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Rodney Williamson (Ottawa, Canada)

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Green: The History of a Color
Green: The History of a Color
by Michel Pastoureau
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 32.60
35 used & new from CDN$ 32.60

5.0 out of 5 stars I love them all, Aug. 28 2015
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Another in Pastoureau's famous series! I love them all, particularly this one! I love the historical perspective he achieves, avoiding the distortions of a purely modern perspective. I love the fact that he sticks to what he knows about, and doesn't go outside the Western tradition. I love the fact that everything is presented in a highly readable way.

Cavalleria Rusticana in Full Score
Cavalleria Rusticana in Full Score
by Pietro Mascagni
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.99
15 used & new from CDN$ 14.23

3.0 out of 5 stars Full orchestra version, not so good for singers, Dec 4 2009
This is a good clear version of the score of this wonderful opera. But make sure it is the one you need. If you are interested in the full orchestration as I am, then this is a very good buy. But singers will find it confusing and for them I would recommend the standard Schirmer opera score edition. One of the problems of this full score edition is that the text is given in German with the original Italian in italics... not great for actual performance!

Verdi Heroines
Verdi Heroines
Price: CDN$ 26.14
41 used & new from CDN$ 1.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Vocal fireworks!, April 9 2006
This review is from: Verdi Heroines (Audio CD)
Hugely dramatic, breathtakingly beautiful! The finest Verdi soprano of our age! Don't get bogged down trying to categorize this voice, or trying to hear its limitations. Angela Gheorghiu doesn't have any! You don't believe me? Well just listen to this disc before you recognize genius and run and buy it!

Troyens-Complete Opera
Troyens-Complete Opera
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 1,089.48
4 used & new from CDN$ 228.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! Deservedly recognized!, March 3 2002
This review is from: Troyens-Complete Opera (Audio CD)
I have little to add to the other fine informative reviews of this recording, except to express my great satisfaction in seeing it recognized through the Grammy award! Having been at the concerts at which the recording was made, I can confirm the tremendous sense of excitement of the audience at large at hearing orchestra and singers rising to new heights of inspiration. Sir Colin's earlier ROH Covent Garden recording with Veasey and Vickers set a standard that was hard to beat, yet this new LSO Live recording certainly does that in some aspects... principally the playing of the LSO. As another reviewer says, they are the stars of the piece. Hopefully this recording will do much to promote a better knowledge of one of the most monumental operas of all time, including the earlier Beecham rendering of it. And, hopefully, Berlioz' other works as well. The LSO Live series also includes Sir Colin's recent performances of "La damnation de Faust" and "Romeo et Juliette". The latter, particularly, is an absolute gem. And the same label has just released Sir Colin's version of Elgar's First Symphony... the LSO's playing of the Adagio is electrifying. LSO Live seems to move from one triumph to another!

Mahler: Symphony No. 10
Mahler: Symphony No. 10
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 33.27
25 used & new from CDN$ 8.62

5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive recording, Jan. 16 2001
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No. 10 (Audio CD)
Having read a review preferring Simon Rattle's earlier recording of Mahler's Tenth with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, I hastened to listen to my recently-acquired copy of this recording with the Berlin Philharmonic. To dismiss the playing of the first movement as too slow is I think plainly unfair (much though I hate over-slow performances of Mahler), since Rattle's interpretation integrates a whole variety of different tempos of different instruments in an incredibly harmonious synthesis of Mahler's contrapuntal style. It is true that the first movement in this recording takes a whole minute longer than in the earlier BSO recording, but what it achieves in terms of tragic majesty and drama is more than sufficient justification.
Sir Simon's interpretations of the Tenth and his recording of the Ninth with the Vienna Philharmonic have taught me to listen to Mahler anew in their clearly modern interpretation, going far beyond the lyrical post-Romanticism of some of Mahler's earlier symphonies. They establish Rattle, I think, as one of the major exponents of Mahler's symphonies in the 20th century. In particular, his rendering of the difficult 2nd and 4th movements in the Tenth, so easily a disaster in the hands of lesser conductors, is unparalleled.
Which of Rattle's two recordings of the Tenth should we prefer? I find it frankly difficult to choose between two sublime recordings. What Rattle achieved with the BSO in general is nothing short of sensational, but I have also to recognize the quality of the Berlin Phiharmonic as one of the world's most magnificent orchestras. The BSO version is perhaps more lyrical, the BPO version is tragic and mystical. The solo flute episode near the beginning of the final movement is heartrendingly beautiful in both versions. Just in terms of orchestra quality, have we ever heard the BPO play better?
Which recording to choose? The Mahler specialist or addict will want both. If you have to choose, the good news is that you can't go wrong with either one!

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