Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Hi. Unfortunately some of the reviews for when I originally released the Sheherazade CD are no longer posted on their respective websites (it was two years ago now) so I've put them on this blog site... 


Armadillo Magazine review by its editor, Louise Ellis-Baxter

Sheherazade or The Princess, The Pirate and the Baboon!

Author: Brian Blessed & Rory Bremner
Publisher: Melodramatic Productions 
Reviewed by: Louise Ellis-Barrett

As soon as I read the press release for this title I knew I wanted to review it.  Not only do I love the music by Rimsky-Korsakov, in fact I think it would have to be one of my desert island discs, along with this story, the fact that two such great names were involved with it – Brian Blessed and Rory Bremner – made me smile before I had even heard it!

It is truly wonderful.  I am almost tempted to say no more but that would not be fair.

So where do I start?  Not only does this turn the traditional story on its head but it does so with such aplomb and comedy that one doesn’t mind in the slightest!

The music and story-telling fit together so seamlessly that young listeners will, without any doubt absorb both, if of course they can stop laughing at the absurd adventures that the beautiful princess tells in order to avert the potentially horrible fate that awaits her!

With pace, comedy and music this is a most wonderful creation and aptly names as ‘Grandma Dingley’s Ingeniously Musical Tales.’

If you are wondering how to introduce children to classic story telling and classical music then this is the CD to choose and I for one cannot wait to find out what is coming next.

You can visit the website for more information, buy the CD as a CD or download as an MP3 from Amazon and iTunes too.


Soundfreakz review by Melanie Spanswick - the Soundfreakz blog site doesn't exist any more but by all means check out @ClassicalMel's twitter feed.


TheArtsDesk review by Graham Rickson.  This is still on the Arts Desk website but you have to search for it.  Also you might notice it's not the best review but I've included it because it touches on some points I've been concerned with myself - namely the balance of words with music in the production - I'm concerned it gets a bit wordy at times myself and am looking into reworking the recording somewhat to get a better balance - something I was working on when the project was in development with EMI.  Anyway, judge for yourself and let me know what you think...


And I wanted to add some research I did with a pilot production of the CD.  This was recorded by Sam Morris and Jess Murphy - who appear in the finished work - and myself filling in the rest of the voices.  So no Brian Blessed or Rory Bremner... but it was a useful first draft and was what first got Sony Masterworks interested back in 2008, before we had a similar experience with them to the one more recently with EMI.  I went into a friend's school - Eaton The Manor Primary in Clapham, London - and played to a class of 9 / 10 year old boys.  Top of the age range that it's aimed at but they seemed to enjoy it, if only since it got them out of real lessons for an hour.  I also got them to fill out questionnaires on it for a bit of 'market research'.  Here's three of the best...

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