Music is food for the soul, and I strongly believe the souls of children should be fed as much as their bodies. Just as food can vary in nutrition, so can entertainment. No one should consume only one food, likewise no one should consume only one music.
I believe that Classical Music is highly nutritious to our minds and souls and an important part of a person’s entertainment lifestyle. I also believe it’s getting harder to expose younger generations to classical music, especially when we don’t feel well-read in the genre ourselves. But don’t give up, there are resources out there that make it as easy as pushing “play” and Maestro Classics is a favourite of mine.
The latest release from Maestro Classics is Merry Pranks of Master Till. This album, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, takes us to Germany with the music of Richard Strauss. (If you think of waltzes when you think of Strauss you’re close, but you’re thinking of the Austrian Johann who is unrelated to Richard, but I applaud you for the connection! Think instead of the music used in 2001 A Space Odyssey, which is actually Strauss’ Thus Spoke Zarathustra.) Richard Strauss composed what is known as “Tone Poems” or “program music” which left the fixed musical forms of the past and let the story guide the music. Strauss’ music was very carefully composed to tell a story so well it would require no words.
In the case of the Maestro Classics’ version, the first listen has voice-over narration through the whole piece because the stories, while commonplace during the time and location of Strauss, are unfamiliar to most of us as Till Eulenspiegel is a collection of German folk stories that are about 500 years old. After a brief explanation of the life and times of Strauss, the genre at which he excelled, and the music presented here, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche is replayed in it’s full form without narration, allowing (and training) the listener to hear the story in the music without words.
This is a great way to introduce classical music to children (and frankly, ourselves) and teach us to listen more attentively to our music. Before long you’ll find that classical music can speak to you in a way you could never have imagined. It is amazing when your children share with you the things they hear in the music. I’m not advocating a diet entirely of classical music, but I am advocating that we do not starve ourselves of these nutrients as well. Try it, you might really like it!
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I received this album free of charge for the purpose of this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.
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