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:
  164

 
 
Reviews
Found: 621 show all

  July 23, 2014

A problem with the huge popularity of these two A minor piano concertos is that listeners can become jaded with repetition, and this can also happen to conductors, orchestras and soloists alike. Well, a young prize-winning Finnish soloist, who is rapidly gaining his international reputation, joined ... more
  July 20, 2014

BIS's subtitle 'Academic Cantatas' is less attractive these days than it would have been in Bach's time. The word "academic" now has nearly become pejorative, implying dryness, boredom and a minimal degree of entertainment. How different it was in Baroque Leipzig, where the development and teaching ... more
  July 9, 2014

Here is the first SA-CD from world-class Stockholm Chamber Brass. "Then" contrasts the brass music of the Renaissance with performances now by a state-of-the art modern brass quintet. Of course, this involves using a great deal of arrangements, but back in the Renaissance, in the absence of ... more
  July 7, 2014

Now that all the sacred cantatas by Bach have been issued, BIS has turned to the seemingly less popular set of secular cantatas. A motley collection they are, 20-odd scattered remains from what was certainly a much larger assemblage written throughout his career; they must have been a significant ... more
  June 28, 2014

A "Golden Age" is a term indicating a period in a country's history which is particularly rich in cultural development, particularly artistic expression. In the case of Denmark, this is applied to the first half of the 19th century, replete with famous talents such as Hans Christian Andersen, Søren ... more

 
 
Latest Posts

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
Discussion: ja, vi elsker
May 4, 2014
Thanks for the extra info! I was just relying on what the booklet said. Interesting that there are more useful options, as I was put off using the shuttle process, having little interest in MP3. John ... more
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 Amazon.co.uk. 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