©2008 Saland Publishing; (P)2008 Saland Publishing
Cyril Richard's performance is the best reading of the Alice Adventures ever.
The Alice books have to be read, or better yet heard, in their original form (not the confusing mash-ups that Disney and Hollywood have produced), in order to be fully appreciated.
This recording is a great way to introduce Alice to young readers/listeners. Gift it to a child and open his or her eyes to the wonder of language,
Cyril Ritchard provides an impeccable performance. For those who think they are not familiar with him, he played Captain Hook (and Mr. Darling) in the Mary Martin version of Peter Pan. He makes the characters in the book come alive by providing a voice appropriate to each.
The entire book is memorable through his performance. The Mad Tea Party is a good example. While the Disney cartoon version is fun and enjoyable, the original is far better, with the clever word plays and nonsense that somehow makes sense in Wonderland.
In addition to the voice characterizations (listen to the voice of the duck, which has a very subtle "quack" to it), Cyril Ritchard does a fantastic job with the songs that occasionally appear, such as the Duchess's "lullaby" to her baby, and the Mock Turtle's songs.
The chapters are introduced by marvelous short musical pieces by Alec Wilder and performed by The New York Woodwind Quintet. Cyril Ritchard also did a reading of Through the Looking Glass, every bit as good as this one. Audible, please get it!!!
On several rainy days as a young girl in the early 60's, I would listen to and read along the entire book in one sitting. I fell in love with Cyril Ritchard at that time after seeing him as Capt. Hook in Peter Pan. To this day (40 years on), when I read Alice in Wonderland, I hear his voice. I was able to find the boxed album set at a high price about 10 years ago; I'm so happy to find it in digital format now. It's going on my Kindle 2 in moments so I can listen while I knit and not have to jump up to change the vinyl record. I strongly recommend this recording.
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