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on 24 August 2010
My children and I like this record very much indeed.

To be fair to some of the harsher reviewers of this disc, you don't get a straight rendition of Saint-Saens's "Carnival..." on this Naxos CD. Johhny Morris introduces all of the pieces, providing witty verse intros. He even sings over a couple of them (e.g. the Aquarium). Admittedly this vocal accompaniment came as something as a surprise to me when I first played the disc and I was somewhat disappointed. It certainly won't be to everyone's taste. Ultimately, however, it's not a problem as I can always
buy a different copy of the "Carnival..." where only the music does the talking. And of course Johhny Morris's intros have charm and wit.

The crowning glory of the CD for me- and what my kids love especially- are his brief intros to each piece in Ravel's "Mother Goose" suite. Now this IS what an orchestral narrator's job is all about: he's informed, informative and superb at whetting the appetite to the glorious music to follow. "Little Ugly, Empress of the Pagodas" never sounded better to my ears, but what makes it truly enjoyable each time we put it on is Johnny's prior description of the scenes evoked by the music.

So if you commit to buy, don't be too disappointed by the singular rendition of "Carnival..." and do give the rest of the disc a listen too!
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on 19 February 2008
It isn't so difficult to agree with both of the two other reviewers. If you want to listen to the music of Carnival of the Animals without the interruption of television's best-loved zoo-keeper then obviously this isn't the CD for you. If like me however, you are of a certain age and loved Animal Magic or, unlike me, you have some young children to entartain then I can heartily recommend this work to you. The Belloc-like cautionary verse goes well with the music and the whole is pleasant enough to listen to whilst occupied with other tasks.
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on 2 July 2009
Bought the CD for use in school. Johnny Morris narrates excellently although personally I'd prefer less speaking and more music. The children really like it.
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on 20 November 2007
I admit I have 2 versions of the Carnival of the Animals. I've had this version for many years now, and recently I bought another one which was purely music. I have to say I can't bring myself to listen to Carnival of the Animals unless Johnny Morris is narrating it. It's just not the same without him!
I love the way Johnny Morris tells you the story behind the music. It really helped me to appreciate classical music. I think the music is perfectly audible underneath his interesting and humourous narration. My personal favourite bit is when he describes the story of the Sorceror's Apprentice - it really helps me to picture what the music is trying to express.
Also, I can't understand why another reviewer thought the music was not exciting. I personally find it spectacular. It really brings the animals to life. Oh well, each to their own...
*I was lucky enough to watch Johnny Morris perform this live before he died*
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on 13 July 2006
If you like listening to the music in Carnival of the Animals, avoid this CD at all costs. I'm sure I'd find Jonny Morris's narration charming (if a little twee, at times) if it wasn't for the fact that he talks OVER the music half the time.

Tortoises, Aquariam and Fossils are all completely ruined by this, with the music barely audible underneath the speech.

The music itself is a little lacklustre, lacking any real sparkle. The technical wizardry of The Sorcerer's Apprentice particularly absent, for example.

I would have no hesitation in NOT recommending this CD.
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on 4 January 2012
It's lovely to hear the voice of Johnny Morris after so long. I find it slightly annoying that he sings to one of the tracks, but hey, my children love it and continualy listen to it so I couldn't ask for more. A complete bargain at the price!
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on 30 October 2013
As a person who grew up in seeing Johnny Morris presenting 'Animal Magic' it was good to hear his narration.
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on 24 August 2015
My two-year-old loves it. We got this for car journeys; she already liked Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and we thought she'd enjoy the Saint-Saëns too. She does. I could live without Johnny Morris' narration and rather croaky singing in Carnival of the Animals, but we bought it for her and she's a satisfied customer. The Dukas is a bonus. The orchestral playing is good throughout.
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on 5 March 2016
The pieces are played beautifully and it is an ideal selection with which to introduce a younger audience to classical music. However, I am beginning to wear of Johnny Morris' commentary which tend to overwhelm the music and don't fit in places,
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on 16 May 2012
My very young Grandsons love music and "feel" the sense of music, firing their imagination of prowling tigers, slithering snakes & so on! Carnival of The Animals has stirred the senses further and is helping them understand the orchestra, My daughter saw Johnny Morris at The Albert Hall as a child reciting Peter & The Wolf so she too has loved the experience of listening with the boys this particular CD and enjoying his vocal gift once more. I may live the other side of the world but Nanna scored again as this flew to Australia, it has proved a great "quiet time" followed by some exciting play later!!
Well recommend with Peter & The Wolf narrated by Dame Edna!!
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