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Carnival of the Animals

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 15, 2000
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Frequently Bought Together

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  • Prokofiev: Cinderella / Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty - Narrated by Brian Cant (Children's Classics)
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Total price: $25.65
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Editorial Reviews

Carnival of the Animals Camille Saint-SaënsItem: 99-8554463UPC: 636943475324 Category: CD Recording Format: CD
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 15, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • ASIN: B000026AM4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,951 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Johnny Morris sure wrote some amusing narration to go with Carnival - witty and poetic. I didn't like the way he sang along to 'Tortoises' though. The words are in time with the music, but I would have very much preferred to hear the music separately. The Slovak Radio Symphony does a good job of the music under Lenard, I think it is somewhat better than the rendition by the Scottish National Orchestra under Alexander Gibson, which was a little rushed, in my opinion. The other pieces are well-done too, I especially liked Sorcerer's Apprentice, which happens to be one of my favorites. Not the best, but pretty good. A must even if only for the narration. It is really, really funny, and guaranteed to make you laugh.
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Format: Audio CD
With so many recordings of the Carnival of Animals, here is a surprisingly unique gem for at least 2 reasons. First of all, the witticisms and nonsensical poetic passages are fun for both kids and adults. The famed children's host Johnny Morris gives this recording a truly special flavor, and his enthusiasm is so genuine it's infectious. Take, for instance, the lion piece; Johnny Morris actually imitates the roar of a lion. His singing during the Tortoise piece is trying at first -- but once you've listened to the recording a few times it just becomes added complexity - which for a piece as simple as the Carnival of Animals motifs is not a bad thing. Morris' voice is warm and lively throughout, but enough about him - what about the orchestra itself, you ask!

I can happily tell you that the Penguin Guide thinks that this orchestra is comparable to the Andre Previn interpretation, which is as good as it gets. The playing is unusually passionate and never rushed. They seem to play the music with such mindful precision and respect, you'd think they were performing a Beethoven symphony rather than classical music for kids. And that's the real beauty of this CD -- it would be perfect for a young newcomer to classical music, but even a die-hard connoisseur will listen to this with joy and feel like a kid at heart.
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Format: Audio CD
As a lover of Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals", I was eagerly looking forward to having my own copy of a recording. The music is beautiful, and the performances are excellent. How disappointing, then, to listen to the CD for the first time and have to hear Johnny Morris's "narration"!
He can be forgiven for his short poems, which are (I assume) his own dry, cynical interpretations of the personality of each animal. He can be forgiven for his lame imitations of the creatures' calls. He can be forgiven for his irritating, breathless "Hip! Hip!" of the kangaroo. He can be forgiven for his pompous British accent and rolled r's...
But his decision to actually *sing* over the top of the "Tortoise" and "Aquarium" sections is inexcusable. His weak, wobbly, too-low-for-his-register and completely-out-of-tune voice utterly ruins this recording. I was especially disappointed with the end result of "Aquarium"; once a mysterious, atmospheric piece of orchestral music, now relegated to the background while Morris warbles his sarcastic verse above it all.
What a shame! I'm now looking for a recording of "Carnival..." without any narration!
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