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:
  166

 
 
Reviews
Found: 630 show all

  Today 11:17 am

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
  September 5, 2014

Alba's striking cover has a cartoon by Swedish artist and want-to-be Finnish Alsele Gallén-Kallila. Staring at us from left to right are the scowling, raddled faces of Gallén-Kallila himself, composer Oskar Merikanto, composer-conductor Robert Kajanus and composer Jean Sibelius. These students met ... more
  August 25, 2014

Here we have a very different sort of piano recital. 'The 12 Pianists" group developed from a four person membership in 1996 to the present 12 members, stimulated by the leader Christoph Sischka's arrangement of Lavignak's Galop-March for 12 pianists on one piano. This earned the group an entry in ... more
  August 20, 2014

I don't want to quibble much about the title "Great works for Flute and Orchestra", except to say that just a glance at the programme prompts the response "you can't be serious!". Over-enthusiastic promotion aside, Sharon Bezalay is certainly one of the great flautists of our time, and she has a ... more

 
 
Latest Posts

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
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