REVIEW POTPOURRI: Jermaine Jackson, Sibelius 5th Symphony No. 5, and TV series Father Brown

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Jermaine Jackson

Frontiers
Motown M7-898R1, LP, recorded 1978.

Jermaine Jackson

Older brother of Janet, the late Michael and six other siblings and former member of the Jackson 5, Jermaine Jackson has reached a pinnacle of success as singer, songwriter, reality TV star and Jackson family spokesman at the nice young age of 63. The above LP, Frontiers, is a solid, very listenable example of late seventies Motown soul. My personal favorite among the eight tracks is the vibrant, charming Castles of Sands, the instrumentation alone worth the price of admission.

A few tidbits – like the rest of the family, he was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness but converted to Islam in 1989. He’s the father of seven children from three wives and a girlfriend.

Finally in 2015, his third wife was arrested and charged with physically abusing her husband and would file for divorce citing irreconcilable differences!

Most of the album can be heard on YouTube.

Sibelius 5th Symphony No. 5

Night Ride and Sunrise
Georges Pretre conducting the New Philharmonia; RCA Victor LSC-2996, stereo LP, recorded 1968.

Jean Sibelius

Conductor Georges Pretre (1924-2017) gave performances of these two works of the great Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) that are a bit more refined than the roaring, majestic, almost savage ones of the other notable conductors of the past – and a few of today. But the unique power and beauty of both works does reveal itself gradually.

Georges Pretres

The record’s producer, Richard Mohr, wrote an essay for this album that provided insight into Pretre’s working methods and revealed the relentless, sweating studying and rehearsing over and over again before a tape machine is even turned on. Pretre knew perfection for this record was impossible but he was determined to come veryyyyyyyyyyyyy close !

Sibelius wrote about his own feelings when he finished composing the 5th Symphony. “I already begin to see dimly the mountain that I shall certainly ascend. God opens His door for a moment and His orchestra plays the Fifth Symphony.”

Since I have been listening to this piece for more than 40 years, I totally agree with the composer on this one!

Father Brown

starring Mark Williams, etc., BBC TV series, six seasons since 2013.

Mark Williams

I just started watching 10 days ago, and am on episode 6. I read some of the stories over 30 years ago and enjoyed the plots, perky characters and the moral and spiritual edification of them, the reasons why I like the show as well. I have not seen the ‘70s BBC version with the late Kenneth More!

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