Profile for Austin Reader > Reviews

Browse

Austin Reader's Profile

Customer Reviews: 37
Top Reviewer Ranking: 126,846
Helpful Votes: 734


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Austin Reader RSS Feed

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Erato: Legacy -  50 CD Boxed Set
Erato: Legacy - 50 CD Boxed Set
Offered by Plantever
Price: $149.50
37 used & new from $128.51

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the contents., September 17, 2014
This is definitely an eclectic mix of genres and performances (see the list below). However, all are excellent.

Erato

CD 1 MAURICE ANDRÉ Baroque Trumpet Concertos
CD 2 AMSTERDAM BAROQUE, ORCHESTRA/TON KOOPMAN, J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suites, BWV 1066–69
CD 3 MARIE-CLAIRE ALAIN J.S. Bach: Organ Works
CD 4 ALAIN LOMBARD GILBERT AMY Berlioz: Overtures
CD 5 JULIA MIGENES PLÁCIDO DOMINGO LORIN MAAZEL Bizet: Carmen (excerpts)
CD 6 PIERRE BOULEZ Boulez: Le Visage nuptial, Le Soleil des eaux, Figures, Doubles, Prismes
CD 7 PIERRE DEL VESCOVO MICHEL PORTAL PIERRE AMOYAL FRÉDÉRIC LODÉON MICHEL DALBERTO Brahms: Trios opp.40 & 114
CD 8 ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS JOHN ELIOT GARDINER Campra: Requiem
CD 9 DAWN UPSHAW KENT NAGANO Canteloube: Chants d’Auvergne (excerpts) Emmanuel: Chansons bourguignonnes (excerpts)
CD 10 LES ARTS FLORISSANTS WILLIAM CHRISTIE Charpentier: Médée (excerpts) In Nativitatem Domini Canticum (excerpts) Purcell: Dido and Aeneas (excerpts)
CD 11 MUSICA POLYPHONICA LOUIS DEVOS Charpentier: 9 Leçons de Ténèbres (excerpts)
CD 12 QUATUOR VIA NOVA Chausson · Roussel: String Quartets
CD 13 NIKOLAI LUGANSKY Chopin: Études
CD 14 OLIVIER BAUMONT Couperin: Harpsichord Works
CD 15 ORCHESTRE DE LA SUISSE ROMANDE ARMIN JORDAN Dukas: L’Apprenti Sorcier La Péri (excerpts) Symphony in C major
CD 16 MICHEL CORBOZ MAURICE DURUFLÉ Fauré · Duruflé: Requiems
CD 17 MARIE-CLAIRE ALAIN Franck: Organ Works
CD 18 HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD DAVID ZINMAN Gershwin · Ravel: Piano Concertos
CD 19 JOHN ELIOT GARDINER Gluck: Iphigénie en Aulide (highlights)
CD 20 AMSTERDAM BAROQUE ORCHESTRA/TON KOOPMAN Handel: Organ Concertos HWV 311, 292, 294, 291, 290, 289 & 293
CD 21 MAURICE ANDRÉ MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH YVONNE LORIOD Tomasi · Honegger · Milhaud · Jolivet: Concertos
CD 22 MARIE-CLAIRE ALAIN JEAN SOURISSE Liszt: Missa choralis · Via crucis
CD 23 JEAN-FRANÇOIS PAILLARD Lully: Te Deum · Dies irae
CD 24 YVONNE LORIOD PIERRE BOULEZ MARIUS CONSTANT Messiaen: Couleurs de la cité céleste · Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum · L’Ascension
CD 25 OLIVIER MESSIAEN Messiaen: Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte-Trinité
CD 26 DARIUS MILHAUD CLAUDE HELFFER DAVID ROBERTSON Milhaud: Symphonies 4 & 8 “Rhodanienne” Piano Concerto 4 · Ballade
CD 27 LES ARTS FLORISSANTS WILLIAM CHRISTIE Monteverdi · D’India · Charpentier · Landi: Vocal Works
CD 28 MICHEL CORBOZ Monteverdi: Selva morale e spirituale
CD 29 LILY LASKINE JEAN-PIERRE RAMPAL JACQUES LANCELOT JEAN-FRANÇOIS PAILLARD Mozart: Flute and Harp & Clarinet Concertos
CD 30 DANIEL BARENBOIM Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (highlights)
CD 31 LES ARTS FLORISSANTS WILLIAM CHRISTIE Mozart: Requiem
CD 32 MARIE-CLAIRE ALAIN JEAN-JACQUES KANTOROW Poulenc · Duruflé · Alain
CD 33 ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE FRANCE MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH Prokofiev: Symphonies 5 & 7
CD 34 MONTEVERDI CHOIR JOHN ELIOT GARDINER Purcell: Come, ye Sons of Art Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary
CD 35 SOPHIE DANEMANPAUL AGNEW/WILLIAM CHRISTIE Rameau: La Guirlande
CD 36 SAMUEL MAGAD/CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA/DANIEL BARENBOIM Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade · Tsar Saltan
CD 37 JEAN MARTINON Roussel: Bacchus et Ariane Suites 1 & 2 Le Festin de l’araignée
CD 38 MARIA JOÃO PIRES Schubert: Piano Sonata D894 · Fantasy D940
CD 39 KURT SANDERLING MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH Shostakovich: Symphony No.15 Rayok
CD 40 LONDON SMPHONY ORCHESTRA/KRIVINE Tchaikovsky · Sibelius: Violin Concertos
CD 41 MARC MINKOWSKI Stradella: San Giovanni Battista
CD 42 PIERRE BOULEZ Stravinsky: Pulcinella Le Chant du Rossignol
CD 43 PIERRE AMOYAL Tartini: Violin Sonatas
CD 44 LENINGRAD PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA EVGENY MRAVINSKY Tchaikovsky · Mussorgsky · Glinka Glazunov: Orchestral works
CD 45 JEAN-PIERRE RAMPAL I SOLISTI VENETI CLAUDIO SCIMONE Vivaldi: Flute Concertos
CD 46 NEW COLLEGE CHOIR, OXFORD EDWARD HIGGINBOTTOM Choral Works
CD 47 SCOTT ROSS J.S. Bach · D. Scarlatti · Handel Soler: Concertos
CD 48 SUMI JO Virtuoso Arias
CD 49 SUSAN GRAHAM French Operetta Arias
CD 50 ANNE AZÉMA BOSTON CAMERATA JOEL COHEN Tristan et Iseult


Bach: The Complete Cantatas
Bach: The Complete Cantatas
Price: $84.71
38 used & new from $76.55

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it., August 20, 2014
I bought this set in 2006 as part of the complete set of Bach music. At this price, I cannot recommend it highly enough (unless of course, you want or own the complete Bach set).

As I said in my 2006 review, sure you could buy individual performances that rate higher, but still this is an excellent set.

In my review of that set, I weighed into the period instrument issues, as others have done with respect to this version. I noted that I much prefer modern instruments and interpretations such as are present here. On this point I am at odds obvious with Mr. Bruno and his two-star review.

Mr. Bruno states: "Rilling's conducting is turgid and unperceptive of Bach's larger concepts. The orchestra is murky and unstylish most of the time. The soloists are a mixed bag, some quite artful but some not quite tuneful. The chorus is an abomination. The recording technology is awful."

While there is certainly a vocal group that agrees with him, he seems to be at odds with the majority.

With respect to the Rilling cycle, the noted critic, Jim Svejda stated that it has "lovely and important things to say." Penguin stated: "All in all, we have derived much satisfaction in either making or renewing our acquaintance with his cycle, which will suit many collectors in search of a scholarly yet intelligently aware approach with a traditional sound."

Mr. Bruno asserts: "Many of the old Leonhardt and Harnoncourt recordings (no, not all of them) are far more exciting." I, like others however, can't stand the Leonhardt-Harnoncourt cycle of Cantatas. I agree with Mr. Svejda that Harnoncourt and Leonhardt "gleefully take turns mauling the luckless pieces beyond recognition."

I do own and have reviewed the original Brilliant Classics box. I have some of the Suzuki and Koopman recordings but I certainly can't justify spending more than $1000 for the complete sets.

Of the cycles I've heard, I prefer this the most. I would assert that there is no "answer" to the period instrument debate. As with any aesthetic issue, it is a matter of preference. Modern instruments and interpretive recordings are not inappropriate and to prefer them is not bizarre. For example, Glen Gould made, quite successfully in my opinion, the case for a modern instrument recording of Bach. Twice.


The Complete Works of Johann Sebastian Bach - Bachakademie 10th Anniversary Special Collection
The Complete Works of Johann Sebastian Bach - Bachakademie 10th Anniversary Special Collection
Offered by the.essential.globetrotter
Price: $219.99
26 used & new from $209.40

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it., August 20, 2014
I bought this set in its original version in 2006. According to Amazon, which keeps all customer invoices forever it seems, I paid $1,115.59 for it and thought it was worth every penny. At this new price, I cannot recommend it highly enough. An additional plus is the much smaller packaging. The original box was huge (nearly two cubic feet) as the discs are in regular sized jewel cases.

As I said in my 2006 review, sure you could buy individual performances that rate higher, but still this is an excellent set.

With respect to the Rilling cycle, the noted critic, Jim Svejda stated that it has "lovely and important things to say." (http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Recordings-Opinionated-Irreverent-Selective/dp/0761517111) Penguin stated: "All in all, we have derived much satisfaction in either making or renewing our acquaintance with his cycle, which will suit many collectors in search of a scholarly yet intelligently aware approach with a traditional sound."

The singers are women instead of the more authentic boys. In my review of the original set, I observed this and weighed into the period instrument issues, as others have done with respect to this version. I noted that I much prefer modern instruments and interpretations such as are present here. On this point I am at odds obvious with Ms. Waugh and her three-star review.

Ms. Waugh says: “It is fighting the straw man to argue that had Bach ACCESS to female singers and modern orchestral instruments, he would have used them. To carry that line of reasoning to its logical extreme, Bach's music should simply just be performed on digital synthesizers.”

That reductio ad absurdum response is, itself, is a straw man. No one is asserting that Bach’s music “should simply just be performed on digital synthesizers.” Bach’s music transcends the instruments and performances and there have been excellent interpretations on digital synthesizers.

Bach’s compositions, particularly the Cantatas were overwhelmingly occasional music. To the extent that they were not recycled into other pieces, they were likely heard only once or twice in his lifetime. They were held in so low regard that upon his death they were sold for scrap paper and approximately 1/3 are lost as a result. Thus, one might reduce Ms. Waugh’s position to the other extreme. That is, since they were only played one time, that is the ONLY correct way. A computer recreation might, therefore, provide us the most “accurate” or “appropriate” version and no other version need ever be made.

That would be a loss.

Instead, I would assert that there is no "answer" to the period instrument debate. As with any aesthetic issue, it is a matter of preference. Modern instruments and interpretive recordings are not inappropriate and to prefer them is not bizarre. Glen Gould made, quite successfully in my opinion, the case for a modern instrument recording of the Goldberg Variations. Twice.

As to the other items in this collection, these likewise contain some superior performances. For example, The Musical Offering was (in 2006 at least) given the first choice rating by BBC Radio 3, and the English Suites are likewise given high marks. The Harpsichord Concertos are performed on modern instruments and are highly rated by Penguin, as are the Viola da gamba Sonatas, Partitas Nos. 1-6 for harpsichord, The Well-Tempered Clavier, and The Art of Fugue. For me, this is great as I absolutely hate the harpsichord; indeed, I’d prefer a digital synthesizer.

Back when I purchased this, there were few alternatives. I, like others, can't stand the Leonhardt-Harnoncourt cycle of Cantatas, which was included in the Bach 2000 complete collection. I agree with Mr. Svejda that Harnoncourt and Leonhardt "gleefully take turns mauling the luckless pieces beyond recognition." I do own and have reviewed the original Brilliant Classics box, despite the fact that it also uses period instruments.


HyLoft 777 36-by-18-Inch Wall Shelf with Hanging Rod, 2-Pack
HyLoft 777 36-by-18-Inch Wall Shelf with Hanging Rod, 2-Pack
Price: $49.98
5 used & new from $35.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, But Get the Right Size, February 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought 12 boxes of these (24 shelves) after measuring my garage. The product is great. After hanging three or four I got into a groove and the remaining ones took no time at all. I did not have the problem with the head of the screw coming lose on any of them. However (and this is a big however), be aware that if you are intending to put one right next to the other, the 36 inch version will NOT install properly on standard 16 inch studs. When one thinks about it a bit, this makes sense. But if you have standard studs, you need the larger size. You can work around this by varying the distance between the brackets and stabilizing them by hooking then together with the ties. But if you do this, be assured that they will not be able to handle excessive weights on the ends of the shelf. That said, this is not a defect in the product so it does not reduce the number of stars.


Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray]
Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Sean Connery
Offered by SNOWMAN(No Tax)
Price: $124.99
40 used & new from $120.99

387 of 441 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of actual product., September 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Received, today. Pre-purchased on Amazon.

There is no point in reviewing the films. You either like them or you don't. You know what they are. The films, together, have 120 hours of special features, so there is enough here to take a couple of weeks of essentially non-stop viewing (with sleep, of course). Most has been released before. There is a bonus disc of new content. As others have said, the non-franchise films are not included and there is no reason to have expected them.

I like the packaging. The discs are divided in two hard-back books, with stills from the films on the opposing pages. There are two discs per page, one disc per film, with a picture of a relevant "Bond Girl" next to the release date beside each disc. The two books are slip-cased. It is a classy looking and sturdy package.

I have no trouble removing them from the pages, and have yet to have to touch the surface. None of the ones I received had any fingerprints on them, so I have no idea what the other reviewer is speaking of.
Comment Comments (19) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 29, 2013 2:13 PM PDT


RECIPES FROM THE FRUGAL GOURMET a television series on frugal cooking
RECIPES FROM THE FRUGAL GOURMET a television series on frugal cooking
by Jeff Smith
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from $6.46

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a cool bit of history., January 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Back in the late 80s, I used to watch Jeff Smith with my grandfather. More than anyone, he taught me how to cook. Prior to his long-running PBS show and several professional books, however, he published this little gem. It looks just like one of those old Junior League cookbooks, spiral bound and all. The text looks hand written (which is probably was). Looking at this, one could certainly not predict what he would ultimately achieve.


The African Queen [Blu-ray]
The African Queen [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Katharine Hepburn
Offered by Daytona Beach
Price: $23.69
36 used & new from $4.39

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray Review, January 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There is no point in reviewing the film itself. Taking place in 1914, even after 60 years it holds up well. It is not widescreen, but there were no widescreen productions in 1951. What it has, however, is three-strip Technicolor photography, which was not only unusual for a film in 1951 (most were still black and white), but nearly unheard of for on location shooting, particularly in the (literally) wilds of Africa. To understand the difficulty that was encountered in using this process on location, I highly recommend the accompanying hour-long documentary, "Embracing Chaos." There is no commentary track, but this fast paced documentary will tell you more about the film than most screen-specific commentaries out there. I also think that it could be argued that the restoration team has made the film better than it looked even in its original showings. This is particularly evident in the minimization of the many process shots. As pointed out in "Embracing Chaos," when originally shot, it was simply impossible to remove the greenish halos around the actors when placed in front of a previously shot scene. Indeed, I was surprised to learn that as much as 50% of the film was shot in England. The integration is amazing. Although there are a couple of obvious miniatures, the Blu-ray definition does not overly magnify them. I cannot imagine the film ever looking better than it does here and the plus of the documentary, added to the fact that you can get it for 15 bucks makes it a no-brainer purchase.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2012 1:08 AM PDT


Too Many Tamales
Too Many Tamales
by Gary Soto
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.99
131 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Son's New Favorite, January 3, 2012
This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
This one is surprising because it really did nothing for me. My mother gave it to my son, along with a lot of other Christmas books. However, he has gravitated to this one. The description says that it is for 4 to 6 year olds, but my son is only 2 1/2. We've read it about ten times, but he has it memorized. We can randomly ask him to state the next word and he always gets it. Every night he asks for the tamale book.


Christmas In The Heart
Christmas In The Heart
Offered by SONY Music Entertainment Downloads LLC.
Price: $9.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a missed opportunity., December 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Christmas In The Heart (MP3 Music)
I'm a fan. I like all of his stages. I even like most of "Self Portrait." I listen to his albums since "Time Out of Mind" regularly, so its not his voice (and with Bob, one can never assume that the sound of his voice on a particular album is his real voice). I even seen him recently in concert (September 2011) and thoroughly enjoyed it. But this album, as an album, is really bad. And such a waste. I mean, with the voice he uses on this album, we could have had a truly spectacularly melancholic or wise selection of songs and arrangements (think Marianne Faithfull's "Easy Come Easy Go"). Indeed, there is a hint of this in "The Christmas Blues." But what we get instead is, on many tracks, what sounds like karaoke versions of songs with standard arrangements (albeit played by a crackerjack band) and backup singers who sound like the ones on the worst songs from "Self Portrait." And then there are the tracks that frustrate in their failure. Listen to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." This is the most pathetic, ironic, and sarcastic "Christmas song" in the repertoire. Watch Judy Garland sing this to the actress playing her sister in "Meet Me in St. Louis" as she struggles to keep it together while the little girl is, herself, crying and you'll know exactly why it is also one of the most misinterpreted songs there is. Even Dylan's restoration of " we'll have to muddle through somehow," while admirable, does not make up for the bizarre phrasing. Which is such a shame because it almost hits the same mark that Rosemary Clooney did in her version. I would love to hear him apply the same care to his arrangements that he did with "As Good As I Been to You" or "World Gone Wrong," but he hasn't. There is nothing unexpected in the arrangements and one feels that there was little to no connection between Dylan and these songs. There really is no reason to ever listen to this album again. I might put two or three of the songs (e.g., the aforementioned "The Christmas Blues" or "Must Be Santa") on a Christmas playlist, but most of the rest of them are simply throwaways. Which is why it is such a shame. This missed opportunity makes you crave for something truly inspired. And you just know that Dylan is capable of it.


White Christmas
White Christmas
Price: $11.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Mix of Voice and Arrangement, December 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: White Christmas (MP3 Music)
One can make a case for the various stages of Sinatra's career. And no one could realistically argue that the the Sinatra of the 40s sounds anything like the Sinatra of the 60s. But most would agree that each has its value and the true Sinatra fan would not give up a one of them (okay, perhaps "Duets"). Similarly Clooney's voice on this album is that of a mature singer who's lived a life. The song selections and arrangements make that clear. Some of these songs (at least as arranged) would simply sound inappropriate in the voice of a younger singer. This is the kind of album you can put on and listen to while sipping a brown beverage by the fire. As a side note, the thing that struck me the first time I heard it is how remarkably similar Liza Minnelli's voice has grown to sound like Clooney's did when this album was made.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4