A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that these up-tempo versions of the classics will stimulate young children, but may wear thin for classical music lovers.
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What's the story?
TRAVELING MELODIES is a new \"Concert for Little Ears\" from the Baby Einstein Music Collection. It contains 20 short up-tempo versions of both familiar and not-so-familiar classical selections played by the aptly named Music Box Orchestra. The CD begins with a swirly and peaceful orchestral tune-up followed by a cymbal crash heralding the beginning of Smetana's \"Bartered Bride.\" Compositions include a selection from Vivaldi's \"Four Seasons,\" and pieces by Schubert, Mozart, and other well-known composers. Standouts are \"Fandango\" by Rimsky-Korsakov, Haydn's \"Symphony 100,\" and Beethoven's \"Piano Sonata 15.\"
Is it any good?
The production on this album is clean and articulate; the musicianship good. But the sound overall is synthetic and thin. Many of the pieces have metronome-perfect timing reminiscent of a circus calliope. Listeners may miss the lower tonalities, and those expecting full-timbered instruments will be disappointed. This album will entertain young children while on the road or at play and introduce a sampling of the classics. But parents may prefer more fully orchestrated recordings with broader appeal for the whole family.