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Reviews Written by
Steven Eldredge (New York, NY USA)

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Complete New English Hymnal-Vol. 7
Complete New English Hymnal-Vol. 7
Price: CDN$ 26.75
5 used & new from CDN$ 26.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Serene, heavenly experience, June 30 2004
This is the seventh installment of Priory Record's series encompassing the Complete New English Hymnal, and it covers #501-517 in the Hymnal. It features the small but highly accomplished choir of All Saints Church, Margaret Street in London, a celebrated bastion of High Church liturgy within the Church of England.
This is a beautiful recording. Voices and organ are in perfect balance, and the choir of only twelve voices is a marvel of clarity. Only hear #505 "Come Rejoicing" to savor the calm radiance of the church's acoustic and the reserved, mystical approach of the choir to the winding plainchant lines. This is the English church tradition at its most refined.
If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting or worshiping in this small, elaborate and exhuberant church you will be reminded of its darkly somber beauty as you listen to this exemplary disc.
Highly recommended.

Penguin London Mapguide 4e
Penguin London Mapguide 4e
by Michael Middleditch
Edition: Map
Offered by Your Online Bookstore
Price: CDN$ 1.25
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, awkward format, June 29 2004
This review is from: Penguin London Mapguide 4e (Map)
I found this map book extremely helpful on my recent stay in London, particularly the information on bus routes. I would never have had the courage to take buses, and I am glad the book gave me the info I needed to do so without fear of getting lost. The tube may be quick, but there is nothing like sitting in the front topside of a double-decker bus to really see London!
I found the dimensions of the book somewhat awkward, and I kept wishing it was skinny enough to stick in my back pocket, since I wasn't carrying a bag. As is, I was always having to hold it, and therefore afraid of losing it.
But all in all, you couldn't ask for more information, or a clearer map of an often confusing city.

The Heavenly Village
The Heavenly Village
by Cynthia Rylant
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and haunting!, May 16 2004
What an extraordinary book! It is not quite like anything I have read before, it is really unique. Beautiful prose, moving theology. I am certainly way older than the intended audience for this book, but often while reading it I felt a lump in my throat-the ultimate test! Anyone with a poetic side will certainly be moved by these little stories.
Most highly recommended.

Price: CDN$ 48.13
14 used & new from CDN$ 44.38

5.0 out of 5 stars A feast for piano lovers!, Dec 28 2003
Alicia de Larrocha has always been one of my very favorite pianists, and while I was a student during the 1970s and early 1980s I eagerly snatched up each of her recordings as soon it arrived on the shelves. In the long twilight of her illustrious career, Senora de Larrocha has tended to concentrate on playing Mozart concertos and sonatas in public, music which demonstrates her sterling musicianship and tone without over-taxing her technique in a major way. Many people who have only heard her in this repertoire might not be prepared for the grandeur and sweep of her virtuoso accounts of big Romantic pieces, such as the Liszt Sonata, and Schumann and Chopin, all of which are represented here. The technique is big, the tone glorious, the musical interpretations impeccable, she has it all in spades. I am so happy to have her lovely account of the Chopin F Minor Concerto back in the catalog, as well as her colorful romp through the Khachaturian Concerto.
If you love great piano playing and you love Alicia de Larrocha, do not hesitate for a minute. Buy this box set while it is still available.

Treasures of English Church Music
Treasures of English Church Music
Price: CDN$ 32.10
19 used & new from CDN$ 19.27

5.0 out of 5 stars The Glory of Anglican Church Music, May 14 2003
This has become one of my most-played albums since I bought it several months back. The performances are absolutely stunning, and the acoustics of the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral provide a lovely bloom.
There are so very many highlights on these two CDs. I suggest if you want an example of how ravishing this music can be, listen to Sir Edward Bairstow's "I Sat Down Under His Shadow" and see if you can keep a tear from your eye.
It's like a vacation in the English cathedrals listening to this divine music. Highly recommended!

Toward Holy Ground
Toward Holy Ground
by Margaret Guenther
Edition: Paperback
Offered by Orion, LLC
Price: CDN$ 9.79
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book, May 11 2003
This review is from: Toward Holy Ground (Paperback)
Having been mightily impressed with Margaret Guenther's The Practice of Prayer, I was eager to read more from this wise, articulate, and highly compassionate woman.
This is not just a book for senior citizens, as the title might suggest. Indeed, as far as I am concerned, the second half of life is everything after that point when you wake up and realize that you are indeed getting older and that you cannot hold onto your youth, and you begin to question what is really important in life. Margaret Guenther shows us many ways of seeing and sifting, and getting to the core of what it is to be human and Christian. Although she is an ordained Episcopal priest, I think this book will speak to everyone of the Christian faith as they are growing older, and let's face it, who isn't?
Highly recommended.

Mass in G Minor
Mass in G Minor
Offered by Rarewaves-CA
Price: CDN$ 7.67
19 used & new from CDN$ 1.14

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music of transcendant radiance!, Jan. 21 2003
This review is from: Mass in G Minor (Audio CD)
I will start out by admitting that I bought this CD on a lark, not being at all familiar with the Elora Festival Singers, and being usually prejudiced in favor of such blue-blooded English choirs as King's College Cambridge in this kind of music.
To say I was pleasantly surprised is a big understatement. I am floored! This is choral singing of absolute sumptuousness, recorded in clear resonant sound. The main offering on the CD is the G minor Mass, RVW's 1921 evocation of the sonorities, polyphony and choral textures of the great English Tudor composers Tallis and Taverner. This rich, gorgeous and mystical work receives a most beautiful performance here, with the massed climaxes thrilling.
In addition there are five motets, including the elaborate and colorful "Lord, Thou hast been our refuge" and "O taste and see" which was performed during communion at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and also at the composer's own funeral. An anthem and a hymn-setting round out a very generous recital, which at the super budget Naxos price is more than a bargain, it is a gift!
If you have a love of beautiful choral music, English music, or just music that will lift your spirits and gladden your heart, this is it.

Hodie/Fant on Christmas Carols
Hodie/Fant on Christmas Carols
Price: CDN$ 20.94
23 used & new from CDN$ 5.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the loveliest Christmas music ever written, Dec 24 2002
I have played this recording every Christmas for the past 28 years at least, first in the original LP from Angel, and then the first CD release, which for a while was out of print. I am so happy to see that it is again available.
If you do not know the Vaughan Williams Hodie, you are missing some of the loveliest Christmas music ever composed. A brilliant mosaic of musical styles serving to set poetry of the most diverse sources,the various parts are all bound together by the Gospel narration of the Nativity story sung by boy's choir. The result, far from being a hodge-podge, is instead deeply felt, organic, and filled with that pastoral, mystical and intensely affecting quality of the best of RVW's work. The soloists are terrific, especially the young Janet Baker at her most radiant. The sound is still quite fresh and beautifully recorded.
I cannot imagine Christmas Eve without this heavenly music!

Price: CDN$ 21.77
30 used & new from CDN$ 10.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, joyous music-making, Nov. 10 2002
This review is from: Toccatas (Audio CD)
One of the current glories of the already glorious Hyperion catalog is the ongoing traversal of JS Bach's keyboard music by the tremendously gifted Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt. This latest release of the seven toccatas is no exception. Miss Hewitt's beautiful tone, terrific ear for balance and counterpoint coupled with her dancing sense of rhythm and wonderfully judged rubato make for a joyous listening experience. She has also taken the seven pieces out of their published order and arranged them to make a pleasing program. This CD would make an excellent gift for any Bach lover or devotee of great piano playing.

Marc-André Hamelin plays AlkanConcerto for Solo Piano
Marc-André Hamelin plays AlkanConcerto for Solo Piano
Price: CDN$ 21.00
19 used & new from CDN$ 5.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incendiary piano playing, June 1 2002
This astonishing performance is the one that first brought the playing of Canadian super-virtuoso Marc-Andre Hamelin to my attention. In the years since then I have purchased just about everything he has recorded, and heard him play five recitals, one of which featured the Alkan Concerto.
If you have never heard this piece you owe it to yourself to do so. The first movement alone is one of the most unusual and fascinating things I know from the earlier half of the nineteenth century. Cast in alternating 'orchestral' and 'solo' passages like a piano concerto, it is a gigantic work of relentless pianistic fireworks. To see it on the printed page is eye-popping and to hear it played is absolutely hair-raising. There have been previous magnificent readings of this music, by pianists such as John Ogdon and Ronald Smith, but Hamelin easily surpasses them in his command of the architecture of the piece, in the clarity and dryness of his articulation, the unbelievable ease with which he tosses off supremely difficult and thick figurations, and the scorching, almost diabolical energy he produces on every page.
This is truly one of the great piano recordings of all time. If you love fantastic piano playing, make certain to add this to your library.

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