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A FEAST FOR YOUR EARS (English and German)
am 29. August 2005
Like the books, the audioCDs are a great entertainment.
Whether the story is heard in English (Stephen Fry) or in German (Rufus Beck), it is always a real treat. Both of them produced masterpieces, in their own styles.
No version is read monotonous, but both readers are really filling the story with life. You hardly notice the passing of time while you listen.
I can only say: Stephen Fry and Rufus Beck can give each other a run for their money that others may have difficulties to match.
Rufus Beck is demonstrating how one can do magic with his voice.
Though at the passages of speech the accentuation isn't always ideal, but sometimes a bit inappropriate and "unnatural", the enormous variety of voices Rufus Beck produces is an incomparable experience.
The different characters can be distinguished and recognized at their voices and accents so clearly as if you have a radio play with as many individual performers. It's impressing too to sometimes hear more than one voice at a time (Weasley twins, school song, &tc.). And there always still seems to be supply for new characters.
Beck succeeded outstandingly in finding appropriate melodies for the Sorting Hat's songs &tc. (though he perhaps shouldn't have accompanied it by guitar in the 4th volume).
The division into CD chapters of 5-7 min. enables you to easily continue hearing the story after you might have had to stop during a CD.
(Of course you have the translation inaccuracies and mistakes you unfortunately find in the German books. And Beck skips a sentence now and then.)
Stephen Fry succeeds greatly in putting his audience under a spell.
Though sometimes a bit exaggerated (but not to mind) at the passages of tale, the accentuation at the passages of speech partly is met better than in the German version.
But the variety of voices is not as large as Beck's, and it's sometimes harder to recognize individual characters by their voices. Nevertheless, Fry gives each person his or her individual, appropriate character.
The Sorting Hat's songs &tc. are just recited as poems by Fry.
The division into CD chapters of about 1 min. is perfect to enable you to continue hearing the story after you might have had to stop during a CD. But the breaks between the book chapters are a bit long, always interrupting the flow of the read story; and you sometimes don't know whether it's the end of a CD or only of a chapter.
Whichever version you may choose: you surely won't regret the purchase of the CDs.