Angelina Ballerina is a popular children's animated TV series about the titular ballet dancing mouse, based on books by Katharine Holabird and engaging the voice talent of Dame Judi Dench. This 2 disc set contains a CD of famous ballet highlights drawn from various Decca, Polydor, Universal and DG recordings together with Colin Town's engaging title theme, two full length audio adventures, and a DVD featuring two episodes from the programme itself. I can't comment on these as the review set did not include the DVD.
However, for fans of the programme the CD makes a wonderful introduction to famous ballet music, with a clear emphasis on light, accessible melodic pieces which will have particular appeal to the youthful target audience. The sound does vary, as recordings span the period 1949 to 2003. Nevertheless, these are all top recordings with such orchestras as the LSO and London Philharmonic.
Each piece is introduced by Finty Williams – who voices Angelina on television – and the insert provides notes on each piece and a fold-out guide to introductory ballet steps. The CD ends with Finty Williams reading two Angelina Ballerina stories, Ballet Tickets and Angelina The Mouse Detective, the tales totalling around 14 minutes playing time of a generously filled 78 minute disc.
An excellent value set which is sure to delight Angelina Ballerina fans, this is just the way to introduce young children to the delights of classical music, and anything which gets the little ones away from the caterwauling racket which is today's media soundscape can only be a very good thing!