Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

 Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics

Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics

Spring 2012 Music
Ages: 5 - 10 yrs.
Producer: Beethoven's Wig
CD Price: $12.98

Beethoven's Wig creator Richard Perlmutter is known for his witty, appropriate lyrics set to works by the great classical composers. This newest offering, one of the best in the series, contains many comic gems. One standout, however, strikes a different chord. Complete with mission control lift-off, it is a soulful transformation of Debussy's "Clair de Lune" into a beautifully sung, dream-like "Voyage to the Moon": "Flying higher, higher, higher, higher/We're floating free, weightlessly/Floating, falling, floating/Falling down, floating down, falling down…." The cleverest songs are Perlmutter's sly treatments of Schoenberg's "Sehr Langsam" ("S.O.S.") and Henry Cowell's "Amiable Conversation" ("Bang Bang Bang"). Other comic highlights: Chopin's "Funeral March" as an elegy for a car past its prime ("Poor Uncle Joe/Has a car that doesn't go") and the Brahms Lullaby re-imagined as an anti-lullaby ("I Can't Sleep"), thanks to a buzzing fly. The tracks are deepened by a sterling cast of professional opera singers and by notable pianist Grant Gershon, resident conductor of the Los Angeles Opera and music director of the L.A. Master Chorale. The album ends with Gershon's striking reprise of each selection.

Lynne Heffley   ©2012 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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