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: 639 show all

  October 19, 2014

The Polish Musicon label was established in 1991 by graduates of the Warsaw Music Academy's 'Sound Direction Faculty', to promote the valuable elements of Polish music that commercially-minded recording companies had ignored. State-of-the-art recording equipment is used, including the best Shoeps ... more
  October 16, 2014

Aadland's fourth volume in his survey of all Grieg's orchestral works brings a pairing of one of the most known and best loved pieces of Classical music, the Piano Concerto in A minor, paired with his Symphony in C minor, a work damned by the composer himself and still lurking in the shadows of ... more
  October 10, 2014

"Ouvertures" is what Bach himself called these four orchestral works, which are among the most popular of his non-vocal musical legacy. They represent his great interest in French dance suites, which were in decline in their home country and were treated by his sons as obsolete. Strictly, of course, ... more
  October 4, 2014

Indefatigable organist Albert Bolliger in his travels around France's historic organs arrives at St-Guilhem-le-Désert to record Vol. 11. Even today, this town is considered to be remote, mountain-girt in the Langedoc region of Southern France. The appellation of "desert" was bestowed by a monk in ... more
  October 2, 2014

The convoluted and fascinating story of how Mozart came to write his only Requiem Mass in 1791, composing it on his death-bed so that his wife Constanze would get the fee for it has become legend itself. Battalions of music historians have wrangled with each other over every tiny clue about how ... 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