The Children's Classics - Bedtime Stories

The ‘Children’s Classics’ series presents narrated versions of timeless family classics. Prokofiev’s famous Peter and the Wolf is narrated by Dame Edna Everage, the fantastical Carnival of the Animals is brought to life by Johnny Morris, 1001 Nights is narrated by Bernard Cribbins, and Shakespeare’s timeless love story Romeo and Juliet is told by June Whitfield.

Special 20% Offer | 17th July - 1st September 2020
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Image Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf (Special Edit
A special 20th anniversary edition of a Naxos bestseller - the iconic 1997 recording of Peter and the Wolf, famously narrated by Dame Edna Everage. Packaged in a commemorative slipcase, with a bonus sticker sheet for children. “Using her own enthusiastically expanded version of the original commentary, Dame Edna Everage is sure to draw any young possum into the world of the orchestra. Her exuberance offsets any twee moments, and the Melbourne Orchestra illustrate vivid instrumental descriptions with splendidly alive and colourful playing. The Naxos recording is excellent and, with its highly enjoyable couplings, this inexpensive triptych is warmly recommendable.' – The Penguin Guide

Image SAINT-SAENS: Carnival of the Animals / RAVEL: Moth
The French composer Camille Saint-Saëns was prolific and lived a long time, although by the time of his death in 1921 music had changed beyond anything he could have conceived. He was a gifted pianist and, in common with many other well known French composers, found employment and distinction as organist at one of the principal churches in Paris. The popular Carnival of the Animals, described as A Zoological Fantasy, was written in 1886, originally for two pianos and a small chamber orchestra to celebrate that year's carnival. The composer forbade further performances of this occasional music, except for The Swan, which enjoyed immediate and irresistible popularity.

Image One Thousand And One Nights
The Naxos label has devised an excellent way of presenting Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonic suite Sheherezade on this cockle-warming CD performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Enrique Batiz: Bernard Cribbins has been recruited to recount between the orchestral episodes four of the 1001 bedtime stories which the eponymous brave princess tantalisingly told to her homicidal husband so that he would postpone murdering her as he had done more than a thousand of her predecessors. Concert performances of the work tend towards the monotonous as each wafting interlude falls upon the next, but Cribbins' warm, unhurried, avuncular delivery brings each on as refreshingly as a new dawn. The stories are Sinbad the Sailor, who was shipwrecked on the back of a whale, Prince Taj al-Mulak, who loved a girl he had never seen and two tales of one-eyed dervishes. David Nolan's twisting solo violin breathes hot Arabian breezes onto the ear. It is the gentle, mystical side of Islam which is presented here although the barbarity of Sheherezade's husband does have the hallmarks of Taliban misogyny. Still, Mr Cribbins makes an excellent storytelling wife in anyone's religion. - Rick Jones

Image PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet
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