User Details - Geohominid


  John Miller
  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.
  Edinburgh, Scotland
  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.

Found: 598 show all

  April 17, 2014

Oslo Kammerakademi are back, after their stunning Beethoven for Wind Octet disc (). The band comprises some of Scandinavia's leading wind soloists under their Artistic Director and initiator Friedemann Strunk, solo oboist for the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. His companions are principals or ... more
  April 12, 2014

As a genre, the string quartet is not central to Nielson's output of chamber music. There are some early apprentice works but he gave opus numbers to only four quartets - Op. 13 (1887-89) in G minor, Op. 5 (1890) in F minor, Op. 14 (1897-98) in E flat major and Op. 44 (1906) in F major. There is a ... more
  April 11, 2014

As a genre, the string quartet is not central to Nielson's output of chamber music. There are some early apprentice works but he gave opus numbers only to four quartets - Op. 13 (1887-89) in G minor, Op. 5 (1890) in F minor, Op. 14 (1897-98) in E flat major and Op. 44 (1906) in F major. There is a ... more
  April 4, 2014

It is well-known that in 1791 Mozart was commissioned to compose a Requiem for the deceased wife of Count Franz von Walsegg (the Count had a habit of obtaining pieces from well-known composers and had them performed under his own name in his domicile). Mozart was fully occupied at the time with ... more
  March 31, 2014

Most organ lovers tend to revel in Bach's heroic pieces, his toccatas, preludes and fugues, many of which were used for testing new organs (a service for which he was well known in Thuringia and beyond). There was, however, another genre, that of of sacred music, where Bach was also a master - the ... more

Latest Posts

And how did YOU get hooked on classics?
March 17, 2014
After the War, my Dad turned from fireman to repairing shoes, and to boost business he also sold records, mainly the Top Ten. His hobby was building a huge radiogram from scratch. As a small boy, I was allowed to sit on a stool and watch while he was working on the large valve chassis in its innards (which also sported a 15" woofer). I had to sit ... more
Discussion: Haydn: String Quartets - Amsterdam String Quartet
March 5, 2014
After reading some rather extreme condemnation of the recording quality of this disc, and being the original reviewer, I've just re-played it with a system which has been upgraded several times since the review. I still agree with my original comments on the sonics. It is a matter of taste how much ambience is expected in a chamber recital. Some ... more
Discussion: Schumann: Symphony No. 4 - Järvi
March 3, 2014
It should reach me tomorrow, now in transit from I'll be making a review, having done the first of the set. I've also got the bluray set of Jarvi's Schumann project. Cheers, John ... more
Discussion: Beethoven's Beethoven - Van Swieten Society
February 3, 2014
Hi, The Van Swieten Society are a period-instrument ensemble, as you will see in my reviews of their other discs. I haven't heard the Beethoven one yet, but the other discs indicate high quality. John ... more
Discussion: "Empfindsamkeit" CPE Bach - Barokkanerne
December 17, 2013
Do you have source for that? It's an engaging anecdote and brings a chuckle but at the same time sounds apocryphal. There is so little reliable information about JSB's character and life that quite an industry of inventing material appeared in the late C18th and C19th, some of it coming from his biographers. Thanks for bringing it to our ... more