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Prokofiev - Peter and the Wolf / Narrated by Patrick Stewart · Opera de Lyon · Nagano Import
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Unfortunately, the volume range on the CD is quite wide, ranging from inaudible to bowel-quaking. In the mix, the orchestra is either at one extreme or the other, but the narration is almost always too quiet to make out against the music. In addition, I can hear several places in the piece where gain peaks have introduced distortion into the sound.
The music and narration are very well done, but the recording job was botched big time. I would recommend you purchase a different copy of Peter and the Wolf.
The music is excellent, and Patrick Stewart's narration is wonderful, but the recording level on the CD is so low that you must turn the volume up much farther than normal to hear it. When you kick the CD out (if you're using a player that defaults back to an FM receiver, you have to remember to turn the volume down first, or it'll blow your eardrums out.
In addition, the recording levels vary far too much across the recording. The levels for Stewart's narration, for instance, is very low. You have to turn it up to hear him, but then the drums which represent the hunter's rifles will almost blow you out of your chair. It gets to be very tiresome having to listen with one hand on the volume knob all the time. I was dissapointed.
The first piece on this disc is Sergei Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf', a musical tale written for children. 'Peter and the Wolf' was written by Prokofiev, but is derivative of an older tale.
This is really a way to introduce children to the orchestra (and was a way for Prokofiev to keep his compositions going at a time in Stalinist Russia when music was legally required to be simple and understandable). The main characters include a bird (flute), duck (oboe), cat (clarinet), Peter's grandfather (bassoon), the wolf (a trio of French horns), hunters (percussion mostly, the timpani and bass drum, but also involves woodwinds), and Peter himself (the strings sections of the orchestra).
Patrick Stewart reads the narration of the story, read over the music and in gaps prepared by Prokofiev. The strains of Peter's theme and the other animals are familiar to children all over the world, and have been for generations, as this piece has been very popular, even serving as the inspiration for a Walt Disney production of the same theme, featuring Prokofiev's music. I must confess that it is a bit hard not to visualise Captain Picard narrating this piece; on the other hand, given the nature of the Star Trek character, this is very much in keeping as something Picard might do.
The second piece on this recording is Claude Debussy's 'The Toy Box', a ballet for children.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
amazing "mute" type reaction on any crying children! I love this for the car! Instantly settles kids (and adults) down.Published 20 days ago by Elizabeth A. Shaw
My friend was not familiar with the instruments of the symphony, and had begun to attend with me, so I got this DVD for her. It worked GREAT for our purposed! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sandy
Pretty good version of this piece. Patrick Stewart did a laid back and clearly enunciated performance that was good to hear.Published 2 months ago by H Parus
This is a great piece of music and has great narration. It is two pieces of my childhood coming together. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Steggy13
I do love the sound of his voice, and it's already one of my favorite stories.Published 6 months ago by Solinbeb
Nice and prestigious version. Done with talent and the respect this piece deservesPublished 10 months ago by paul randolph
As my son said, I would listen to anything narrated by Patrick Stewart. And the children are always captivated by Peter and the WolfPublished 18 months ago by mary deleal