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Thomas Dworschak

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Penguin Classics Consolation Of Philosophy
Penguin Classics Consolation Of Philosophy
by Ancius Boethius
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 dispensable, Aug. 5 2000
I had been reading Platon, Cicero, Epicur, Marcus Antoninus, Seneca, Lucretius... for one year and then I chose Boethius to finish my "studies" in antique philosophy. His "Concolation of Philosophy" bored me like no other work before, since Boethius hardly does develop anything new (except the metaphysical studies about Predestination and Providence, which are already influenced by early Christianism). He more or less restricts himself to repeat mostly Platonic ideas, which are told to him by Lady Philosophy, who visits him in his prison in order to make him free of desperation.
Some may feel consoled when they read this book. I didn't. I think the works of Cicero, Seneca and Marcus Antoninus are a much better help in case of depressiveness and desperation. For me, Boethius is just dispensable.

Bongo Fury
Bongo Fury
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Prix : CDN$ 29.95
12 used & new from CDN$ 8.98

5.0 étoiles sur 5 The most intelligent rock band of the world!, July 1 2000
This review is from: Bongo Fury (Audio CD)
This was the first Zappa album I bought. I payed a sum that would have been enough to purchase any double album although the playing time of "Bongo Fury" lasts only half an hour, but I would do it again.
The lyrics are full of irony (most of all "Poofter's Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead", "Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy" and "Muffin Man"), like I expected it. But that is not everything. When I listened to the album, I noticed that all band members were truly great musicians: Zappa's own guitar, the "choir" singing on "Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy", the trombone player and all the others. This band could knock out any other. I'm very sorry that the producer cut out a lot of the performance. I would have liked to hear Captain Beefheart playing saxophone, and I hope that this is still to come.

Sketchbook 1966-1971
Sketchbook 1966-1971
by Max Frisch
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 19.16
20 used & new from CDN$ 7.61

5.0 étoiles sur 5 The background of a versatile brain worker, June 21 2000
This review is from: Sketchbook 1966-1971 (Paperback)
This is the second "sketchbook" (after 1946-49) that Frisch published. The author is clearly influenced by the time: long-haired students sometimes pay a visit to him, the war in Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement (with Martin Luther King's death) are themes that appear very frequently, especially due to the fact that Frisch made two trips to the USA at that time.
The sketchbook is essentially made out of the following parts: 1. newspaper cutouts or TV / radio talks, sometimes commented by the author 2. sketches for short stories 3. his impressions mainly from several voyages (to the USA, the USSR and Japan), but also from his home country, Switzerland, all including political reflections 4. questionnaires (about death, women, children, property...) that are very useful if you want to think a bit about yourself.
Frisch's sketchbooks are a must-have if you want to analyse his work as a novelist and playwriter, but they are also a good purchase just to make yourself think a bit.

Rough Guide Rock 2e
Rough Guide Rock 2e
by Rough Guide
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 37.99
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best book about rock, June 12 2000
This review is from: Rough Guide Rock 2e (Paperback)
This book was an experiment: thousands of fans were asked to write something about their favourite band, and these aricles were collected. Thus, some focus on the music, others on the history and some are just gossipping, but altogether they make up a great work, containing thousands of reviews and record recommendations. You need this book absolutely, it is the only one I know that gives so much information about such a lot of artists in one single volume.

Rough Guide Jazz 1e
Rough Guide Jazz 1e
by Rough Guide
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 étoiles sur 5 "Rough Guide Rock" is better, June 12 2000
This review is from: Rough Guide Jazz 1e (Paperback)
OK, this book is a good manual if you want to know something about special artists and some of their records, but it were just three musicians who wrote the whole book, and they just did not tell about what they didn't like (for example Miles Davis: they stop with "Jack Johnson", then say he had his midlife crisis in the 70's and returned with "a wonderful album" in about 1981 - nothing about "Dark Magus" and other masterworks from this era!).
Maybe American readers are not interested in European musicians, but I think it is just fair to give them a place in this book, too (like Dieter Seelow, who lives almost next door to me).
Get this book if you need an encyclopedia about jazz, although it is a bit unbalanced. A better one is "Das Jazzbuch" by Joachim Ernst Behrendt (?), but I didn't find it here because I could not spell his name and I don't know if there's an English translation.

Gertrude
Gertrude
18 used & new from CDN$ 2.69

3.0 étoiles sur 5 innocent, June 12 2000
This review is from: Gertrude (Paperback)
"Gertrud" (this is the original German spelling) is a novel mainly about two things: love and music.
Hesse had always some problems with describing love and feelings, and again he is always on the way to sentimentality (the last two chapters contain some of his stereotypical phrases I have learned to hate, with "odours of my youth" etc.). For luck he introduces one character (Lohe, a former teacher of the protagonist Kuhn) that stops him two times: when Kuhn is planning his suicide, he tells him in an ironical way that Kuhn seems to be suffering of an illness called "imagined loneliness". The other time, he offers Kuhn a book about Far East wisdom, but Hesse doesn't use this opportunity for praising this well-loved subject of his, but just leaves it misunderstood by Kuhn.
Hesse doesn't find the best way of describing music either; I think he didn't really understand what he was writing about. He restricts himself to saying that the music makes some guys weep or that it is wonderful and full of feelings although the teachers refused it because it was full of technical mistakes, but nothing else, and so the idea of Kuhns music remains very vague (better descriptions are in Thomas Mann's "Doktor Faustus", where the author discussed anything with composers to give really detailed information of music that in a way is revolutionary and real artistry).
Good thing about "Gertrud": in the ample descriptions of Kuhn's mental state are not only stereotypes about love, but also better descriptions of his despair and relief, his hopes and fears, his friendship with the musician Teiser and the lately awakening love to his old mother.
Read this book, but don't think too much about it.

The Art of Saxophone Playing
The Art of Saxophone Playing
by Larry Teal
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 15.52
27 used & new from CDN$ 10.62

5.0 étoiles sur 5 First the "craftsman", then the artist, May 29 2000
Everyone who wants to make a real art of his saxophone playing should have this book. The author first describes the technical matters of the instrument itself: what you should look at if you buy a new saxophone, mouthpiece (with detailed explanations of its parts) or reed (with hints how to adjust it). Then he wants to train the physical conditions of the player, i. e. posture when playing, breathing and embouchure (both with several exercises that can be done without the instrument, just in order to control and strengthen the concernded muscles). He also tells a lot about tone quality, how to produce a vibrato, how to make dynamics correctly and how to pitch notes that are not OK on the instrument. A trill chart is also included in the book. For more advanced players, Teal includes fingerings for the very high register of the saxophone and some information about double tonguing and doubling (playing another woodwind instrument).
The author doesn't want to teach the player improvisation and such things, although they are widely required. His aim is "craftsmanship", and his background when he wrote the book was to make the saxophone more common to "classical music". Teal's idea is that the saxophone player only can be an artist if he masters the technical matters of his instrument, and then he can proceed to playing what he likes. His book is a very good help for every player to learn everything what is necessary for a good playing skill.

Homo Faber (Harvest Book)
Homo Faber (Harvest Book)
by Max Frisch
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A tragedy of a technicist, May 20 2000
This book is one of the most important novels (although Frisch calls it "report") in German language, and I like it immensely ALTHOUGH it is being treated in German lessons, and I was shocked when I read the review in which the reviewer writes that the translator left out the criticism of the "American Way of Life" (one of the most important parts in the development, I think: Walter Faber, the main person, is sitting in Cuba, enjoying tropical thunderstorms and swears about America because it "destroyed the white race". This was also the attitude of an archaeologist he had met six months before and he didn't understand it at all).
I won't tell you all the story because it's like in a criminal novel: you shouldn't know the end because if you knew it, you would read it with less attention. The main thing is that Walter Faber, an engineer who is absolutely hostile towards feelings, women etc., is overwhelmed by some happenings he would never have considered to be possible. He changes his views radically and becomes a real tragic person.
Frisch's use of foreshadowings makes the reader feel the tragedy even more closely, but in his language, there are some weak points (the detailed technical pieces of information which Faber, the 1st-person-narrator, uses), which have been transformed into a wonderful parody (called "Frener") by Robert Neumann.

Morrison Hotel
Morrison Hotel
Offered by Aux 33 Tours
Prix : CDN$ 9.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 étoiles sur 5 It's been a long way from their first album..., May 20 2000
This review is from: Morrison Hotel (Audio CD)
There is just one song on "Morrison Hotel" that reminds very much to their early phase ("The Doors" album), and this is "Waiting for the Sun". The other songs are very blues-related, although in different ways. "Roadhouse Blues", "Maggie M'Gill" and "You Make Me Real" are strong blues-rock songs, "Land Ho!" sounds like a shanty, "Blue Sunday" is a sentimental (too sentimental!) love song. "Indian Summer" is in a way similar to it, it's very slow, but also more simple. Altogether, the Doors have made a very versatile album. Clearly, Morrison is the boss, and all the songs are centered on his lyrics, so they all last only between two and four minutes and it's a pity that the other band members did not have the opportunity for more instrumental parts and perhaps improvisation. But I would advice anyone who likes the blues to buy this album, although I don't rate it five stars.

Koln Concert
Koln Concert
Prix : CDN$ 15.78
37 used & new from CDN$ 10.52

5.0 étoiles sur 5 I'm glad to have the letter "ö" on my keyboard, May 7 2000
This review is from: Koln Concert (Audio CD)
Keith Jarrett was tired and weary when he played at Köln, and somehow he didn't like the piano, but in spite of that he made one of the greatest artworks for this instrument. He builds dramatic peaks, then takes back the sound again; he plays ballads or very rhythmical tunes - and all is improvised. This is some music full of compassion.

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