User Details - Geohominid

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Name:
  John Miller
Details:
  Retired geologist (BSc, PhD) and former Senior Lecturer and Director of Open Studies, Edinburgh University. Published a number of geological research papers, but Classical music has been a life-long love. I played piano and church organ as a youth, bought my first "hifi" at the age of 15 and have been upgrading ever since. I taught music courses in the Edinburgh Adult Education programme for many years, especially social history of music, illustrated studies of composers including Bach, Beethoven, Elgar, Sibelius, Richard Strauss and Mahler. Several courses attempted to introduce people to post-Impressionism musical developments, and I also ran courses on Scottish classical music history. I was particularly interested in the period instrument movement and did extensive research on this. Gave pre-concert talks for the then Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow and Edinburgh and Festival Lectures on featured composers at the Edinburgh Festival for over 10 years. Despite the classical bias, I have wide tastes in music. Also, I enjoy painting in watercolour, pastel, acrylic and oils.
Location:
  Edinburgh, Scotland
HiFi:
  Having had to take early retirement, I sold my 2800+ CD teaching collection in 2005 to take up high-definition multichannel and begin an SACD and DVD-A collection (much smaller!). Have upgraded several components since then, and present system is approaching personal nirvana... or so I think at the moment.

Oppo BDP 103 with DSD over HDMI (suprisingly superior in SACD to a former Denon DBP-4010 UD Universal Player), Denon AVR-X4000 multichannel receiver.
Magnaplanar MG 1.7 front speakers, Magnaplanar CC3 centre, Magnaplanar wall-mounted LM1 surround speakers, Quad Lite subwoofer. I consistently use the Ultima Signature Mat when playing discs, it helps the transport recover more information and makes an astonishing improvement in definition, ambient information, instrument location and sheer musicality. Power cables - Russ Andrews PowerMax Plus, Interconnects - Chord Active Silver HDMI cables, QED optical cable. Power Conditioning - Monster power block and Russ Andrews 'The Silencer'. QED speaker cables.
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Posts:
  168

 
 
Reviews
Found: 633 show all

  September 24, 2014

Hapsburg (or Habsburg) was one of the most important Royal Houses of Europe. Based in a Swiss fortress at the heart of the evolving continent. In 1452 the Hapsburgs finally achieved the highest temporal place in Christendom when Frederick III was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Nicholas V. They ... more
  September 22, 2014

The Swiss organist Albert Bolliger graduated from the Conservatoire de Zurich, and then studied for three years in Paris with André Marchal, Madeleine Valmalète and Andrée-Honegger Vaurabourg. His career as a concert organist led him on to on five continents. He played more than 800 concerts, ... more
  September 21, 2014

Ruud Langgaard's occupation with the string quartet progressed within a period of 11 years, from 1914 to 1925. Eight quartets emerged, four of which were composed within twelve months, indicating Langgaard's intense interest in the genre. This was indeed a productive and expansive period in his ... more
  September 20, 2014

The continued lack of Dvorak's symphonies 1-5 amidst a continuing flurry of SA-CD recordings of Symphonies 8 and 9 approaches a musical and marketing travesty. But here at last we have a projected complete symphonic cycle, which already has symphonies 3 and 4 in its first two issues. From his ... more
  September 18, 2014

Fauré's short Requiem in D Minor has become his signature work, yet it does not seem to have any particular motivation. It follows the tenets of his teaching by Louis Niedermeyer, eschewing the tradition of French funeral music with its theatricality and focus on the tumultuous anger of The Last ... more

 
 
Latest Posts

Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)
September 24, 2014
Sad to hear of his demise. His contribution to the historically informed movement was galvanising and utterly musical, forming part of the movement's backbone for many years. He left a legacy of recordings which surely will be in demand as classics. John ... more
Discussion: From the Imperial Court - Stile Antico
September 24, 2014
Well, I wasn't wanting to go into too much detail as I was writing about the music. Historically, the house of Hapsburg (the "they" in my sentence) did dissolve in the C18th. Here is what a Wiki says (and this information appears in a number of other seemingly authoritative sites): "The House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The ... more
Discussion: Faure: Requiem, Cantique de Jean Racine, Messe Basse - Cleobury
September 18, 2014
Visit http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/news/2014/faure-requiem.html for a fascinating time-series video which condenses the whole recording session into 90 seconds! John ... more
Discussion: Ravel: Compared - Giacometti
August 3, 2014
Hi, Iain, Deb Mawer is just the editor of the prestigious "Cambridge Companion To" series, Ravel in this case. She also contributes a couple of essays within. This is a much more technical approach than Paul Robert's book, which is also limited to the piano music only, whereas the Cambridge Companion covers a whole range of scholarship, including ... more
Discussion: Massenet: Scenes pittoresques, Le Cid (ballet) - Jarvi
May 7, 2014
I've just spent a very happy 80 mins or so listening to this dazzling disc of Massenet. Like Polynomial I had the Fremaux disc of some of this music, and it is a thrill to hear it again in HD, along with some rarely heard pieces. The disc runs to 81:30" so there was no room left for the Meditation from 'Thais' with Truls Mørk on cello, so in two ... more