album is wonderful. Her voice is so expresive and so lyrical. She also has a way with dramatic interpretations, like "Von ewiger Liebe," and "Meine Liebe ist gruen." Lovely recording!!!


Denyce Graves - Voce di Donna
Denyce Graves - Voce di Donna
Offered by CAC Media
Price: $9.69
84 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Singing, September 30, 2005
Ms. Graves' voice is so warm. The sound is so impressive!!! There has been debate on whether or not she is truly a mezzo-soprano. Some critics feel that she is a true contralto with an extended upper range. The role of Dalila, is also considered borderline mezzo-soprano and contralto. Anyway, her voice has total ring in every tone. The rich sound that she produces is totally even from her bottom register to her top. The baroque selections need to be maybe a little lighter and more pure, but I am not that petty. I just believe that she is absolutely wonderful!!! Brava Ms. Graves!!!


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