Search - Lawrence Olivier, Charles Dickens :: Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol
Lawrence Olivier, Charles Dickens
Christmas Carol
Genres: Special Interest, New Age, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1


      
1

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CD Details

All Artists: Lawrence Olivier, Charles Dickens
Title: Christmas Carol
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Delta
Original Release Date: 9/22/1997
Re-Release Date: 8/1/1996
Genres: Special Interest, New Age, Classical
Styles: Holiday & Wedding, Poetry, Spoken Word & Interviews, Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 018111276528

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Member CD Reviews

Kathleen B. (KikiKat) from DOVER, DE
Reviewed on 7/13/2009...
There is a LaserLight Digital Edition as well. It has the same number, same content, but a different cover.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mary M. (cruisin) from AKRON, OH
Reviewed on 3/6/2007...
my cover is different
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

A disappointment, considering what it could have been
albertatamazon | East Point, Georgia USA | 12/15/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)

"My espectations soared high when I bought this CD--imagine the thrill of finally getting to hear the great Laurence Olivier play Scrooge, a role he never portrayed on stage, screen, or television.

Alas,my hopes began to dim as soon as I opened the package.First of all, this is the shortest CD I know of--only 27 minutes, and at the price asked for it---online or off--highway robbery. The program is obviously from an old radio broadcast(probably from the late 40's or early 50's), and the treble must be turned up all the way for satsfactory listening; otherwise there's far too much bass. (There's absolutely no surface noise, however.)

The big disappointment, though, is the production. It isn't really bad, just very ordinary. And while nothing can beat the sound of Sir Laurence's beautiful voice narrating Dickens' classic (although Orson Welles' narration in the 1939 radio version with Lionel Barrymore comes pretty close), his portrayal of Scrooge is good, but surprisingly standard and ordinary, and nowhere near what you'd expect from the actor who was such a great Hamlet,Othello,Henry V and Richard III.

The greatest handicap of this version,though, is that unlike other recorded versions, this one tries to cram EVERY important detail of the story into just under half-an-hour, creating the impression that everybody is just rushing through it without lingering to savor the great moments - almost, but not quite, like speed reading, and a far cry from the famous 1941 Decca version, recently made available on CD in the U.S. by Deutsche Grammophon---a version that starred Ronald Colman as Scrooge, and was issued on 78 RPM records in 1941 and one side of an LP in later years. That well-loved recording not only cut big chunks of the story to slow down the pace,but also boasted memorable performances nearly equal to the Welles-Barrymore version.

The manufacturers of this Olivier version,though, are as stingy as Scrooge---no cast member other than Olivier is listed. And the ghosts on this CD (so good on the old Decca Ronald Colman recording, as well as in the Lionel Barrymore version) are unusually forgettable. They sound rather cheesy and ordinary, actually---not a single truly spooky ghost in the bunch.

Too bad, but the curious might still want to check this out."
A great performance
Chris Myers | Chicago, IL United States | 12/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first heard this marvelous Olivier performance as a child in the late 1970s, on a Coca-Cola Christmas promotional vinyl LP. I will never forget curling up on the couch on a December evening at my parents' home in the mountains of Utah, the room lit only by the lights on the Christmas tree, listening intently to Olivier's masterful rendition. This is not a reading of the full Dickens text. It was likely done for a half-hour BBC radio broadcast. Even as a condensed version of the original text, it still captures -- better than any performance I've seen or heard to date -- the magic, both chilling and joyful, of Dickens' story. I can heartily recommend this to anyone who is a Dickens or Olivier fan. It might be especially nice as an introduction to the story for young children, though the sophistication of the performance and edit will certainly appeal to those of all ages."