Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pioneer CS 44 Alnico speakers

Just found a nice set of vintage Pioneer CS 44, 8 ohms speakers in original and very good condition and at a very good price too!

Initial testing sounded great for vocal! Will ran in the speakers for a couple of days...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Top 20 most performed Operas: Opera America


Madama Butterfly
La bohème
La traviata
The Barber of Seville
The Marriage of Figaro
Don Giovanni
The Magic Flute
La Cenerentola
Lucia di Lammermoor
Cosî fan tutte
Il trovatore
Die Fledermaus
The Elixir of Love

Mozart 莫扎特 - Le Nozze Di Figaro 费加罗的婚礼

Recently, I have been listening to Mozart and I have just placed an order for Mozart 莫扎特 - Le Nozze Di Figaro 费加罗的婚礼 conducted by my favourite conductor Solti.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mozart Early symphonies and Symphonies 21-41

Mozrt : father & Son

This is a very nice Mozart father and son CD. L Mozart Toy symphony and the very famous Eine Kleine Nactmusik.. Great recording by Marriner

One bonus from the CD is the very nice Pachebel Canon! Lovely music for the quiet night...


After much searching, I have finally found the first edition Japanese pressed Cd. For those who have not heard the CD, this is a must have!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber:
1. Phantom of the Opera
2. Sunset Blvd
3. Starlight Express

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Verdi Requiem - Robert Shaw

This is a superb CD.

 *Penguin 企鵝三星推介。 CD 碟刻有 DADC Austria 是SONY 在欧洲音樂之都奥地利設厂压片。 音樂頗具動態 dynamics,更適合大型音響發揮,一盒兩張CD。Susan Dunn - 女高音, Diane Curry - 次女高音, Jerry Hadley - 男高音, Paul Plishka - 男低音, Shaw 罗勃萧 - 指挥, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 亚特兰大交响乐团, 羅伯特o肖(Robert Shaw)與亞特蘭大交響樂團(Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)的威爾第(Verdi)《安魂曲》(Requiem)出色的錄音具有火一般的熱情,步速恰如其分,他的演出獲得了推動力和感染力,音響宏偉壯觀,平衡極為出色和激情,演繹有許多絕妙之處,尤其是合唱振奮人心,獨唱始終如一,加上一個出色的和令人滿意的詮釋,5首威爾第的《歌劇合唱》(Operatic Choruses)的補充有聲有色,這是一個出色的版本!
For review, please see a review by:

By "quia-nihil-sum" (Inverness,Scotland.) - See all my reviews
For me this has always been the benchmark recording of Verdi's immortal setting of the Requiem mass,against which I have judged all others that have arrived to challenge it in the 13 years since it was first issued.However,not one has even come close to dislodging it from that lofty pinnacle upon which it has dwelt in splendid isolation for so long now. It is the finest memorial that the late great Robert Shaw could possibly have and it just goes to show what a wonderful conductor and choir-master the world has lost in him.
The breathless anticipatory hush before the first pianissimo chords of the introit is a unique feature of this masterpiece,and the ASO manage this so well that we almost feel the music in our subconscious before actually picking anything up with our ears!A word of warning though:you will be tempted to crank up the volume on your amplifier during this bit,and the lovely Kyrie that follows, but resist the temptation,because the "Dies irae" which ensues with it's astonishing explosive detonations on the bass drum will not only damage your speakers,it may even cause structural damage to your house!
So once the initial storms have died away,and you have rounded up any pets that were panicked into a stampede,you can settle down to some truly glorious music-making.
The splendid Tuba mirum really shows just how wide-ranging the Telarc recording is,and I would dare to bet that Gabriel himself will be asking the members of the brass section for some pointers on how to go about sounding that last trumpet!
The magisterial bass Paul Plishka brings great gravitas and due fearfulness to the "Mors stupebit" and the mezzo-soprano Diane Curry opens the Judgement book with a matching sense of awful foreboding,as is evident in her peerless performance.Again the brass distinguish themselves around the phrase "Judex ergo cum sedebit",and indeed the orchestral playing throughout this recording is hardly short of miraculous.Surely the ladies and gentlemen of the ASO&Chorus were possessed by angels when they committed this work to disc.
Certainly an angel in soprano form is Ms Susan Dunn.Her voice is one of heavenly purity,without a trace of strain or artifice in her topline.Just listen to her in the "Quid sum miser..." here and in the exposed,lonely "Salva me",that could be called the eye of the storm that is the "Rex tremendae".Quite astonishing how she sustains that often unforgiving phrase,and I count it as one of my most favourite moments in all music
What a balm and benediction is the gorgeous "Recordare",coming as it does immediately after we have been so deliciously battered and bruised by the apocalyptic forces of the "Salva me fons pietatis".Ms Dunn and Ms Curry mingle and weave their voices with consumate skill,and this passage must count as one of the greatest things that Verdi produced in his entire career.
The tenor Jerry Hadley eschews the kind of histrionics that someone like Pavarotti would bring to the "Ingemisco",and within the scale and tone of the reading his unfussy approach works really well.In fact he makes a damn fine sheep(!) in the "Inter oves locum praesta" and with his forceful "Statuens in parte dextra",I'm sure God will be scurrying to clear some space for him on that eponymous right hand!
Paul Plishka strides back into centre stage with his "Confutatis maledictus" and what a marvellous contrast between the initial turmoil of the damned been confounded and charred,and the supplicatory serenity of his "Voca me cum benedictus" and subsequent entreaty for pity.
The "Lacrimosa" re-unites all four soloists and special mention once more for Ms Dunn's ethereal "Huic ergo parce".Magical. Also,how about that glorious sonority of the bass voices in "Pie Jesu Domine".I'm sure my windows rattle under the sympathetic resonance generated here!
The "Offertory" is a veritable treasure chest of aural jewels.Just witness the magical combination of the string section with our soprano around the phrase "Sed signifier sanctus Michael". Then there is possibly my favourite piece in the entire mass -the "Hostias".It's a deceptively simple long-breathed theme,which is initiated by the tenor and then developed by the other voices.I can't really explain why but it's one of those tunes that penetrate deep into your psyche and has a habit of bobbing to the surface when you least expect it.It shares this quality with Handel's, "I know that my Redeemer liveth", which always seems to ambush me when I'm out walking in the hills."Hostias",on the other hand sneaks up on me while I,m in the bathtub,and though my family might violently disagree,I think it comes across very well in that acoustic!
The choir cover themselves in glory once more with the storming "Sanctus" and thus we come to the end of the first disc.Now it's at this point that I must register a complaint-but don't worry,it's nothing to do with the music-it concerns the way this tremendous performance is awkwardly spread over 2CDS.Now,as much as I love the filler item of the operatic choruses(chorii?);especially "Va pensiero" and "Gloria all'Egitto",I would willingly forego them in order that the Requiem might be confined to a single disc,and then I wouldn't have my carefully nurtured reverie dissipated by having to laboriously change the discs over.By my reckoning the timing would work out at just over 84 minutes:surely thats not outside the capacity of a single CD-is it? Oh, and while I'm in moan-mode Telarc;could you address the problem of the missing text from the booklet i.e. the words "Fac eas, Domine,de morte transire ad vitam" (make them,Lord,cross from death to life).If you are following the libretto as you listen,it's most disconcerting to feel you have lost the plot all of a sudden.I remember the first time it happened to me,I absurdly checked the floor around my feet, as if that particular line had somehow fallen of the page!
Anyway,that's my griping over with and I'll come (reluctantly!) to the second disc which contains the severed "Agnus Dei","Communion" and concluding "Libera me". The "Agnus Dei" is another gorgeous duet for our female soloists,and with the "Communion" seems to pave the way for an ending full of sweetness and light,but the "Libera me" with it's anxious fearful setting and the re-visitation of the dreadful "Dies irae" remind us that unlike say Faure,Verdi did not envisage death as an untroubled,serene passing over,but rather as a tortured uncertain transistion with eternal damnation a very real possibility.
So,if you want a Requiem to provide the ultimate in late-night balm and benediction,opt for Faure,Victoria and Campra,but if you are up for an emotional roller-coaster of a death-mass, choose Verdi and remember just as in his famous aria,"Nessun Dorma",while this brilliant CD is playing,"NONE SHALL SLEEP!"-Least of all you!

Donny & Marie Osmond CD

I am currently on business trip in Taiwan. After work, I went down to a second hand CD shop and I came across the Donny & Marie Osmond CD..

Donny & Marie Osmond songs brought back fond memories of the 1970s when every Saturday evening, I will be sitting by the TV and watch the Donny & MArie Osmond shows with songs like A little Bit Country, A little bit Rock 'N' roll, deep purple etc..

This Cd will certainly bring back many of the happy memories where I sing along with the singers!

Friday, May 01, 2009


Today is Labour day, a holiday in Hong Kong!

I have managed to listen to this CD again, and I particularly was touched by Barber Adagio, a theme song used in the movie Platoon..

Barber Adagio has certainly adds a fine touch to a fine movie...