CD review: Peter and the Wolf
There are eleventy million recordings of Peter and the Wolf, some of which are listed on Wikipedia. This one is from a disc called "Menuhin conducts Prokofiev", with the English String Orchestra, and narrated by Christopher Lee. I bought the disk solely for Peter and the Wolf, and already have other recordings of the rest of the stuff on it.
Christopher Lee can do no wrong. He is perfect. Everything he does is divine. I wish I could buy a tiny jar of his sweat, so that I could add just a drop of it to everything I cook, thereby making my cooking even more awesome. If he sweats, of course. I wouldn't be surprised if he is beyond such weak fleshy exudations.
He has a wonderful voice for narration - he speaks clearly but still with passion, conveying the excitement of the wolf chasing the duck, or snapping at the bird. This is the best recording I've heard of this work. Musically, others are better, but the narration is so important that I can easily forgive those decisions of the conductor with which I disagree.
So why only four stars? Simple. It should be paired with Britten's "A Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra", which should also be narrated by Lee, but instead shares the disk with a symphony and a violin concerto of Prokofiev.