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Christmas Box

Passion of Scrooge

A stereoscopic, circle surround
Christmas Carol,

Innova    innova 545

Jon Deak - The Passion of Scrooge or A Christmas Carol (p) 2000 Innova Recordings


The familiar story of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) is presented on this disc as a kind of hi-tech radio play. The music of American composer Jon Deak (born 1943) is performed by the nine instrumentalists of the excellent 20th Century Consort under Christopher Kendall. Baritone William Sharp, in a skillful spoken and sung role, plays all the characters [listen -- track 17, 0:08-1:08], with occasional help from the consort members.

The CD booklet contains a full libretto -- adapted by Deak from the work of Isaiah Sheffer, based on Dickens' story -- and reproduces various computer-generated stereograms of imaginary scenes from the story.

Written for concert performance, the challenge in making this recording was to replace the visual clues picked up by a concert hall audience with sound effects to help convey the story to the listener at home. The CD is encoded for five channel reproduction using 'Circle Surround', and can also be played on normal stereophonic equipment. Specially produced sound effects are mixed with those produced by Sharp and the players.

The result is certainly professional, and goes a considerable way towards captivating the listener throughout this two act 50-minute drama, from bah humbug to '... in the words of our dear Tiny Tim: God bless us! God bless us, every one!' [listen -- track 20, 2:13-3:08].



Copyright © 20 December 2000 Keith Bramich, London, UK






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