Music & Silence

Rose Tremain, Author, Michael Praed, Read by, Clare Wille, With
Rose Tremain, Author, Michael Praed, Read by, Clare Wille, With , read by Michael Praed, Clare Wille and Alison Dowling. Naxos $34.98 (0p) ISBN 978-962-634-975-5
Reviewed on: 08/31/2009
Release date: 00/00/0000

Michael Praed shines in his performance of Tremain's 1995 Whitbread Award–winning novel. His intimate, sensual voice and use of pacing—even within sentences—adds nuance to each scene. He has a distinct voice for each character, and his variety of accents are believable and without affectation. Especially engaging are the story's central characters: King Christian IV of 17th-century Denmark has the quiet, gravelly voice of age and profound sadness; the lutenist Peter Claire (the central love interest) is very appealing. Clare Wille expertly handles the emotional swings of Christian's childish, scheming and sex-crazed wife, Kirsten. The device of alternating voices becomes somewhat annoying in an abridgment, but the plot line is clear, and lovely 17th-century lute intervals signal omissions. A Random hardcover. (July)

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