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Anna Karenina Soundtrack

4.5 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

There are several themes in the score of Anna Karenina:sometimes appearing alone, often intersecting, their paths running alongside for a while. Those paths are shared by the
characters in the story as they walk towards or away from convention, pretence, happiness, guilt, love, fun, and even truth.

In a very important sense, the musical motifs do not represent the characters themselves I prefer to think of them as spirits, perhaps demons, unseen, signposting the way, or simply bearing witness to the events.

Most of the action, in our version of Tolstoys novel, takes place in an abandoned theatre, upon or around a stage a symbol of the make-believe life of the Russian aristocracy at the end of the 19th century. Having convention and pretence confined within the boundaries of an old theatre, hints of course to another life,
one that must exist somewhere outside the confines of that stage. The music of Anna Karenina is perched between those two worlds.

For the curious: track 8: Beroza (Birch) is a very old Russian folk song: of its many versions, the one I used talks of a young woman deceiving an older husband. for track 19 At the Opera I used Tolstoy s own words from Anna Karenina, Part II, Chapter XI

Dario Marianelli - 13th August 2012

Review

There are several themes in the score of Anna Karenina:sometimes appearing alone, often intersecting, their paths running alongside for a while. Those paths are shared by the
characters in the story as they walk towards or away from convention, pretence, happiness, guilt, love, fun, and even truth.

In a very important sense, the musical motifs do not represent the characters themselves I prefer to think of them as spirits, perhaps demons, unseen, signposting the way, or simply bearing witness to the events.

Most of the action, in our version of Tolstoys novel, takes place in an abandoned theatre, upon or around a stage a symbol of the make-believe life of the Russian aristocracy at the end of the 19th century. Having convention and pretence confined within the boundaries of an old theatre, hints of course to another life,
one that must exist somewhere outside the confines of that stage. The music of Anna Karenina is perched between those two worlds.

For the curious: track 8: Beroza (Birch) is a very old Russian folk song: of its many versions, the one I used talks of a young woman deceiving an older husband. for track 19 At the Opera I used Tolstoy s own words from Anna Karenina, Part II, Chapter XI --DARIO MARIANELLI 13th August 2012
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B009HEP41A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,664 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CJA on March 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Reading a masterpiece like Anna Karenina is daunting -- requiring as it does a large investment of time and mental energy. But the audio format and Davina Porter's wonderful narration make it work. The narrator is critical in such a format. A good narrator seems like a companion for a long journey, and an expert one can provide some interpretation of a great work akin to the role of a conductor or an actress. Porter is able to do justice to the characters. Her interpretation of Anna's husband makes the man as unattractive as, I think, Tolstoy wanted him to be.

Classics, like youth, are wasted on the young. I read Anna Karenina at 19 and couldn't appreciate its richness until I've lived a life. What comes through on the second reading is the vanity of romantic love. Vronsky and Anna are the picture of perfect lovers. But love is also a social construct, and the relationship does not work without the supporting fabric of family, children, and friends -- however hypocritical that social milieu can be. Of course what's missing most from Anna and Vronsky's life is spirituality. Love needs a spiritual as well as a social context to survive and thrive.

I fell in love with Anna on the first reading and did not remember much about Levin's character. While Anna is still a wonderfully attractive and rich character on the second reading, Tolsoty's ultimate disapproval of her and his identification with Levin are far clearer on the second read.
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Format: Audio CD
Anna Karenina is a classic of Russian literature, written by the celebrated author Leo Tolstoy in 1873. It tells the story of the titular character, Anna, a Moscow socialite married to the taciturn Alexei Karenin, a stoic Government official 20 years her senior. Anna's life is thrown into turmoil when she meets and falls for the dashing Count Vronsky, a handsome and wealthy cavalry officer who sweeps Anna off her feet, and shows her the true meaning of love. However, repressive societal norms, pressure from friends and family, and Anna's own insecurities about what she wants from life means that her difficult choice between a safe, but dull life with Karenin and a wild, but potentially ostracizing life with Vronsky becomes agonizing. The story has been told on film many times over the years; this lavish new version is directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Tom Stoppard, stars Keira Knightley as Anna, Jude Law as Alexei, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky, and has a stellar supporting cast that includes Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson and Matthew Macfadyen.

The score for Anna Karenina is by the Anglo-Italian composer Dario Marianelli, who worked with director Wright on Pride and Prejudice in 2005 and won an Academy Award for his score for their film Atonement in 2007. As one might expect given the subject matter and the time period in which the film is set, Marianelli's score is very, very classical, and is generally built around a series of opulent waltzes.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great audio version of Anna Karenina. Although the narrator's Russian pronunciation of the names leaves something to be desired, everything else is superb. She is able to effectively create the characters in your mind, and does it so well that you don't even notice the narration--you simply see the images in your mind.

Very, very enjoyable.
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Format: Audio CD
Be warned. The sound quality on these CDs is very poor. They sound like highly compressed MP3s. Why they would do this is baffling, and if I was the narrator of the set I'd be furious with the finished product.
There's another unabridged Anna Karenina CD set by Blackstone books read by Nadia May that has better sound quality, though still not great.
On the other hand the 2 volume unabrigeded War and Peace set by Naxos AudioBooks, 2006 has a great narrator and crystal clear uncompressed sound. It's more expensive than this set, but a magical experience to listen to. In contrast, this set should have been great, but I soon gave up since it sounds like I'm listening to the narrator through a lousy modem instead of in my living room by a warm fire.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Davina Porter's exquisite reading of this unique masterpiece is an adventure in literary splendor. I find her interpretation to be more complete, more sensitive, more moving and more intellectually stimulating than any of the movie versions. Yes, Davina tops Garbo and Vivian Leigh, without question. As for the novel, it's astonishingly good, incredibly modern, intensely penetrating. It stays with you and just makes you think and think. Anna's final inward conversation with herself is just everything, and the way Davina reads it is beyond compare.
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Format: Audio CD
"Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be."

Anna Karenina is the wife of Alexei Karenin (depending on the translation and how familiar you are with Russian naming conventions, be prepared for this and lots of other potentially confusing name swapping), a top-ranked bureaucrat. But their marriage is one of societal obligations more than love. When Anna goes to Moscow to help mend the family trouble her brother, Stepan Arkadyevich, caused by cheating on his wife, "Dolly", she meets an officer, Alexei Vronsky, with whom she begins an affair. Meanwhile, Dolly's youngest sister, "Kitty", is in love with Konstantin Levin but declines an offer of marriage in hopes of winning Vronsky's attention. Thus begins a truly epic saga, filled with love, loss, and lots of philosophical and political discussions.

Almost two full months of listening to this audiobook (narrated by the supreme, Davina Porter, who could make reading the the nutrition facts from a box of prunes sound amazing), and I have finally finished this book! I feel like I deserve a prize for this epic achievement! Firstly, because I'd never have thought I'd ever have the courage to read one of Tolstoy's hefty tomes, and secondly because I thought I'd never FINISH this hefty tome!

Now that I've actually finished this book, I have to say, I'm rather surprised. First off, Tolstoy has a reputation for being, shall we say, intimidating. I mean, isn't "War and Peace" used as the punchline of a joke about how stuffy a person is or how hard a class is? I was prepared for the most challenging read (listen) of my life; imagine how surprised I was at how readable this book turned out to be.
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