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Product: Audio CD
Title: Knoxville Summer
Label: Nonesuch
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
The pleasures of Upshaw!

Here's a superlative recording, as are each of the recordings by Dawn Upshaw. Barber's exquisite cycle is the centerpiece, and Upshaw sings it with youthful ease, a hallmark of her recorded legacy. It's a version of the piece that easily tops the others of note. I agree with another of the reviewer's assessment of Steber, she could indeed 'size down the house', something requisite with the Barber- I even prefer her song repertoire to her operas, although "Vanessa" is an exception to that, but her understanding of "Knoxville" isn't modern enough. It's modern, but almost against the fact. Because of that youthful ease, Upshaw acquires a regal transparency in this cycle. I've not heard another rendition like it. Like Berlioz' "Les Nuits d'ete", "Knoxville" inhabits a category unto itself as a song cycle. The piece itself is autumn-wordly, melancholic, with magisterial orchestration magically conjured here by Zinman and St. Luke's. What a sound this ensemble has, an innate clean-space sound free of ego. I admire them tremendously. The Menotti is a hoot! Dawn's singing is so present-in-the-sound, it really is a marvel. She possesses uncanny musicianship for a singer, and is a generous singer, obviously happy with chamber music intimacy. The Harbison is interesting, it's very Upshaw-esque. I've heard other Harbison that is more interesting. The Stravinsky is the weakest bit, in my view. Well done, I suppose, but peculiarly not convincing. But this is a first-rate disc to treasure.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Mahler - Symphony No. 8 / Popp · Augér · Minton · Harper · Kollo · Shirley-Quirk · Talvela · Chicago SO · Solti
Label: Decca
Artist: Martti Talvela
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
One-in-a-million performance of the "Sym. of a Thousand"!

It is almost inconeivable that one could possibly experience the Mahler 8th symphony in the confines of your home. As the title suggests, the forces required to pull it off are more massive than ever assembled before, or since.
And Decca pulled out all of the stops in putting together what can only be described as one of the most stunning achievements in the history of recorded music.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with an out-of-this-world horn section so aptly appropriate for the work, were moved to Vienna to join forces with three outstanding choirs (the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the Vienna Singverein, and the Vienna Boys Choir) in a recording venue far better suited to the massive forces than would have been available in Chicago (the Vienna Sofienaal) and where there was a far better organ to capture the opening with all of its magnificence. On top of that, all 8 soloists are top notch.
I won't repeat what so many others have said about the sound. It qualifies as a miracle in my opinion.
Experiencing this in your living room with any satisfaction is miraculous indeed, but then experiencing this so well done in the concert hall would probably be even more miraculous. For those who say you cannot compare the concert experience to the what you get in recordings, the recording playback environment being seen as inferior to the experience in the concert hall, I dare them to try to put together an experience today in a concert that would come anyhwere close to what you get here. And do it on a reasonable budget too!

Product: Audio CD
Title: About Face
Label: Sony
Artist: David Gilmour
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Not bad, yet not the best either.

As a fan of Pink Floyd, my favorite part of the band has always been David Guilmour's guitar licks along with Rick Wrights trademark keybord sounds. On this album, songs like Lets get metaphysical and All lovers are deranged had those kind of moments. Out of the Blue was a nice ballad. Blue Light has a good solo, but like the rest of the album is to much of an attempt to be pop instead of artistic. Overall, it is a good effort and good for a Pink Floyd fan, yet not essential. David Gilmour's 1978 solo album is a much better reflexion of him as a musician and not so pop oriented

Product: Audio CD
Title: Believe
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Cher
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
She is really a star, I love her....

In every discos in Turkey, we listen Cher.... She is really great... We all like her songs and the way she sings... I mean her voice is impressing..