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The Insider's Guide to Classical Recordings, From the Host of The Record Shelf, a Highly Opinionated, Irreverent, and Selective Guide to What's Good and What's Not
The Insider's Guide to Classical Recordings, From the Host of The Record Shelf, a Highly Opinionated, Irreverent, and Selective Guide to What's Good and What's Not
by Jim Svejda
Edition: Paperback
61 used & new from $7.89

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, opinionated, and insightful, March 16, 2001
If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to classical music, Penguin or Gramophone make a better choice because this guide generally only recommends one "best" version of a work. Nevertheless the Insider's Guide is a highly valuable and entertaining addition to the group of classical music guides. The author is not afraid to bash icons such as von Karajan, or to praise older recordings that have fallen out of favor, all while acknowledging that ultimately taste is a matter of subjectivity. Also, given the format, this guide tends to devote more discussion to each recording than the other guides, which is highly useful in terms of knowledge of the piece itself. An excellent complement to either of the two more comprehensive guides, and fun reading too.


Gramophone Classical Good CD Guide 2001 (Gramophone Classical Music Guide)
Gramophone Classical Good CD Guide 2001 (Gramophone Classical Music Guide)
by Gramophone
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from $1.35

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to CDs, March 16, 2001
While I prefer the Penguin Guide if you only want one, because it is more comprehensive and has what I find to be a better rating system, the Gramophone Good CD guide is very valuable in its own right, with recommendations certainly on all major pieces of classical music and opera and on many lesser known ones as well. The reviews are very well and concisely written, indeed one can get a valuable education just reading the guide, and I have yet to go wrong with a recommendation. The best of all worlds is to have both this guide and the Penguin and to use both before selecting a CD to buy; I personally use Penguin as my main guide and then use Gramophone to see if they recommend the same recording (quite often they do) or if they have alternative recommendations.


Compact Discs Yearbook 2000/1, The Penguin Guide to (Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music)
Compact Discs Yearbook 2000/1, The Penguin Guide to (Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music)
by Ivan March
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $0.45

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb update of the ultimate CD guide, March 16, 2001
As has been the case ever since I began reading these wonderful guides in the late 80s, this volume updating the complete 1999 compilation of the Penguin Guide is comprehensive, entertaining, and highly informative. It contains reviews of thousands upon thousands of new and reissued CDs, which are full of wit and insight and which are up to the authors' usual high standards. The separate alphabetical listings on invididual performers, which unfortunately were omitted from the 1999 guide because of lack of space, are incredibly valuable.


The Best Of The Platters:  The 20th Century Masters (Millennium Collection)
The Best Of The Platters: The 20th Century Masters (Millennium Collection)
Price: $4.99
111 used & new from $0.99

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensational music, short measure, March 16, 2001
The greatest group of the 50s, the Platters combined a tremendous lead singer whose talents bordered on the operatic, great harmonizing, and tremendous musicality to produce some of the best songs ever recorded, most of which are captured here including the immortal The Great Pretender and the wonderful (and controversial at its time, in fact Cole Porter's estate sued to block it) Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. The crescendo at the end of that song has got to be one of the most creative and thrilling moments of all pop music. My only complaint, and it is with this series as a whole, is that with all the room on a CD only 11 songs are included. There are other Platters CDs with up to 20 songs and this one would have been all that much better had some other tunes been included.


Carole King - Her Greatest Hits: Songs Of Long Ago
Carole King - Her Greatest Hits: Songs Of Long Ago
Offered by Campus Buys
Price: $18.44
31 used & new from $0.49

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great CD of a great songwriter, but buy Tapestry too!!, March 16, 2001
This CD does a wonderful job of capturing all the big hits, as well as some other lesser known songs, composed, and sung by one of the great folk rock talents of this generation, Carole King. Her unique voice, piano accompaniments, and mellow but probing tunes made an unmistakable contribution to the music of the 60s and 70s, and some of her best known work became smash hits for other artists (Up on the Roof, You've Got a Friend). I would add, however, that Tapestry is one of the great albums ever recorded and because many of the great songs on it are inevitably left off a greatest hits CD, I would make sure to buy that one as well.


The Essential Bob Dylan
The Essential Bob Dylan
56 used & new from $6.82

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic introduction to Dylan, March 16, 2001
This review is from: The Essential Bob Dylan (Audio CD)
Given the incredible output of Bob Dylan spanning almost forty years now, there is no point quibbling about whether particular songs should or should not have been included in a 40 song compilation, it is an impossible and totally subjective task to pick his "best" 40 songs. The point is that this set provides a rich, diverse, thoughtful selection of some of Dylan's greatest work, so if you are looking for either an introduction to his music, or just a "greatest hits" type CD to listen to at one sitting, this set does the job admirably. By the way, in my opinion Blood on the Tracks, Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing it all Back Home are mandatory acquisitions even for the casual Dylan listener.


Ken Burns Jazz
Ken Burns Jazz
Price: $6.99
116 used & new from $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible one CD introduction to The Great One, March 14, 2001
This review is from: Ken Burns Jazz (Audio CD)
There are innumerable Louis Armonstrong "Greatest Hits" available, but typically they focus on one era or one record label only, not worthy of the man who was the greatest figure in jazz history and whose creative lifetime reached from the teens to the sixties. Although any one CD selection of Armstrong is inevitably only a sampler, this one is BY FAR the best I have ever seen, representing the entire span of Satchmo's career, and containing some of his very finest work. The perfect gift for someone who has not discovered Louis Armstrong yet, or who just wants one CD of his work.


Mozart:  Sonatas for Piano K.310, 331 & 533/494
Mozart: Sonatas for Piano K.310, 331 & 533/494
Price: $8.52
91 used & new from $0.32

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassable, March 14, 2001
In this repertoire Perahia has no peer, his playing is technically perfect, lively in the allegros, melting in the andantes, with no self-promotion. The famous Rondo Alla Turca from Sonata No. 11 has never sounded better. Crystal clear recordings too make this collection of three of Mozart's better known Piano Sonatas a must for any lover of piano music. I only wish he had recorded the great Sonata No. 12 as well.


Singin' in the Rain
Singin' in the Rain
DVD ~ Gene Kelly
88 used & new from $0.29

5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate American musical, March 13, 2001
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (DVD)
Take one of the greatest songs ever, a host of other superb songs, one of the two most charasmatic singer-actor-dancers ever (Gene Kelly), a gorgeous and superbly talented singer-actress (Debbie Reynolds), one of the great supporting actors and most athletic dancers ever to light up the silver screen (Donald O'Connor), and a humorous and uplifting love story with a hysterical subplot, and what have you got? You guessed it, Singin in the Rain. Yes, the Broadway Melody sequence may drag on just a little too long, but everything else here is sheer perfection, a masterpiece for the ages that will never be dated. Along with Easter Parade, this one gets my vote for the Great American Musical.


Lonely Are the Brave [VHS]
Lonely Are the Brave [VHS]
VHS
Offered by buythebooksllc15
Price: $7.89
34 used & new from $2.18

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great Westerns ever, March 13, 2001
When men were men. Kirk Douglas in perhaps his finest role as a cowboy who breaks out of jail to help a friend and then braves the elements, treacherous (and breathtakingly beautiful) terrain, and the posse that doggedly tails him (including the sheriff superbly portrayed by Walter Matthau), until tragedy at last overtakes him. That the film is black and white adds to its power, and Douglas, as the ultimate man's man, is unforgettable.


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