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Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada)
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Alborada Del Gracioso
Alborada Del Gracioso
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 37.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 29.81

5.0 out of 5 stars This Vanguard Recording Demonstrates Just How Much Leon Fleisher Was Master of the Concerto for Piano Left Hand Alone by Ravel, Sept. 16 2014
This review is from: Alborada Del Gracioso (Audio CD)
Leon Fleisher made two studio recordings of Maurice Ravel's Concerto for Piano, Left Hand Alone, of which the finer performance is this one (on Vanguard's CD) which Sergiu Comissiona conducts. The other (Sony Classical SK-47-188) has Fleisher in harness with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as that hunk of deadwood drifting in the tide, Seiji Ozawa conducts it.

The Fleisher/Commissiona recording is by far the better performance, with by turns voluptuously lovely, poetically evocative, and jazzily snazzy playing from the Baltimore ensemble under Comissiona's cunning direction. Fleisher plays better, too, with those Baltimore forces, which supply a much more atmospheric and colourful accompaniment under Sergiu Comissiona's inspired and poetic direction. Their collaboration with Fleisher Fleisher favourably with the sonic sludge that Ozawa draws, oozing gooily, from the B.S.O. (that abbreviation applying potentially to both orchestras, but being more widely recognised as standing for "Boston Symphony Orchestra" than as one indicating the Baltimore ensemble).

Leon Fleischer always has been an astute and highly virtuosic pianist. Fortunately, while he was lacking the use of his right hand, he continued to record piano works for left hand only as he had the opportunity, such as the other recordings on that later Ozawa-led CD from 1990 (matching the Ravel concerto with a left hand work by Sir Benjamin Britten) and 1991 (the left hand concerto by Serge Prokofiev on the same CD). This has been a boon to the record catalogues, for Fleisher's piano left-hand work has been of extraordinary quality, possibly the best in such repertory. He already had been one of the very greatest and most artistic, rigourously musical and intellectual keyboard players of the 20th century before fate made him turn to the repertory for left hand alone.

Fleisher and Comissiona simply enchant the listener on their Vanguard recording of the concerto by Ravel, whereas the 1990 recording under Ozawa's direction just lumbers along by comparison. The tempi are faster and tauter, to marvellously invigourating effect, on the 1982 Vanguard recording, whereas the 1990 performance, trudging and plodding along like a musical pachyderm, never really quite gets fully into gear. By comparison with Vanguard's Fleisher/Comissiona recording, the sound of both the orchestra and piano on Sony's recording pairing Fleisher with Ozawa seems like an insufficiently detailed blur, downright blowzy for the orchestra; as for the piano or, perhaps, the way that the instrument was recorded, there is a distinct difference between the clarity and tonally varied timbre of the piano that Fleisher used for the Vanguard recording, an instrument so completely suited to this quintessentially French music, and the rich but excessively rotund, monochromatic sound of the instrument which the soloist plays on the Sony recording, one that probably is better suited to some German and English music than it is to French or Slavic repertory.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, for Vanguard, covers itself in glory as Sergiu Comissiona so skillfully leads it to such delectable effect. The orchestral sound there is clear, replete with seasoning as well as juice, and gloriously colourful. Compare Baltimore's exquisite results to what the Boston Symphony Orchestra delivers under Ozawa's baton. Before Ozawa had succeeded, as he desired and intended, to destroy the special character of that ensemble, considered widely as the best French orchestra in the world (even if, ironically, it was not not in a country of "La Francophonie"), that great Bostonian musical institution excelled in French and Russian repertoire, as Sergei Koussevitzky, Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, and Erich Leinsdorf at the helm of the Boston Symphony Orchestra so brilliantly documented, nearly always in the exceedingly good sound (for their respective dates) as R.C.A.'s recording studios captured it. In "blanding down" the B.S.O.'s musical character, resulting in it becoming "just another" generic-sounding musical formation of the kind.

While the Boston orchestra has suffered a dismally downward trajectory under Ozawa, the orchestra in Baltimore has been making a remarkable upward ascent, as one can hear for oneself in all of the works by Ravel included on Vanguard's treasurable disc. The Baltimore orchestra under Comissiona never sounded better in its recorded history and that orchestra, in fact, is a first rank choice to accompany such a great artist as Leon Fleisher in Ravel's music. Enjoy the results of their collaboration in Ravel's concerto on Vanguard's CD!

Ravel:  Concerto for the Left
Ravel: Concerto for the Left
Price: CDN$ 14.20
18 used & new from CDN$ 7.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Fleisher, Yes, but Espcially with His Baltimore Accompaniment, so Infinitely Superior to His Boston Recording, Sept. 13 2014
Leon Fleisher made two studio recordings of Maurice Ravel's Concerto for Piano, Left Hand Alone, of which the finer performance is this one (on Vanguard's CD) which Sergiu Comissiona conducts. The other (Sony Classical SK-47-188) has Fleisher in harness with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as that hunk of deadwood drifting in the tide, Seiji Ozawa conducts it.

The Fleisher/Commissiona recording is by far the better performance, with by turns voluptuously lovely, poetically evocative, and jazzily snazzy playing from the Baltimore ensemble under Comissiona's cunning direction. Fleisher plays better, too, with those Baltimore forces, which supply a much more atmospheric and colourful accompaniment under Sergiu Comissiona's inspired and poetic direction. Their collaboration with Fleisher Fleisher favourably with the sonic sludge that Ozawa draws, oozing gooily, from the B.S.O. (that abbreviation applying potentially to both orchestras, but being more widely recognised as standing for "Boston Symphony Orchestra" than as one indicating the Baltimore ensemble).

Leon Fleischer always has been an astute and highly virtuosic pianist. Fortunately, while he was lacking the use of his right hand, he continued to record piano works for left hand only as he had the opportunity, such as the other recordings on that later Ozawa-led CD from 1990 (matching the Ravel concerto with a left hand work by Sir Benjamin Britten) and 1991 (the left hand concerto by Serge Prokofiev on the same CD). This has been a boon to the record catalogues, for Fleisher's piano left-hand work has been of extraordinary quality, possibly the best in such repertory. He already had been one of the very greatest and most artistic, rigourously musical and intellectual keyboard players of the 20th century before fate made him turn to the repertory for left hand alone.

Fleisher and Comissiona simply enchant the listener on their Vanguard recording of the concerto by Ravel, whereas the 1990 recording under Ozawa's direction just lumbers along by comparison. The tempi are faster and tauter, to marvellously invigourating effect, on the 1982 Vanguard recording, whereas the 1990 performance, trudging and plodding along like a musical pachyderm, never really quite gets fully into gear. By comparison with Vanguard's Fleisher/Comissiona recording, the sound of both the orchestra and piano on Sony's recording pairing Fleisher with Ozawa seems like an insufficiently detailed blur, downright blowzy for the orchestra; as for the piano or, perhaps, the way that the instrument was recorded, there is a distinct difference between the clarity and tonally varied timbre of the piano that Fleisher used for the Vanguard recording, an instrument so completely suited to this quintessentially French music, and the rich but excessively rotund, monochromatic sound of the instrument which the soloist plays on the Sony recording, one that probably is better suited to some German and English music than it is to French or Slavic repertory.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, for Vanguard, covers itself in glory as Sergiu Comissiona so skillfully leads it to such delectable effect. The orchestral sound there is clear, replete with seasoning as well as juice, and gloriously colourful. Compare Baltimore's exquisite results to what the Boston Symphony Orchestra delivers under Ozawa's baton. Before Ozawa had succeeded, as he desired and intended, to destroy the special character of that ensemble, considered widely as the best French orchestra in the world (even if, ironically, it was not not in a country of "La Francophonie"), that great Bostonian musical institution excelled in French and Russian repertoire, as Sergei Koussevitzky, Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, and Erich Leinsdorf at the helm of the Boston Symphony Orchestra so brilliantly documented, nearly always in the exceedingly good sound (for their respective dates) as R.C.A.'s recording studios captured it. In "blanding down" the B.S.O.'s musical character, resulting in it becoming "just another" generic-sounding musical formation of the kind.

While the Boston orchestra has suffered a dismally downward trajectory under Ozawa, the orchestra in Baltimore has been making a remarkable upward ascent, as one can hear for oneself in all of the works by Ravel included on Vanguard's treasurable disc. The Baltimore orchestra under Comissiona never sounded better in its recorded history and that orchestra, in fact, is a first rank choice to accompany such a great artist as Leon Fleisher in Ravel's music. Enjoy the results of their collaboration in Ravel's concerto on Vanguard's CD!

All the King's Men (Bilingual Special Edition)
All the King's Men (Bilingual Special Edition)
DVD ~ Steven Zaillian
Price: CDN$ 3.97
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.34

4.0 out of 5 stars Two Cinematic "Takes" on R. Penn Warren's Novel, "All the King's Men" and on Gov. Huey Long Himself, the Movie's Subject, Sept. 9 2014
Having watched two different cinematic accounts of All the King's Men, the common assessment that the 1949 film, with Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 13052 being the edition viewed), is a greater movie than the 2006 film starring Sean Penn in the same role (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment16953-LIT being the "Special Edition" watched) seems rather debatable. That is not because Sean Penn is better than Broderick Crawford in that role; Penn is, indeed excessively, rather clownishly over-the-top, but so, to only a little lesser degree (but more believably) Crawford is also. Penn's faked Southern accent, however, is pretty dreadful, too, and is grossly exaggerated. Newsreels of the time convey what Long really was like, in looks and in public behaviour, and it is Crawford who most approximates the Huey Long of history.

This review is meant to apply to both motion pictures as released on DVD, Blu-Ray, or VHS.

The other actors in the 2006 film may not quite sound like native-born Southerners, either; however, not going so far to fake the regional accent, they irritate less than Sean Penn does. (Having a whole side of the family from Southern roots, that kind of linguistic fakery always sets this viewer's teeth gritting and on edge!)

The cast of the film, aside from Sean Penn, is superb. Jude Law's portrayal of Jack Burden is especially poignant, and, in its quiet way, very effective and subtle. John Ireland, a Canadian-born actor, is effective in the role of Jack Burden, but Law brings just that much more subtlety and personal appeal to the part, although Law does not have the reservations, and hence more intensely felt and expressed ambiguities, about supporting and working with Willie Stark, written more strongly into the 1949 film's very script, that Ireland portrays.

Actually, for the history behind the story, Huey Long, the real life politician that Stark's character represents, could be quite the buffoon, too, as well as quite ruthless; one had to take the progressive good along with the dictatorial bad back then in supporting Huey Long Huey Long, who was corrupt, yes, but who had a real heart for the people of Louisiana, unlike the lying, greedy graft-hogs feeding fiscally at the public trough in government in our own times, the early decades of the 21st century, at the national level (and in numerous states) in the U. S. of A. under Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama, in the Dominion of Canada under Harper, and among the rest of the neo-con corrupted English-speaking world under their respective leaders (and among the various continental nations of the European Union and their ruling elite).

The 2006 motion picture is considerably much more atmospheric and artistic, as a whole, than the earlier movie. The 1949 film seems too didactic and overly controlled, the acting and direction of all of its cast (not merely singling out Broderick Crawford) is excessively overdrawn and too obvious. That 1949 movie is the well-made-film "to a tee", but it suffers comparison with the 2006 motion picture partly from that very fact.

Both cinematic renderings of southerner Robert Penn Warren's novel are the kind of dramatic films about the South that do not heap the kind of contempt, derision, or condescension on the region unlike so the motion pictures of so many of Hollywood's hostile Yankee interlopers. It is well worth it to see both of the films based upon this story and on Louisiana's fascinating political lore. The 1949 movie, set in the 1930s (like Huey Long's career and Warren's novel itself) was an Academy Award winner and has remained a famous classic of American cinema.

A more incidental advantage of the 1949 film is that Broderick Crawford looks rather a lot like Huey Long himself; certainly Crawford was of very much the same physical "type" as Long. The 2006 film, apart from Sean Penn's buffoonery and grotesquely exaggerated accent (and lack of physical resemblance to Huey Long), for its part, is very evocative of the later period (1950s) in which it is set.

Among the several welcome bonus features of the DVD edition cited of the 2006 film are scenes deleted from the movie. Watch them! There is much in the dialogue that amplifies and clarifies motives of what Willie Stark and others do. The final scene, apart from being in b&w and in sepia (highlighting the redness of blood, in colour, that flows in such a context), does not differ much from the film's depiction of the assassination, but it extends the end to the funerals and a conversation that Jack Burden has with Sugar, Willie's chief bodyguard, which also reveals a key element in what led to the governor's murder and to what propelled Adam Stanton's to carry it out.

Many consider these two films to be veritable monuments of Hollywood excellence. Maybe so, maybe not---. Be sure to view both of them to judge for oneself!

All the King's Men
All the King's Men
DVD ~ Broderick Crawford
Offered by Fast Quality Products
Price: CDN$ 19.99
9 used & new from CDN$ 6.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Stirring Motion Pictures, Both Based upon the Great Novel, "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren, Depicting Gov. Huey Long, Sept. 9 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: All the King's Men (DVD)
Having watched two different cinematic accounts of All the King's Men, the common assessment that the 1949 film, with Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 13052 being the edition viewed), is a greater movie than the 2006 film starring Sean Penn in the same role (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment16953-LIT being the "Special Edition" watched) seems rather debatable. That is not because Sean Penn is better than Broderick Crawford in that role; Penn is, indeed excessively, rather clownishly over-the-top, but so, to only a little lesser degree (but more believably) Crawford is also. Penn's faked Southern accent, however, is pretty dreadful, too, and is grossly exaggerated. Newsreels of the time convey what Long really was like, in looks and in public behaviour, and it is Crawford who most approximates the Huey Long of history.

This review is meant to apply to both motion pictures as released on DVD, Blu-Ray, or VHS.

The other actors in the 2006 film may not quite sound like native-born Southerners, either; however, not going so far to fake the regional accent, they irritate less than Sean Penn does. (Having a whole side of the family from Southern roots, that kind of linguistic fakery always sets this viewer's teeth gritting and on edge!)

The cast of the film, aside from Sean Penn, is superb. Jude Law's portrayal of Jack Burden is especially poignant, and, in its quiet way, very effective and subtle. John Ireland, a Canadian-born actor, is effective in the role of Jack Burden, but Law brings just that much more subtlety and personal appeal to the part, although Law does not have the reservations, and hence more intensely felt and expressed ambiguities, about supporting and working with Willie Stark, written more strongly into the 1949 film's very script, that Ireland portrays.

Actually, for the history behind the story, Huey Long, the real life politician that Stark's character represents, could be quite the buffoon, too, as well as quite ruthless; one had to take the progressive good along with the dictatorial bad back then in supporting Huey Long Huey Long, who was corrupt, yes, but who had a real heart for the people of Louisiana, unlike the lying, greedy graft-hogs feeding fiscally at the public trough in government in our own times, the early decades of the 21st century, at the national level (and in numerous states) in the U. S. of A. under Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama, in the Dominion of Canada under Harper, and among the rest of the neo-con corrupted English-speaking world under their respective leaders (and among the various continental nations of the European Union and their ruling elite).

The 2006 motion picture is considerably much more atmospheric and artistic, as a whole, than the earlier movie. The 1949 film seems too didactic and overly controlled, the acting and direction of all of its cast (not merely singling out Broderick Crawford) is excessively overdrawn and too obvious. That 1949 movie is the well-made-film "to a tee", but it suffers comparison with the 2006 motion picture partly from that very fact.

Both cinematic renderings of southerner Robert Penn Warren's novel are the kind of dramatic films about the South that do not heap the kind of contempt, derision, or condescension on the region unlike so the motion pictures of so many of Hollywood's hostile Yankee interlopers. It is well worth it to see both of the films based upon this story and on Louisiana's fascinating political lore. The 1949 movie, set in the 1930s (like Huey Long's career and Warren's novel itself) was an Academy Award winner and has remained a famous classic of American cinema.

A more incidental advantage of the 1949 film is that Broderick Crawford looks rather a lot like Huey Long himself; certainly Crawford was of very much the same physical "type" as Long. The 2006 film, apart from Sean Penn's buffoonery and grotesquely exaggerated accent (and lack of physical resemblance to Huey Long), for its part, is very evocative of the later period (1950s) in which it is set.

Among the several welcome bonus features of the DVD edition cited of the 2006 film are scenes deleted from the movie. Watch them! There is much in the dialogue that amplifies and clarifies motives of what Willie Stark and others do. The final scene, apart from being in b&w and in sepia (highlighting the redness of blood, in colour, that flows in such a context), does not differ much from the film's depiction of the assassination, but it extends the end to the funerals and a conversation that Jack Burden has with Sugar, Willie's chief bodyguard, which also reveals a key element in what led to the governor's murder and to what propelled Adam Stanton's to carry it out.

Many consider these two films to be veritable monuments of Hollywood excellence. Maybe so, maybe not---. Be sure to view both of them to judge for oneself!

Beware of My Love - DVD
Beware of My Love - DVD
DVD ~ Nathalie Baye
Offered by moviemars-canada
Price: CDN$ 5.97
11 used & new from CDN$ 5.97

4.0 out of 5 stars A Mismatched Couple Who Crave Each Other Physically but Who Cannot Live, Ultimately, with and around Each Other for Very Long, Sept. 8 2014
This review is from: Beware of My Love - DVD (DVD)
This French film's original title is "Si je t'aime, prends garde à toi", a line, of course, which most famously, Carmen sings to Don José in the opera "Carmen" (and which both of the major protagonists in "Beware of My Love" rightly could communicate one to the other!). The tale of two mismatched but passionate people, the male, Samuel (or Sami as he sometimes is called in the film, played by Daniel Duval) of which is, apparently, a displaced Turk or Kurd from Izmir (and not, I wouldn't think, an Arab or Berber from North Africa as some have inferred), who is stateless and without papers or financial means (other than gambling, mooching off the ladies, and selling oriental rugs) in France. He and Muriel (acted by Nathalie Baye), a successful and sophisticated woman of the arts, as writer, film editor, and (whether professionally or as a skilled amateur) classical pianist, encounter each other on the train. Muriel helps Samuel to avoid detection and hence the need to pay for his fare (which he cannot).

Back in Paris, Samuel tracks down Muriel and forces his way into her life and, on her own terms, into her heart. However, Samuel is very abusive, jealous, and excessively assertive. The remainder of "Beware of My Love" consists of the constant struggle of Samuel to dominate Muriel, who, although she makes love with him frequently and appreciates his physical assets as a lover (and Duval, even as a man in late middle age, the film dating from 1998, is in great physical shape, as one can appreciate in his frequent full frontally buck-naked appearances), she becomes impatient with his Middle Eastern machismo and even mocks him in a way that is very unsettling to Samuel. Needless to say, Muriel's very carnal and, to an extent, caring love for Samuel evaporates in the face of his aggressivity and dangerously unpredictable moods and behaviour. By film's end they separate, once for all. Muriel simply is too self-assured and independent to let Samuel dominate her as, inevitably and repeatedly, he desires (despite some protestations on his part occasionally to the contrary) that she accept him, unconditionally, as lover.

The film's eroticism and other depicted behaviour will seem brutal at times and bewilderingly errant to many Anglophone viewers; this kind of lived-out existentialist angst comes more naturally to the French (and to those of some other latin cultures) than it does to audiences in Canada, aside from Québec, and the U. S. of A. If one likes French cinema of this sort, be assured that the film is a worthy specimen of the genre, a work of art, not (despite all the nudity and overt sex) one that is merely pornographic. The DVD is subtitled in English, fairly well despite some errors here and there (an hilariously inappropriate one being "gay" for what the French intends as "guy" at one point!). If the viewer is up to such fare, which hardly is rare in French cinema, this film is for him or for her.

Count Down the Skys on Fire
Count Down the Skys on Fire
DVD ~ DVD
Offered by Mikani Collectables
Price: CDN$ 4.89
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Ozone Depletion Catastrophic Crisis Threatens Los Angeles (Calif.) & One Controversial Scientist Has & Carries out the Solution, Aug. 30 2014
This review is from: Count Down the Skys on Fire (DVD)
I agree with the verdict of many other non-cinephile viewers (i.e. among us movie-watching public of less finicky taste) that this 1998 film (made for television) is enjoyable, overall, to watch, despite its faults. It was worth it to confront the technical hurdles that the DVD edition acquired posed in playback (its visual packaging looking like the one pictured on this Amazon-U.S. DVD product's Amazon entry). I had purchased, here in Québec, Freemantle Media/Direct Source Special Products DVD-17439. Other copies may not share the shortcomings of the DVD as I auditioned and viewed it, namely faint volume; even when I raised the sound level on my DVD player to maximum, it still was difficult to hear the dialogue well enough, on two attempts to view the movie, to bother to watch the film very far into the action. If the DVD had included subtitles, that would not have been such a major inconvenience, but there are none, whether in English or in any other language. Finally, I managed to struggle through the movie by viewing it on my computer; the volume still was too low even set for full tilt playback, but I balanced one of the two small computer speakers on one shoulder, then on another (to avoid arm and elbow fatigue), to get the sound source close enough to the ear to hear it adequately. Since the film comes in various other editions, especially as coupled with another Los Angeles set disaster movie, it probably would be prudent to purchase "Countdown: the Sky's on Fire" (also known, by subtitle alone, as "The Sky's on Fire") in such a double-feature DVD edition in order to avoid potential problems with this film as distributed and sold alone.

The movie is rather fun to watch. For something in its genre, "Countdown: the Sky Is on Fire" is not particularly high-tech cinema (and, frankly, some more technical wizardry would have helped this film), but it rather obviously is a modest low-budget effort for televised broadcast. However, the story is entertaining and the settings appealing (all the more so to a Southern California dude like I, for many decades now living in Québec). The plot is well laid out, having enough tension for one's attention not to flag. There are quite a number of scientific implausibilities in this story of an ecological crisis due to a hole in the ozone layer moving inland from the ocean, to catastrophic potential, to hover above the major centre of population of humans, birds, other animals, and (yuck!) insects that Los Angeles, California, happens to be. The story of how the looming disaster is averted is entertaining, but if one wishes to read a brief account of the scientific inaccuracies and of the other "holes" in the story about this "hole" in the sky, read the film's description in Wikipedia's account of it.

As for the quality of the acting among the cast, it is quite variable, from rather good to stiffly mediocre. The weakest link in that regard is John Corbett in the central role of Dr. Evan Thorne, the brave and brilliant scientist who analyses and finds a solution to the peril that the hole in the atmosphere's ozone layer poses. His acting is stiff and unconvincing, apart from some stock-gestured worried looks on his handsomely furrowed brow. The rest of the members of the cast in other important roles, thankfully, do better with their own parts, at least, than Corbett does with his.

Get this one if (a) disaster films are a significant pleasure for the viewer and (b) if the price makes it a bargain. For others, this movie is one that is likable, but which one can do without.

THE MODERN READER'S BIBLE
THE MODERN READER'S BIBLE
by PH.D., EDITED BY RICHARD G. MOULTON M.A.
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Convenient Edition of the Revised Version (of 1881-1894) of the Old & New Testaments, with Selected Writings from the Apocrypha, Aug. 16 2014
What one finds in this volume, "The Modern Reader's Bible: the Books of the Bible, with Three Books of the Apocrypha, Presented in Modern Literary Form", is Richard Green Moulton's edition of the Revised Version (R.V.) of the Holy Bible (NOT to be confused with either its A.S.V. variant or with the much later R.S.V. Bible) of 1881-1894. (R. G. Moulton, incidentally, is not to be confused with the Dr. Moulton, i.e. William Fiddian Moulton, who was a member of the committee whose labours had produced the Revised Version.) The R.V., by 1894, had come, finally, to the conclusion of its project of translation and of supposèd revision (of the A.V., a.k.a. K.J.V.) to comprise within itself the Old Testament, the Apocrypha (or "deuterocanonical" writings, as they also are known), and the New Testament, at last all present and accounted for. Moulton's edition of the R.V., for its part, is printed as so distinctively formatted on its pages to enhance the reader's pleasure, convenience, and understanding of it, with some slight changes in the R.V.'s text, as the Macmillan Co. published, reprinted, and reissued, from 1907 onwards, Moulton's handiwork in a single volume.

Regarding that, Moulton informs the reader of his edition that its text "is one construed specially for this work, for which the Editor alone is responsible. It is based upon the English Revised Version, with choice between the readings of the text and [of the] margin [i.e., with the result that Moulton's edition opts to elevate into position within the text itself wording which had been originally in the R.V. only as possible alternative readings relegated to the notes of its marginalia], and with some slight changes of wording as are involved in the adaptation to modern literary structure." (The R.V.'s own original choices in such regard so often were based as much on pedantic caprice as on any sound principles that the user of Moulton's edition of it should not be unduly concerned about all this!) As he edited the R.V., Moulton included only three of the deuterocanonical writings found in the R.V.'s complete Apocrypha. Those deuterocanonical writings, which Moulton selected and included for their literary value, are, namely, Tobit, Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus (the latter-most of those three sacred writings now being more commonly known as "Sirach").

At least, that is what one gathers from the verso of the title page and from the preface to the book, as well as from leafing through it. Moulton's edition of the R.V. is not an extended mere sampling of passages from the Bible which are of highly literary importance, but, rather, it comprises the entire books of the Old and New Testaments in their full texts, together with some selected writings (also in the complete texts for these three of them) from the Apocrypha.

Among anthologies, per se, chosen from the texts of the Sacred Writings of the Bible and Apocrypha, a fine one that stands out from so many other such anthologised Scripture editions, is one chosen and edited for the delectation and use of students, especially of literature, with notes of explanation and literary commentary preceding, interspersed with, and following the writings that are found in the Bible and its Apocrypha, namely, the classic anthology that Roy B. Chamberlin and Herman Feldman confected generously and extensively from the text of the great 1611 A.V. Bible, "The Dartmouth Bible: an Abridgment of the King James Version, with Aids to Its Understanding as History and Literature, and as a Source of Religious Experience" (Boston, Mass.: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1950). This anthology of the A.V. Bible, thankfully, is more elegantly printed in larger typeface, friendlier to the reader's eyes, than the comparatively cramped typeface and page layout of Moulton's edition of the R.V. Bible. However, each of these editions has its own respective and differing usefulness and intended purpose, aiming for somewhat different sectors of readership among those who approach the Holy Bible from divergent angles as a document of historical and literary value.

Moulton confines his comments on the Biblical writings to his Preface and other preliminary material at the front of the volume, and to very extensive explanatory, historical, and literary essays, introductions, and notes on the various contents of the Bible's at the end of the volume. Moulton's explanatory texts in his edition of the R.V. add up to lengthier such commentary than what one finds in Chamberlin's and Feldman's anthology of the A.V. Bible. Moulton, and alike Chamberlin and Feldman, intentionally put less stress on "higher" and "lower" criticism than one tends to find in later "study" or "annotated" editions of the Bible. Moulton's interest in the Bible is not in text criticism of it so much as in the historical and literary value of the writings within the Holy Scriptures.

Moulton provides rather frequent and helpful sectional titles, to guide the reader's attention and to help him to grasp the importance of the Biblical text, at various places with the books of the Bible. In Moulton's edition, the text of Scripture mostly appears in a single column, which, among other things, abets the lineation of the verses of poetical books, or of such passages elsewhere within those Sacred Writings that are primarily in prose, but which burst out occasionally into appropriately poetical expression, a device that is particularly helpful to understanding the ancient writers' resort to a variety of literary forms. Special typographical presentation and formalities here and there, of this among numerous other kinds, help to make the structure of some portions of the Sacred Text more readily evident to the eye as set out on the pages.

In contrast to such highlighting (perhaps even to render "low-lit"), Moulton presents "the really tedious stuff" (of genealogies, minutiae of the Law, ceremonial and architectural details of the Tabernacle and of the Temple, and like rather frankly boring matter) in double columns; this makes it easy for the casual reader to skip over such passages that are of so little interest to many readers. (I wish, however, that Moulton had done that more frequently; even, for example, in the book of Ezekiel's prophecy, and elsewhere, too, in the Bible, there are long stretches of dull and tiresome text intruding upon the main aim of any particular sacred writing that can be of less than stellar interest and which could benefit from presentation in such double columns.) Rather than to present the Bible's highlights and to exclude what is of less interest to the reader of cultivated literary and historical orientation, Moulton's presentation of the text allows the reader to decide, from the entire contents of the Old and New Testaments, and from that of the parts of the Apocrypha that Moulton included, what is of interest to himself to read.

Concerning the Apocrypha, the inclusion of only three books from it, among the other writings within the deuterocanon, seems a bit too niggardly and restrictive. Surely the story of Judith (excluded) is at least as well known and entertaining to read as Tobit (included) happens to be. The books of First and Second Maccabees (excluded) are of paramount importance, as extending the Bible's historical narrative somewhat closer to Jesus' and His Apostles' time. Third (or, as it also is accounted, First) Esdras also would have been helpful to include, as its narrative is more chronologically recounted than it is within parts of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah which appear within the Old Testament itself. On the other hand, the wild speculations and flights of fancy in Fourth (or, as also accounted, Second) Esdras are very inferior and highly speculative stuff best omitted, as Moulton opted to do . The book of Baruch (which, in the R.V., includes the related Epistle of Jeremiah) contains stunningly vivid and clear prophecies of later times, making it a regrettable exclusion from the sampling of the Old Testament's deuterocanonical writings in Moulton's R.V. edition!

On the other hand, many Christians regard the tales of Daniel's prowess as an investigative detective, recounted in the less canonical portions of the Book of Daniel which Protestants consign to the Apocrypha, to be, admittedly, a bit superficial or even dubious, making their absence from Moulton's edition an understandable choice. And so it goes with yet more of the Apocrypha's concededly uneven and variable content.

Moulton's very choice, so many years ago, to use the then fashionable Revised Version for his "reader's edition" of the Bible makes his interesting way of presenting the text of the Holy Scriptures less appetising than would have been the case if he had edited the Authorised ("King James") Version (A.V.) in a similar manner to what one finds in "The Modern Reader's Bible". The Revised Version, most memorably (also infamously and deplorably) entailed the contribution of that perversely scholarly and infamous duo themselves of "Westcott and Hort" (i.e., Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort), both of whom were among the members of the R.V. revision committee.

The R.V.'s revisers essentially retained most of the Tudor/Stuart English of (roughly) Shakespeare's time found in the A.V. Bible, but ironed it out flat and rather lifeless, as a result of certain of the 1881-1894 revisers' pedantic principles, in a way that reduces the awesome literary value that one encounters in the A.V. itself. The R.V. and its American variant, the American Standard Version (A.S.V.) of 1901 (NOT to be confused with the considerably later "New American Standard Version", the N.A.S.V. being a revision of the A.S.V.), additionally, followed a school of textual criticism that, at last, is falling, albeit gradually, into the disrepute that it all too richly deserves, but which, alas, still has been in evidence also in such well known Bible versions as the Revised Standard Version (another revision of the A.S.V.) and such paraphrastic renderings as the New International Version, among many others. No doubt, like so many others, Moulton back in 1907 was confident that the R.V. (and A.S.V.) would come to displace the A.V. from the public's favour. Thankfully, that did not turn out to be the case. So, although Richard G. Moulton's edition of the R.V. Bible has many still welcome features, the R.V.'s own leaden style weighs it down considerably. This Amazon-reviewer once doggedly read the entire A.S.V. Bible (which only differs slightly from its parent R.V.), plus the R.V. Apocrypha (which the the publication of the A.S.V. omitted), both from cover-to-cover, and that was the most deadly tedious and frustrating read-through of the full Bible in any of the numerous translations ever undertaken to read in full.

Despite all that has been said above, there still are avid advocates of the R.V. (and of the A.S.V. and the N.A.S.V., as well). They will find Moulton's presentation of the R.V. Bible very welcome, as well as particularly and lastingly "reader-friendly", with the abidingly useful explanatory material that it includes as a cherishable asset.

The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book (1922)
The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book (1922)
by W. J. Armitage
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 41.64
5 used & new from CDN$ 35.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Distinguished Canadian Anglican Clergyman and Liturgist Reveals the What, How, and Why of Revision Leading to First Canadian BCP, Aug. 5 2014
The potential purchaser should bear in mind that the account of Canada's own Book of Common Prayer by Adn. William James Armitage, a distinguished Canadian clergyman of Halifax, N.S., is that, specifically, of the first such B.C.P. for the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada (later known as the Anglican Church of Canada).

Archdeacon Armitage was the chief figure in the making of a distinct edition, that of 1918/1922, of the B.C.P. for the Dominion of Canada's Anglicans. The Church of England in the Dominion of Canada previously had used the 1662 B.C.P. of the "mother church", i.e. of the Church of England, with, in some places, various supplemental texts for use therewith. Adn. Armitage's accomplished his work memorably well, and thus laid a sound foundation upon which the 1959/1962 Canadian B.C.P. progressed through the later revision leading to its own publication. In his account of the first Canadian Prayer Book, Armitage meticulously recounts every significant detail in the work upon, and in the results of, the 1918/1922 B.C.P. for every one of the of the sections of that liturgical work.

Another Canadian clergyman, a zealous Low Church Evangelical, who worked on the 1918/1922 Canadian B.C.P. revision, was Dyson Hague, active in London, Ont. and in Toronto of those years. He left a brief account of the Canadian 1918/1922 revision in Chapter 24, "The Canadian Prayer Book, 1911-1918", found on p. [261]-272 of his book, "The Story of the English Prayer Book: Its Origin and Developments, with Special Chapters on the Scottish, Irish, American, and Canadian Prayer Books" (London, Eng.: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1926). In those pages of his book, Hague warmly praised Adn. Armitage.

However, of course, it is Adn. Armitage's fuller-length account of the first Canadian B.C.P. which is the more authoritative and more copiously detailed account of the revision project and of the Canadian B.C.P. which resulted from it. Because of his intimate knowledge of every aspect of the 1918/1922 edition of the Canadian Prayer Book, the preparation of which he guided along and on which he laboured with such devotion and with such supreme competence, Armitage was able to recount a phenomenal amount of detail and lore relating to the Prayer Books of England and of the then-new one for Canada.

Armitage's book about the 1918/1922 revision still bears close reading after all these years and despite the advent, later on, of a subsequent revision, i.e., that of 1959/1962, of the Anglican Church of Canada's Book of Common Prayer.

The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book
The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book
by Armitage W. J. 1860-1929
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.38
5 used & new from CDN$ 20.38

4.0 out of 5 stars How the First Complete and Distinctly Canadian Edition of the Book of Common Prayer Came Forth, Aug. 4 2014
The potential purchaser should bear in mind that the account of Canada's own Book of Common Prayer by Adn. William James Armitage, a distinguished Canadian clergyman of Halifax, N.S., is that, specifically, of the first such B.C.P. for the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada (later known as the Anglican Church of Canada).

Archdeacon Armitage was the chief figure in the making of a distinct edition, that of 1918/1922, of the B.C.P. for the Dominion of Canada's Anglicans. The Church of England in the Dominion of Canada previously had used the 1662 B.C.P. of the "mother church", i.e. of the Church of England, with, in some places, various supplemental texts for use therewith. Adn. Armitage's accomplished his work memorably well, and thus laid a sound foundation upon which the 1959/1962 Canadian B.C.P. progressed through the later revision leading to its own publication. In his account of the first Canadian Prayer Book, Armitage meticulously recounts every significant detail in the work upon, and in the results of, the 1918/1922 B.C.P. for every one of the of the sections of that liturgical work.

Another Canadian clergyman, a zealous Low Church Evangelical, who worked on the 1918/1922 Canadian B.C.P. revision, was Dyson Hague, active in London, Ont. and in Toronto of those years. He left a brief account of the Canadian 1918/1922 revision in Chapter 24, "The Canadian Prayer Book, 1911-1918", found on p. [261]-272 of his book, "The Story of the English Prayer Book: Its Origin and Developments, with Special Chapters on the Scottish, Irish, American, and Canadian Prayer Books" (London, Eng.: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1926). In those pages of his book, Hague warmly praised Adn. Armitage.

However, of course, it is Adn. Armitage's fuller-length account of the first Canadian B.C.P. which is the more authoritative and more copiously detailed account of the revision project and of the Canadian B.C.P. which resulted from it. Because of his intimate knowledge of every aspect of the 1918/1922 edition of the Canadian Prayer Book, the preparation of which he guided along and on which he laboured with such devotion and with such supreme competence, Armitage was able to recount a phenomenal amount of detail and lore relating to the Prayer Books of England and of the then-new one for Canada.

Armitage's book about the 1918/1922 revision still bears close reading after all these years and despite the advent, later on, of a subsequent revision, i.e., that of 1959/1962, of the Anglican Church of Canada's Book of Common Prayer.

Le Chihuahua de Beverly Hills 1, 2 & 3
Le Chihuahua de Beverly Hills 1, 2 & 3
Offered by Prestivo3
Price: CDN$ 62.99
3 used & new from CDN$ 62.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One Chihuahua Movie, 2 Chihuahua Movies, 3 Chihuahua Movies, Wow! Here Goes! Chihuahua Movie x 3 = Canine Entertainment Bliss!, Aug. 1 2014
I know how much cinephiles loathe these motion pictures and others of its genre, but, dudes and gals, loosen up! It is great to have all three together! Along the way commenting on the three films, I'll mention the separate DVD editions of each one, for reference's sake. Sure, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua: [1]", the first movie in Disney's Chihuahua Trilogy, is more than a little "sappy", but take some time out to be "sappy and happy" viewing this movie (available as viewed on DVD, among other DVD and Blu-Ray editions, as Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 057850/02)! The adventures of these chihuahuas, other dogs, and assorted animals is a delight, especially for those who have a "tender spot" for the hounds! This movie never was meant to appeal to the viewer's sophistication. On the other hand, it is not any sort of "chihuahua exploitation film", either.

My favourite hounds in this California-Mexico romp are Papí, Chloé's ardent male admirer and very determinedly valiant chihuahua, and Delgado, the down-on-his-luck, butch German shepherd who rescues, and does various acts of kindness for, Chloë, even when he misinterprets the reasons for Chloë's second disappearance. Then, too, who cannot love the thronging hoard of chihauhuas among the ruins of an ancient indigenous culture? Seeing Chloë try to find the mighty voice of her "inner chihuahua" (as opposed to pampered pet squeaks and whimpering) with the aid of the leader of this pack of chihuahuas is very amusing; I wish that this bit of animal humour had been more extended!

This is a pack of fun, and not just for children! Have a barking good time watching this film, in the theatre or at home on the DVD or Blu-Ray player!

The Chihuahua cinema concession continues, without letdown in inspired fun, with parts two and three, the sequels of the Chihuahua trilogy, i.e. "Beverly Hills Chihuahua: 2, the Family Just Got Bigger" (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 105886) and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua: 3, Viva la Fiesta, Family Always Matters" (Disney 109086/02). Each leading canine cast favourite hound will bound around on your screen for more Chihuahua mania!

The second film of the series is the only one that seems even slightly routine, mostly concerned with the swank dog show that Chloë and Papi, plus one of their canine buddies, come to dominate, but, alas, not to win. The two Chihuahuas and their pups also, with Delgado's expert help, catch some bank robbers.

My favourite of the two sequels, however, is the "Beverly Hill Chihuahua: 3", which is wonderfully zany and replete with one madcap antic after another. In that one, Papi and Chloë (and the others) celebrate daughter Rosita's "quinceañera" (its timing reckoned in equivalent "dog years"), while some skullduggery has been taking place at a fancy Beverly Hills pet hotel, where a treacherous female employee and a suspicious administrative hound, on behalf of the leading rival such establishment, the two of them colluding with an outside secret agent, are undertaking some disloyal commercial spying and sabotage, which Delgado, Papi, and others uncover and thwart, saving their human master's and mistress' jobs there while they are at it. The canine Mariachi band for Rosita's party and during the rehearsals for it is especially droll and endearing.

Don't miss these movies! You and the children or teenagers of your household also might enjoy the attractively written, printed, and illustrated "junior novels" published so far (as of mid-2014) which are based on the first two films of the trilogy!

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