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Colin Firth reads an excerpt from Herman Melville's Moby Dick 
This is what the CD leaflet says:

MUSIC FOR AN ALBATROSS for speaker, string orchestra and electronic effects

In the straightforward writing of The Albatross, one recognizes a search for absolute internalization. The string orchestra converses with the electronic sounds, and interacts with them, bending with them to the point at which the orchestra is swept into a chasm of sonority, in which the feeling of white, austral cold is rendered by the use of sounds whose wave shapes have been built on a computer by tracing the profile of an ice crystal. In this cold and ghostly seascape, the appearance of the albatross, seen as a divine messenger, serves but to enhance yet further the dismay and solitude of mankind.

published by Musicaimmagine Records, Roma 1998, MR Classics, MR10043

This CD contains 6 pieces, in "Music For An Albatross" Colin Firth delivers the following passage:
"I remember the first Albatross I ever saw. It was during a prolonged gale in waters hard upon the Antarctic seas.
From my forenoon watch below, I ascended to the overclouded deck; and there, dashed upon the main hatches, I saw a regal, feathery thing of unspotted whiteness, and with a hooked, Roman bill sublime.
At intervals, it arched forth its vast archangel wings, as if to embrace some holy ark. Wondrous flutterings and throbbings shook it. Though bodily unharmed, it uttered cries, as some king's ghost in supernatural distress.
Through its inexpressible, strange eyes, methought I peeped to secrets which took hold of God.
As Abraham before the angels, I bowed myself; the white thing was so white, its wings so wide, and in those for ever exiled waters, I had lost the miserable warping memories of traditions and of towns.
Long I gazed at that prodigy of plumage.[...]
Captain made a postman of it; tying a lettered, leathern tally round its neck, with the ship's time and place; and then letting it escape. But I doubt not, that leathern tally, meant for man, was taken off in Heaven, when the white fowl flew to join the wing-folding, the invoking, and adoring cherubim!"
from Moby Dick by H. Melville"

Three Deers review :

Sorry, Signor Franci

I'm sure I cannot do this piece of music justice, because I don't know anything about this kind of contemporary music. Further, I cannot hear it unprejudiced for two reasons:  first, in my mind "albatross" is wired forever with John Cleese in an apron, and second, whenever I hear this piece it reminds me uncannily of Alan Parson's 'A Dream within a Dream' (the one where Orson Welles recites Edgar Allan Poe), which I, frankly, like much more.
While I can always listen to Colin's voice, this music isn't as easy on the ear as Alan Parson's. Still, I wonder if the resemblance to Alan Parsons may be intentional... after all, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe were contemporary.
I daresay that even the most ardent fan of Colin Firth will have little fun with this, unless s/he is also an expert in modern music. In fact it is a high price - not so much in money - you have to pay for the privilege to hear Colin Firth reading from Moby Dick. 
Ok, I'll let it out: I simply can't stand this kind of music, it is painful to my ears, this is simply awful, with or without Colin Firth! Whew! Now I feel much better! 
Sorry, Mr Franci, no hard feelings, and I know it is not your goal to please the fans of Colin Firth, but there's only so much I can endure. ;-) Now, where are my Tales of Mystery and Imagination...? [ren] 

CF fan fun factor:  approx. minus ten
last update: feb 10, 2002
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