A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this album is supposed to celebrate classical music with children -- but three of the seven tracks aren't really classical music, and one rendition of a true classical composition is quirky at best. Also, the liner notes don't provide information about the composers, the instruments, or the history of the compositions.
What's the story?
A CHILD'S CELEBRATION OF CLASSICAL MUSIC hosts an impressive medley of celebrity orchestras and artists, playing ageless classical compositions alongside more obscure and contemporary selections. The Boston Pops Orchestra performs a dramatic piece from Edward Grieg's Peer Gynt. Carol Channing narrates a 15-minute story ("Gerald McBoing Boing") about a boy whose voice produces only the sounds of musical instruments. Bobby McFerrin performs an entire piece with his versatile voice, and the Symfunny Orchestra offers an unconventional rendition of Handel's "Water Music."
Is it any good?
The CD brings together talented, well-known artists to perform classic works. For example, a brief piano solo from Sleeping Beauty, composed by Maurice Ravel (famous for Bolero), is preceded by Meryl Streep's skillful narration. Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" is performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and narrated by David Bowie. And Danny Kaye's enchanting presentation of "Tubby the Tuba" quickly attracted the attention of one 4-year-old listener.