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:
  179

 
 
Reviews
Found: 689 show all

  July 21, 2015

In the '60s & early '70s there was a posse of classical guitarists making recordings and travelling the world to play Rodrigo's music. A flurry of commercial advertising followed in its wake. Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez was frequently heard on radio and seen on TV, so it and guitarists like ... more
  July 12, 2015

Nielsen's singular and much-loved opera Maskarade is released as the first twenty-first century recording of the work, a very apt celebration by Da Capo of the composer's 150th Anniversary. Not surprisingly, its conductor, a Nielsen specialist of renown, is Michael Schønwandt, who has directed and ... more
  July 8, 2015

Yinjia Gong was born in 1983 in Sichuan, China. He had an innate love for music which was encouraged by his grandfather, who worked at the Peking opera. After first studying popular music at the conservatory in Sichuan, Yinjia Gong developed an interest in western opera, the 'Bel Canto' style in ... more
  July 2, 2015

Who was Ferdinand Rebay (18801953)? A Viennese composer who wrote over 400 pieces involving a guitar, yet whose splendid work is only just becoming known to concert makers and record companies. How did such a massive investment in time and energy - for an instrument he could not play - appear in a ... more
  June 24, 2015

This isn't the first time that BIS has an attrtactive front illustration which neatly sums up the title or purpose of the disc's programme. This time, fine watercolours of butterflies and caterpillars from 1700 are really about metamorphism, just what Respighi's intention was for in his orchestral ... more

 
 
Latest Posts

Neilsen's new Maskarade
July 14, 2015
Hi Chris, Glad you are enjoying the pot of golden Nielsen scores in the Royal Library. Another major source of free scores is IMSLP.org, if you haven't found it already. It has thousands of scanned classical scores of all kinds - solo, chamber, orchestral etc, which are in PDF files. I find it very convenient to download them straight onto my iPad, ... more
Neilsen's new Maskarade
July 13, 2015
Krisjan, I thought long and hard about this. Granted that two purchased sets had a disc two which failed to load on my two Oppo players MIGHT indicate a mass error in pressing, I emailed to DaCapo but so far have had no reply. I just don't have enough evidence to declare this was a serious problem in the review, as it could stop people in the ... more
Neilsen's new Maskarade
July 8, 2015
Thanks, Chris. I had the same idea and just downloaded a hi-res master from DaCapo in order to carry on with the review. John ... more
Neilsen's new Maskarade
July 8, 2015
I'm just in the process of reviewing this opera, having bought a copy from JPC. Having finished listening to Disk 1, I was greeted by my Oppo's announcement that Disc 2 was an unknown disc. After trying this several times, and rebooting the machine, it still could not read Disk 2. I have an earlier Oppo DVD which also plays SACD, and this failed to ... more
Discussion: Respighi: Metamorphosen, Ballata delle gnomidi, Belkis - Neschling
June 26, 2015
Yes, the distant trumpet is played beautifully from the left of the orchestra and a long way back (or up!). It makes a strong contrast with the brutality of the dance. Regards, John ... more