Through imaginative stories and carefully selected background pieces from the composers, this internationally acclaimed, best-selling series of CDs brings some of the world's greatest classical composers and their music to life - in a way that engages the minds and hearts of young people (and older ones too!).
One of the gifts of living in the modern age is that we have access to the world's greatest music at any time. No need to wait for the annual fair to hear a fiddler; no need to hire a chamber orchestra for a command performance. No – we have the opportunity to listen to the world's best music at any time.
One of my hopes for my children is that they will have at least an acquaintance with classical music. I fell in love with classical music as a college student, and I hope that my boys will have some appreciation for this creative outlet.
This collection includes four albums. Each of them tells a story – a very different story – with the composer's music as the running soundtrack in the background. It's a brilliant way to listen to an hour of high points from each composer, so that future recognition becomes almost effortless. "I remember this! This is Beethoven!"
In Mr. Bach Comes to Call, the composer interrupts a girl's unenthusiastic practicing. He tells her stories from his life – like his time in jail. This is a sweet story. One of my friends, a professional musician, says that this is her favorite.
In Beethoven Lives Upstairs, the composer moves into a family's home. The boy writes complaining (and occasionally funny) letters to his uncle about Beethoven's behavior. The climax of this album, when Beethoven conducts … such a moment. I love this one.
Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery incorporates the composer's life as music master in an orphanage with a mystery, set during Venice's Carnival. The place and the music and the story and the time all mix beautifully.
Mozart was incredibly prolific. In Mozart's Magic Fantasy, a girl goes to find her mother on the set of the opera The Magic Flute, as her mother is playing the Queen of the Night. But unexpectedly, she gets transported into the story. A charming introduction to the opera. Very dramatic. Of these four, this is my sons' favorite.
Overall: engaging stories and gorgeous music: a marvelous addition to any family's listening library. We enjoy them again and again.