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Cookie Anacortes, WA, United States

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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Super Great Courses!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The recent addition of the "Great Courses" is, for me like an invitation to a great feast! Starting with this unbelievable "dish". Robert Greenberg is a great teacher. I have no musical training or ability, just appreciation, but I can now hold my own in a discussion of music and composers. Prof. Greenberg is able to put music in a historical context as well as the personalities of the composers. His excitement for telling the "story" draws you in and keeps you wanting more. You may find yourself wanting to learn more about the history of a country, the food, the literature, etc, just because you had a taste of the music. There is truly nothing better than a great "story" well told! I am so pleased the Teaching Company has found and featured world class instructors so you and I can enjoy the learning! And I am overjoyed they are now available at Audible! I just can not say enough about this awesome course, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    More

    How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (257)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
  • "If you enjoy antiques road show and..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wish you knew even more about the back story, you will love this book. I listened to this book in two sittings, and would have enjoyed more. A glimpse into the way art is "made" or not. I especially loved the story about the "old guy and his treasures". This is a day in the life of a treasure hunter and how he goes about the discovery, and more besides. Sit back and enjoy.

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    The Art Detective: Fakes, Frauds, and Finds and the Search for Lost Treasures

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Philip Mould
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    What separates a masterpiece from a piece of junk? Thanks to the BBC's Antiques Roadshow and its American spin-off, everyone is searching garage sales and hunting online for hidden gems, wondering whether their attics contain trash or treasures. In The Art Detective, Philip Mould, one of the world's foremost authorities on British portraiture and an irreverent and delightful expert for the Roadshow, serves up his secrets and his best stories.

    L. O. Pardue says: "The Art Detective was Interesting"
  1. How to Listen to and Unde...
  2. The Art Detective: Fakes,...
  3. .

A Peek at Die Falknerin's Bookshelf

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101 REVIEWS / 559 ratings Member Since 2008 27 Followers / Following 0
 
Die Falknerin's greatest hits:
  • Ring of the Nibelung: Opera Explained

    "Der Ring des Nibelung"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this brief introduction Johnson takes us from the opening e-flat of the Das Rheingold to the consuming flames of Götterdämmerung. Discussions of staging, orchestration, plot development, mythic elements and more are interspersed with musical excerpts.

    Wagner designed the tetralogy to begin with the Vorabend, (a "preliminary evening") in which Das Rheingold is perfomed, followed by the succession of the operas Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. Johnson makes an admirable presentation of each part of the cycle without excessive digression.

    Of course, countless volumes have been devoted to the discussion of meaning, leitmotif, scoring, and all things Wagnerian, should one want to look deeper. But for a brief discussion of Ring essentials, look no further.

    These operas share a somewhat daunting reputation. Even opera fans have been known to quaver before Valhalla! But don't be one of them. Listen to this book, then jump right in. Some of the most beautiful music ever written awaits you.

  • Die Fledermaus: Opera Explained

    "Revenge of the bat"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why is this opera called "The Bat?" In a nutshell, two gentlemen, Eisenstein and Falke, in the costumes of a butterfly and a bat, respectively, attend a winter masquerade. On the way back, Eisenstein, taking advantage of Falke's inebriated state, abandons him far from his home. When he wakes up, he has to walk through the town in his bat costume, to his undying embarrassment and the amusement of his fellow citizens. Naturally, he wants to get his own back, and it is for this reason the opera is called, "The Bat."

    From this simple premise, the plot becomes "maddeningly complex," as the author rightly says. There are "multilayered and omnipresent infidelities," disguises, deceptions, drinking, dancing, and entirely too much carrying on. An opera featuring "Adele's Laughing Song" should be fun!

    As with so many things that seem effortless, back-breaking work goes before. While Johann Strauss II hadn't much experience writing for the theatre before he composed this, you'd never know it. He has more than a few operatic tricks up his sleeve, including the masterful use of crescendo and accelerando. The author brings attention to Strauss' use of rubato, which he refers to as "stealing time to avoid schmaltz." Some of the roles require nothing less than a virtuoso performer. But the result is accessible, light-hearted, and fun.

    A bottle of champagne to David Timson for his narration, and to you should you tackle "Die Fledermaus" during this, its rightful season!

  • Carmen: Opera Explained

    "Passion, power, and truth"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you had crossed Bizet's path in 1875, the year "Carmen" was first staged, you would have met with a plump, bespectacled Frenchman who was forever nibbling sweet delicacies. But while you might overlook this unassuming person, you could not have ignored his music.

    From early childhood, Bizet possessed prodigious talent. In the Conservatoire at nine, and winning every prize going, he worked his magic on a variety of instruments. At the age of 19, he won the Prix de Rome. With innate musical taste, judgment, and imagination, he stands above his contemporaries.

    As this program points out, Bizet was no "one trick pony." He'd written most of his work before anyone had heard of "Carmen," and some of this sadly neglected work deserves rediscovery and appreciation, such as his opera "The Pearl Fishers."

    Harold Schonberg wrote, "Carmen is an opera of passion, power, and truth, infinitely superior to the carefully arranged, prettily served canapés of Gounod and Massenet. They were skilled professionals. Bizet was a genius."

    Tchaikovsky and Brahms were fans of "Carmen," too. Wagner, having heard it, said of Bizet, "At last, for a change, someone with ideas in his head!"

    All this makes it the more stunning that this perennial favorite did not meet with immediate success. "Carmen" was called "immoral," and accused of being (even worse) "Wagnerian."

    In this excellent program, David Timson brings the spectacle of "Carmen" vividly to life, with reference to many important excerpts, the fast and furious scene changes demanded by the complex action, and so much more.

    If you're fortunate enough to be going to see the opera or just want to understand it better while you listen at home, you can't go wrong with this exploration of "Carmen essentials."

    This was the first opera I heard (at the age of nine) and it left me forever in love with opera itself. My French wasn't under firm control, and I couldn't really understand everything that was happening, but that music! I have never forgotten it. Such is the power of Bizet.

  • Turandot: Opera Explained

    "Fire and ice, hope and blood"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Turandot is Puccini's last opera. He died while composing the third act, leaving the work unfinished.

    The plot is based on an ancient Persian legend, and the setting that of imperial Peking. Turandot is the daughter of the emperor. He wants her to marry but she resists, so the emperor agrees to her terms: any suitor who wishes to marry her must answer three riddles. If he cannot, he will be executed.

    As if the story is not dramatic enough, there is the reimagining of ancient China, the evocation of place through pentatonic elements and unusual instrumentation, the costuming, and demanding roles for the performers.

    For all that, some parts are silly. For example, ministers named Ping, Pang, and Pong. And the violence and drama feels relentless after a point. Still, other parts are transcendent, most famously, the "Nessun dorma."

    The author explains the story, staging, and production very well. David Timson's narration is, as always, simply perfect. For that, five stars.

    But I won't be going to a production or purchasing a recording of Turandot. Puccini wrote so much that puts this opera in the shade.

    That's just my opinion. Decide for yourself. That is one of the many benefits of the "Opera Explained" series. If you're unfamiliar with an opera, as I was with Turandot, listen and see what you think. You might hate it, or you might become a devoted fan. Either way, it's time well-spent if you love classical music.

Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 10-29-13 Member Since 2005
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  • "Light on gossip, rich on context"

    14 of 15 helpful votes

    I took a long time listening to this because I didn't want it to end. I also wanted to listen to the music chronologically as Jonathan Gould worked his way through each album and single; so I kept taking breaks from the audiobook to catch up on the songs.

    The Beatles are THE band for me and always have been, since my brother and I took the bus into Richmond in 1964 to see the first run of "Hard Day's Night." I won't go so far as to say this is THE book about the group, but it's a fine one, and is well narrated by Richard Aspel. To the standard question, would you read / listen to another book by this writer / narrator - yes, definitely, on both counts.

    It's not the most gossipy book about the Beatles. Gould doesn't have any ground-breaking new research or exclusive interviews to offer. What he has, in abundance, are two things: a rich sense of the political and cultural context in which the Beatles' career took place; and a detailed analysis, musical and lyrical, of every released single and every track on every album. His discussions of the songs are what impelled me to go back and listen to them yet again, this time with a handful of specific things to listen for in each one. (I didn't always understand the terminology Gould uses: at one point, he refers to "the elemental subdominant cadent in A-major" - at least I think that's what he said - but his descriptions are more often concrete and illuminating than over-my-head baffling.)

    Gould sets the Beatles firmly against the backdrop of Elvis, Les Paul, Brian Wilson, the Stones, Dylan, and the Goon Show on the one hand; and Vietnam, assassinations, student rebellions, the Prague Spring, the Chicago riots, the Profumo affair, and the political rivalry of Edward Heath and Harold Wilson on the other. If you didn't live through those times, the book will give you a better sense of the wider world than any other Beatles book I know. If you did live through those times, it will remind you of how glorious (and sometimes gloriously awful) they were. Woodstock makes an appearance, even though the Beatles didn't show up there: they were putting the finishing touches on the "Abbey Road" album. But Woodstock was an important part of the cultural background; it's impossible to understand the Beatles' place in popular culture without taking it into account.

    I haven't listened to all the Beatles-related audiobooks on Audible. Of the ones I have listened to, the only one in the same league is the book by Bob Spitz - unfortunately only available here in abridged format. (The Hunter Davies account is on my list, but even though it has a 1996 update, it's mainly focused on the period ending in 1968.) Until someone offers Spitz unabridged, or Philip Norman's Shout!, or Hunter Davies writes a fuller account of the later years, this is the audiobook I would recommend to anyone wanting an introduction to the history of the band. Gould presents the story with admirable objectivity; it's obvious that the band, and the band's music, fascinate him; but he's willing to call baloney when he sees it, and some of the Beatles tracks, especially as he moves into the troubled territory of The White Album and the Let It Be sessions, come in for particularly harsh criticism. ("Shapeless" and "gormless" are two of the adjectives employed in Gould's discussion of one of the tracks on the White Album. "A parody of a travesty" is his verdict on another.)

    The only thing that could make the audiobook better, in my opinion, would be an edition that integrates the songs themselves into the narrative. But you can always do that on your own, like I did.

    More

    Can't Buy Me Love

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Gould
    • Narrated By Richard Aspel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Nearly 20 years in the making, Can't Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. Here Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise.

    Tad Davis says: "Light on gossip, rich on context"

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    In this 30-minute interview, Dr. Rick Sheridan, a longtime university professor and author of the book Social Media in the Classroom, helps teachers understand why using social media in the classroom is so important, and the effective ways to use it. Topics include: Why is social media use in the classroom so valuable for both teachers and students. Ways to promote cultural understanding. Developing an online portfolio. What can students and teachers do to protect their privacy online.

  • Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio] (






UNABRIDGED) by Amber Richards Narrated by Anne-Sophie Marie

    Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio]

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Amber Richards
    • Narrated By Anne-Sophie Marie
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    Comment installer un studio photographique est un e-Book qui décrit en détails des sujets liés à l'organisation d'un studio photo dans le confort de votre maison. Il renferme des informations sur la façon d'utiliser l'éclairage continu en studio, comment utiliser la lumière stroboscopique pour la photographie ou encore maîtriser des techniques qui permettent aux utilisateurs de contrôler la lumière comme ils l'entendent.

  • Rose-Marie [Russian Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Rudolf Friml Narrated by L. Yudina, D. Dyan, E. Kozyreva, M. Golovnya, V. Otdelenov, S. Anikeyev, A. Tikhonov

    Rose-Marie [Russian Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Rudolf Friml
    • Narrated By L. Yudina, D. Dyan, E. Kozyreva, and others
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    Na ljubov' glavnoj geroini pretendujut dvoe: bogatyj i porochnyj gospodin Avlej, u kotorogo rabotaet ee brat, i molodoj kovboj i zolotoiskatel' Dzhim. Roz-Mari otvechaet vzaimnost'ju Dzhimu, no ego obvinjajut v ubijstve. Chtoby spasti ljubimogo, devushka soglashaetsja na brak s Avleem. Kovboi, indejcy, zlodei, intrigi, ubijstvo, ljubov', vernost', chest' i spravedlivost', a takzhe more krasivoj muzyki.

  • The Gypsy Virtuoso [Russian Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Imre Kalman Narrated by G. Ots, E. Kritskaya, A. Oleynikov

    The Gypsy Virtuoso [Russian Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Imre Kalman
    • Narrated By G. Ots, E. Kritskaya, A. Oleynikov
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    Dom Pali Racha, izvestnogo skripacha i rukovoditelja cyganskogo orkestra. Kogda podnimaetsja zanaves, Pali sozhaleet ob ushedshej molodosti, v to vremja kak ego starshaja doch' Sari nakryvaet stol dlja bol'shoj sem'i (u Pali 16 detej). Pali zabotit sud'ba syna Lachi, tozhe skripacha, predpochitajushhego odnako cyganskim melodijam «ser'eznuju» muzyku. Pali opasaetsja, chto synu dlja uspeha nedostaet talanta.

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  • Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father  by Patricia L. Lawrence Narrated by J. D. Streeter

    Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father

    • ORIGINAL (28 mins)
    • By Patricia L. Lawrence
    • Narrated By J. D. Streeter
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    Thomas Steinbeck, son of famed writer and Pulitzer Prize recipient John Steinbeck, sits down with Patricia Lawrence for a casual conversation about his life; his published short stories, Down to a Soundless Sea; fictional accounts of life around Monterey Bay California...and his father!

  • The Hustons (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Grobel Narrated by David Drummond

    The Hustons

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lawrence Grobel
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    When John Huston died at 81 on August 28, 1987, America lost a towering figure in movie history. The director of such classic films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Prizzi's Honor, and The Dead, John Huston evoked passionate responses from everyone he encountered. He was at the center of a dynasty, with three generations of Oscar winners (Walter, John and Anjelica).

  • Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Mark Chemers Narrated by Brian E. Smith

    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Mark Chemers
    • Narrated By Brian E. Smith
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    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy offers useful and entertaining answers to the confounding question: "What, exactly, is dramaturgy, and what does a dramaturg do?" According to Michael Mark Chemers, dramaturgs are the scientists of the theater world - their primary responsibility is to query the creative possibilities in every step of the production process, from play selection to costume design, and then research the various options and find ways to transform that knowledge into useful ideas.

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