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Reviews Written by
Clare Chu (USA)

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Four Seasons/Vln Ctos
Four Seasons/Vln Ctos
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 43.85
10 used & new from CDN$ 3.87

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lush and brilliant rendition of Four Seasons, June 11 2004
This review is from: Four Seasons/Vln Ctos (Audio CD)
Not only does this CD include the Four Seasons concertos, but also 3 other violin concertos (including Il Sospetto, L'estro armonico No. 6, and La Stravaganza #5) making it a good value for the money. Perlman's style is warm, lush and brilliant, giving a more emotional rendition of Vivaldi, versus the usual austere clockwork interpretation. I rather enjoy the extra feeling and lushness that Perlman brings to Vivaldi. By the way, L'estro armonico #6 is familiar to many violin students as a student concerto, and listening to Perlman is very motivating.

Vivaldi: Four Violin Concertos
Vivaldi: Four Violin Concertos
Price: CDN$ 19.81
9 used & new from CDN$ 11.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Not the best value compared to other Perlman CD, June 9 2004
I bought this CD only to find there are 4 concertos, RV 199, RV 356, RV 317, and RV 347, and 3 out of the 4 are already on a CD that I have by Perlman "Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Violin Concertos [includes 199, 356 and 347]". I would recommend the Four Seasons CD instead which is less than half the price of the one I'm reviewing. That is, unless you really like the G minor RV 317.
But then, Perlman's playing is beautiful, romantic and inspiring.

Art of Violin
Art of Violin
DVD ~ George Enescu
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 76.06
12 used & new from CDN$ 40.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique CD filled with rare footage of violin greats, June 6 2004
This review is from: Art of Violin (DVD)
My main objection is the title to this DVD "Devil's Instrument", because the producers just wanted to use this to get attention. There was exactly one reference to the Devil, in mentioning Paganini's Satanic demeanor. The rest of the musicians played like angels, and the closing number with Menuhin and the Chaconne in D Minor was positively heavenly. Ivry Gitlits said of him "the angel who came down on earth".
In general this DVD is worth the money. Nowhere else will you get several hours devoted to the violin greats of the 20th century. In this day of digital videos and recordings, we take for granted that everything from a child's first recital to a debut in Carnegie Hall will be captured in living color, with CD's cut for parents to listen to. But when you look back there are so few films of the greats such as Heifetz, Kreisler, none of Ysaye, and the sound, even when remastered or enhanced, cannot escape the submarine-like feel of the recording capabilities of the early 20th century. However when you see the virtuosity being demonstrated it is still incredible.
Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn do a magnificant job of narrating. And since the film was shot shortly before Menuhin's death in 1999, and finished afterwards, it is fitting that the 20th century closed with Menuhin, and this film was kind of a tribute to Menuhin. However in no way was it all about Menuhin, many are covered, even Michael Rabin and Ginette Neveu whose careers were shortened due to tragedy.
With all the narrating by Perlman, I was only a little disappointed that they did not feature his playing. But I guess this leaves another DVD for the violin geniuses of today for later.

Glorious Appearing: The End of Days
Glorious Appearing: The End of Days
by Jerry B. Jenkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 16.00
112 used & new from CDN$ 0.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Hard not to get carried away with the Glorious Appearing, June 6 2004
This is what every believer has been waiting for, the Glorious Appearing of Jesus, the King, the Saviour. The authors do a pretty good job of imagining the leading up of the appearance, as well as the events that transpire by using the Scriptures. I am glad that they only had Jesus speak words out of the Bible, and did not make up anything for Him to speak. They weave several chapters and books of prophecy together to come up with a plausible transpiring of the events, such as the sign of the Son of Man, the army of saints following Jesus, and the salvation of the remnant, as well as everyone's personal interview with their Saviour. Of course this will probably not be the way it'll actually happen, since God's ways are not our ways, but it is a plausible speculation and fun to read.
Of course the Antichrist and False Prophet are schlocky characters and buffoonish, and there had to be enough hijinks and gross-outs to keep the adolescent audience in hoots and hollers. But the appearance of Lucifer was bone-chilling as he brags about what he aspires to.
And since the focus is mostly on Jesus (where it should be), the reader who is interested in the characters is left wondering why Chang is more interested in Naomi than in reuniting with his parents (who got saved and martyred/beheaded), and other little details like that. But who cares? There will be sequel after sequel, or at least one showing the Great White Throne judgement where the Antichrist's cabinet members (Viv Ivins, etc.) will be judged. Also, there is likely to be a prequel, to show more about Rayford's first wife Irene and the saints who were raptured. So, yes, it is commercial and money-making. But also, there is a lot of scripture quoted. I only wish that they had little book/chapter references in the margin for those who want to look it up. It is more than the book of Revelations, for example, there are parts from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc. But then, I'm sure the authors have a study series or will have, for those who are so inclined.

Gumby's Greatest Adventures [Import]
Gumby's Greatest Adventures [Import]
Offered by Imagine This Music
Price: CDN$ 29.99
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Great compilation of Gumby and Pokey episodes, June 6 2004
This DVD has several fun and interesting Gumby episodes, and runs about 55 minutes. I love the old traditional claymation look, and it was obviously an eye-opener to my children who are used to computer generated cartoons. They could observe how the clay was made and modeled, bent, and twisted to make the movements, and I explained how a series of still pictures are taken, and then moved at a fast rate to make it seem like it is moving. My favorite episode is the one where Gumby is telling Pokey on the radio that George Washington is in the middle of the Delaware river, not realizing that Pokey has been captured and the Hessians are listening in. Fortunately for the Americans, the Hessians don't believe it, "A talking box and a talking horse." and laugh it off. Gumby thinks he took the Hessians by surprise. Pokey says, "they might not be so lucky next time."

Violin Playing As I Teach It
Violin Playing As I Teach It
by Leopold Auer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.75
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, opinionated, and insightful, March 21 2004
This little gem of a book reads like a tip book, expose, soapbox, gossip column and memoir. Auer is witty and funny, sometimes he had me laughing in stitches. For example, his description of chronic vibrato, "this physical evil generally may be traced to a group of sick or ailing nerves, hitherto undiscovered." Another diatribe on the lack of standards for violin teachers: "Many are indeed desirous of doing their best, but alas, having themselves been ill-taught, they spread the poison of their own ignorance broadcast, a plague which carries off many hapless innocents, victims of their pernicious teaching methods."
Auer was in the position to learn from, observe, and teach some of the best violinists of the last two centuries. He studied with Jacob Dont in Vienna and Joachim in Hanover, was a contemporary of Davidov, Wieniawski, Seidel, Wilhelmj, Sarasate, von Bulow, and taught Elman, Zimbalist, and Jascha Heifetz. Who would have known that Joachim had such stage fright, or that Mischa Elman almost died of coal-gas fumes the night before his debut?
The book has nice tips on fingering, bowing and tone production. He also devotes a chapter to nuance, the soul of interpretation and phrasing and another chapter to Style, where he wisely suggests that each generation interprets the music to suit the style of that era. No one really knows how Bach played baroque music, and no one can claim to be authentic to a time period that has long since passed away. "The musical spirit of Bach transcends all narrow limitations of period, and the artist of today who truly enters into this spirit will play Bach as he should be played, and will play Bach better because he will play him in the interpretative spirit of our own generation, not that of 1720." He deplores the blind upholders of "tradition" and insists that the violinist must form his own style, not just copy that of another.
On the famous shoulder-rest controversy, Auer comes down strictly on the "no-shoulder-rest" school claiming that it makes the player lose a third of the whole body of tone. One look at a picture of Auer playing the violin and you can see why his physique is suited to no-shoulder-rest. He has no neck, a protruding chin, and a squat frame upon which he can rest the violin on his chest, with relatively short arms, so he can hold the instrument directly in front of him. He also insists that you hold the violin as high as possible, especially when playing on the G string. You can see the results with Jascha Heifetz, who holds his violin up high and uses no shoulder rest. Of course, men of those days had padded shoulders on their suits and tuxedos, so the violin fit right up there.
This book is of interest in learning about violin pedagogy as taught in the Russian conservatories at the turn of the last century. And has valuable tips and technical aids. However, it does not substitute for a good teacher. And Auer would wholeheartedly agree, especially for beginners: "There is no instrument whose absolute mastery at a later period presupposes such meticulous care and exactitude in the initial stages of study as does the violin."

Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases (Full Screen)
Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases (Full Screen)
DVD ~ Clarence Nash
Price: CDN$ 7.99
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars All your favorite Tom and Jerry Cartoons, Jan. 30 2004
This one was worth the money. My favroite episode is the Cat Concerto where Tom plays the Hungarian Rhapsody on the piano and Jerry runs in and out of the piano, causing Tom to have to play faster and faster to keep up. There 14 cartoons and a special bonus where Jerry dances with Gene Kelly in an excerpt from Anchors Aweigh. The Cartoons included are: Yankee Doodle Mouse, Salt Water Tabby, Tee for Two, Mice Follies, The Cat Concerto, Solid Serenade, Zoot Cat, Johann Mouse, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse, Mouse in Manhattan, Jerry and the Lion, The Little Orphan, Kitty Foiled, and Jerry's Diary. The entire DVD lasts about 90 minutes and is well worth the money. We'll be taking it in our minivan this summer when we travel.

Menuhin: Violin Concerto [Import]
Menuhin: Violin Concerto [Import]
DVD ~ Yehudi Menuhin
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 343.39
8 used & new from CDN$ 22.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stately Menuhin, wonderful footage of 3 concertos, Jan. 24 2004
This set of Black and White recordings were made in the 1960's. Menuhin is around 50 years old and appears very stately, and composed. He plays wonderful Beethoven, it's almost as if he is immersed in it and communing with Beethoven himself. The expressiveness and the way he closes his eyes and feels the music shows his understanding and grasp of Beethoven. For the Mozart concerto, Menuhin conducts and plays the violin part, much like Mozart would probably have done. Bruch is very emotional and Menuhin is best at really getting into the pathos of the piece. Later in life, Menuhin would concentrate more and more on conducting, and as seen in the Mozart, he really feels the music, whether playing or conducting. This is one DVD to add to your collection of 20th century violin superstars.

Bach: Violin Concertos
Bach: Violin Concertos
Price: CDN$ 11.98
16 used & new from CDN$ 2.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, cantabile, singing rendition of Baroque music, Jan. 24 2004
This review is from: Bach: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
I bought this CD to get the full collection of Bach Violin concertos and have been very happy with it. What a nice addition to have the two violin concerto too. I'm working on the Bach Concerto #1 in A minor and this has been a great help. Perlman's playing is clear, and beautiful, and the violin really sings in the solo sections. Zukerman and Perlman do a great job in the double concerto, with the two violins in engaged in a lively and warm conversation. You'll enjoy this CD whether to learn or relax.

Red Violin [Import]
Red Violin [Import]
DVD ~ Carlo Cecchi
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 44.86
7 used & new from CDN$ 14.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Red Violin, cursed, bewitching, and enthralling, Jan. 17 2004
This review is from: Red Violin [Import] (DVD)
This movie traces the history of an antique violin and its fateful journey from the hands of its maker to the modern violin auction. The movie expertly interweaves the fortune told to Anna, wife of the violin maker Niccoli Bussoti, through tarot cards, and the adventures of the violin as it passes through the hands of its unfortunate owners. By finishing the red violin with a secret in the varnish, Bussoti has nailed the fate of each of the owners of the violin to the fate that the cards foretold to Anna. Throughout the film, the soulful and haunting music carries the viewer from an orphan prodigy, to gypsies roaming throughout Europe to the hands of the diablo, English virtuoso Frederick Pope, who plays her with a devilish flair. She is tried, almost by fire, and when she finally yields her secret to Morritz (violin appraiser), another link to a human life is forged. What this violin has, is a soul, and a curse, and an ability to totally possess its owner or those who come in contact with her. Therefore as some noted that the humans in this story were one-dimensional, pathetic, and colorless, it only goes to contrast that the real star of this story is the red violin, who is soulful, hauntingly enchanting, desirous, and ultimately pierces the lives of those who have become possessed by her. If you love violin, you're already hooked, enjoy the music and visuals of the film.

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