English lutenist Peter Claire performs in the royal orchestra of King Christian IV's seventeenth-century Danish court, stirring the hearts of the principal women in this novel. Royal family dynamics are interwoven with love and lust. Chapters are interspersed with delicate lute chords, and the alternating voices of the readers animate the narrative of each of the main characters. Feminine and breathy, Alison Dowling and Clare Wille give velvety, expressive voices to the female characters' tales. Michael Praed's strong, unaffected speech depicts the intensity and desperation of the characters he portrays. Mortal danger and the prospect of tragedy build as the narrators deliver their spirited array of voices.
The award-winning Music & Silence is one of Tremain's most popular works. Set in the court of Christian IV of Denmark during the 17th century, it is a beautiful and enduring tale of love, intrigue and betrayal. Part history, part imagination, Music & Silence lyrically evokes the rich tapestry of court life.
The obsessions and secret woes of a host of memorable characters are brilliantly realised by Tremain, who deftly weaves together the numerous sub-plots. We encounter a king, tormented by his quest for perfection; the raucous and spoilt Kirsten, raging against the constraints of her queenly situation; and the silently grieving Emilia.
©2009 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks
"[T]he narrative sweeps to a dramatic crescendo, with several characters in mortal danger and the prospect of tragedy everywhere. Yet it ends in felicitous harmony, a triumph of storytelling by a master of the art." (Publishers Weekly)
Some of the description in this title was like music itself in its lyric quality, and I enjoyed very much learning about a part of the world both in time and space that was hitherto unknown to me. Some of the characters, however, seemed one dimensional, as if they were injected into the lyric simply to move things along. This one-dimensionality led the story to be unnecessarily dark and seemed to prolong the eventual conclusion.
I'm not a big fan of abridged audiobooks but, so far as I can tell, "Music & Silence" is not available in an unabridged version so I parked my scruples and downloaded. I am so glad that I did.
The narrative naturally splits between a number of different viewpoints and they are wonderfully brought to a life by a uniformly brilliant cast with small musical interludes interposed between each chapter.
The book is moving, intriguing and occasionally funny and the production values of this recording uniformly excellent. You might go far in search of a better download.
I listened to an abridged version by mistake. I thought the characters were poorly developed, the plot sketchy. Now I realize it might not have been the book but the fact that it was abridged. I just didn't like the characters enough to care about what happened to them. If you're going to listen to the book find an unabridged version. This version was a waste of my time.
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