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The Runaway Bunny, The Story Of Babar with Catherine Zita-Jones and Michael Douglas
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The Runaway Bunny, The Story of Babar and Goodnight Moon
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by Mark Stone
Oscar Winners Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas join forces and perform these beloved musical compositions based on three children's masterpieces. Catherine narrates the Piano Trio Version (with Trio 21) of The Runaway Bunny, the contemporary classic by Glen Roven; Michael narrates the beloved The History of Babar, with the brilliant score by Francis Poulenc. English Baritone Mark Stone sings Roven's Goodnight Moon along with the GPR Festival Choir. This is the perfect gift for the young and the young at heart.
I enjoyed The Runaway Bunny as much as my grandkids did! Kirk Douglas
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The series begins with a musical setting of Margaret Wise Brown's famous book, THE RUNAWAY BUNNY as composed by Glen Roven. Roven has an uncanny sense of matching the story with music that makes it come alive. This version has more extensive music by the trio (the `adult version') than the more abbreviated version heard later on the CD. The excellent narrator here is the beautiful actress Catherine Zeta-Jones who reads with authority, wit and warms. The music is composed for piano trio and is performed here by Trio 21 - Jeffrey Biegel, piano, Kinga Augustyn, violin and Robert deMaine, cello.
Next one the program is THE STORY OF BABAR, THE LITTLE ELEPHANT written by Jean de Brunhoff (translated form the French by Nelly Rieu) and set to music by Francis Poulenc in a score few of us know. The music is for piano alone and here the artist is Jason Worth who finds just the right level of jollity and nuance that keeps the flavor of Poulenc present. The story is narrated by one of our best actors - Michael Douglas who joins his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones in this project!
The third work is a setting of another Margaret Wise Brown's children's masterpieces, GOODNIGHT MOON in a sensitive fashion by Glen Roven for voice and piano. Roven is at the keyboard and the fine baritone soloist is Mark Stone. Here the entire work is sung by the soloist, though there is a later version on the CD there is a setting of the story for GPR Festival Choir, equally effective but in a different manner.
The recording is very well produced (Glen Roven, Peter Fitzgerald and Richard Cohen) and the sound is superb. Adults will find these settings a pleasure as much as children will find them entry points into literature and fine music. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 12