A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Despite most parents' best efforts, today's kids are unlikely to jump for joy at the chance to spend a Saturday afternoon at the symphony. Enter BEETHOVEN'S WIG 3, a new installment in Richard Perlmutter's Sing Along Symphonies recordings. This producer has once again created a place where kids raised on Barney might begin to understand Beethoven. His technique is to set silly lyrics to some well-known and not-so-well-known pieces so that kids might come to listen, decode, and eventually appreciate the music on its own terms. To this end, the second half of the CD contains the same music without the words.
Is it any good?
There are two relatively minor problems with this CD. First, Mr. Perlmutter's voice is somewhat comedic and nasal sounding (reminiscent of Ringo Starr). It might have been wise to have some other vocalists alternate with him. The second problem lies in the mixing of the tracks that are supposed to feature some of the orchestra's instruments. In those pieces, it would have been better to bring those instruments up in the mix or give them solo sections. These minor quibbles aside, Beethoven's Wig 3 is a fine addition to your children's CD collection.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the instruments featured on this recording and the altogether different sounds and textures when compared to today's music. In fact, it might be wise to bookend this CD with current music in order to have kids "discover" these differences themselves.