Trade Ed. CBC Audio 2005
CD ISBN 0660194643 $17.95 One CDs
Paul Kennedy narrates Andersen's dour fable in an avuncular manner that, despite his real expressiveness, will be hard for adults to take, but the story is too complex and bleak for an audience as young as his manner calls for. He reads with a Canadian accent. The brief story is broken up frequently by the Canadian Brass performing excerpts of Christmas music; the arrangements are often interesting but not necessarily kid-friendly or upbeat, especially the discordant and decidedly minor "What Child Is This?". When the story's ending--bitter, sad, regretful, resigned--is followed by "O, Christmas Tree," it seems ironically cruel. Unfortunately, this program is misconceived for adults and children alike. W.M. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 06]
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