Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Itzhak Perlman as narrator is the dominant figure here, obviously a very experienced storyteller, ever ready to act things out in the Prokofiev and to underline Ogden Nash's outrageous payoff rhymes with no apology whatever. Plainly this is an issue primarily for children, and the only major point to ponder is whether the very American-sounding aggressiveness of the voice will suit any particular young listener. The episode of the duck being swallowed is very dramatic indeed, and most young children I have come across will love the horror of it, whatever squeaks of fear are uttered. Perlman's lack of inhibition as an actor (matching his mastery as a violinist) goes with a rather aggressive recording balance, which works well enough in the Prokofiev but then comes leaping out too sharply in the Saint-Saens.
The Prokofiev is more successful musically too with Mehta taking a relaxed and happy view rather than a brilliant one and with the final procession unsually easy-going. The Saint-Saens has the benefit of bright, incisive playing from the Labeque sisters..."
-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [12/1984]