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DrandomTubas

New Hampshire | Listener Since 2009

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 340 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • The Modern Scholar: Understanding the Fundamentals of Classical Music

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Richard Freedman
    • Narrated By Richard Freedman
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    This course is not designed as a chronological survey of musical history and its many stylistic periods or moments, nor an exploration of the lives and output of individual composers. Instead, these lectures focus on the development of listening skills. Through this course you will develop new levels of aural awareness that will allow you to better appreciate the richness, complexity and excitement at the heart of all great concert music.

    DrandomTubas says: "Somewhat dull..."
    "Somewhat dull..."
    Overall

    Note: I'm a classically trained musician.

    While I was able to follow this with no problem, I had difficulty keeping myself engaged, even with the supplemental materials.
    Part of the problem was in the Audible format: it was somewhat difficult to rewind and repeat recordings, which meant I lost patience and stopped bothering after a few sections. Thus, his point was lost, and when he later elaborated, I just didn't care.

    I will try this another day, however, and see if I like it better then.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (106)

    Over the centuries, orchestral music has given us a category of works that stand apart as transcendent expressions of the human spirit. What are these "greatest of the greats"? Find out in these 32 richly detailed lectures that take you on a sumptuous grand tour of the symphonic pieces that continue to live at the center of our musical culture.These 30 masterworks form an essential foundation for any music collection and a focal point for understanding the orchestral medium and deepening your insight into the communicative power of music.

    Jacob says: "Really happy with the format"
    "dynamic and engaging. DO not listen in order"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works?

    Smetana. I am still reeling over his pronunciation. Smetnah instead of SmehTAHnah. I sat in shock for a full 4 minutes when this section began because I had never heard of Smetna and was embarrassed at myself.
    Then I realized it was a funny accent. Come on, dude, Wikipedia's got recording you could use to check your pronunciation. He got Ralph right, at least.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Read the last chapter 2nd. Trust me.
    I listened to the work in order and was really frustrated by the heavy emphasis on the old dead white guys from hundreds of years in the past.
    "You are the reason the orchestra is dying! WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT BEETHOVEN for THREE episodes? WE ALLLL KNOW ABOUT BEETHOVEN!" and I may have growled every time he repeated a composer.

    The last lecture makes up for it, however. Had copyright issues not arisen, I am encouraged to believe much more time would have been spent on recent works. Works that we need to learn about if we want there to be a next generation of great composers at all.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I accept that this is just the nature of the beast, but I really and truly wish we could have listened to the complete works discussed, before or after each lecture. The excerpts were much appreciated, but I'm too lazy to go back and forth between Audible and Rhapsody every time he mentions a work. So my extreme reaction was frustration. It was like reading about art and only seeing small portions of the painting.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the lecturer's obvious passion for the subject and his various silly jokes.

    Wish he had chosen to call the class 30 greatest Composers of Orchestral works... but I am pleased with what I got-- it would have done me a LOT OF GOOD had I listened to this before taking Music History or Theory in college -- I remember some truly embarrassing essays I wrote on sonata form.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3543)
    Performance
    (2577)
    Story
    (2586)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "Good, but written in the 50s."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Obviously this is a classic, and while I have to confess up front that I haven't finished the listen yet, it is a fascinating account from a contemporary.

    Be aware, though, that this book does not have 21st century sensibilities as regards homosexuality. Shirer therefore skips discussing anything bad that ever happened to them, and instead focuses on Nazism's original acceptance.

    It does make me wonder what else he ignored or glossed over... I'll let you know if I find out.

    One other thing, I heard one "Please put in Disk 2," but no others so far-- guess that one slipped through editing for Audible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (521)

    Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

    Charles says: "The Lone Naysayer..."
    "Fun couple of hours..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the read, but doubt I'll ever read it again.

    Complaints:
    * Excessive use of the word "slouched"
    * Overly predictable story progression
    * The assumption that just because a behavior/opinion (in the book, it's anti-smoking) is a fad at the time, that there is no validity behind it.
    * Inclusion in the Science-Fiction section

    Otherwise, there were several hilarious moments involving office-life and the horrors of interacting with a younger generation. Also, sheep. Flip deserves her own sequel-- I wish she had been a bit more fleshed out in this one, but she is fantastic as a background character.

    I intend to look into other Connie Willis books, but I wouldn't suggest this one if you strongly dislike smoking.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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