Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies

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Short Review: 
Clever and catchy lyrics are added to 11 well-known short pieces and movements from symphonies in this playful introduction to classical music.
Long Review: 

Clever and catchy lyrics are set to 11 excerpts and short pieces of well-known classical symphonic music (none more than 2½ minutes long), including Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Purcell’s Trumpet Tune, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, in this playful introduction to classical music. The rhyming lyrics are often about the composer, or the “story” in the music, or suggested by the sounds (pizzicato = drip, drip, drip). Schumann’s The Merry Peasant becomes a song about the musical Schumann family, Clara, Robert and their children – “a family joined in harmony.” Mozart’s wife begs “Please Don’t Play Your Violin at Night” to the tune of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and “Just for Elise” set to the music of Beethoven’s Für Elise is about a musical piece written for Elise snatched by Maurice from Greece, who hid it in his valise. The concept, lyrics and lead vocals are by Richard Perlmutter, whose voice is clean and clear. Some of the other voices are operatic at times, but Perlmutter often sounds as if he is talk-singing, which makes it easy to understand the words. The words are included in the liner notes, but even without the liner notes, after listening a couple of times, you’ll find yourself singing along. In fact, you may consider this a drawback, in that you or your children may never be able to hear these pieces of music again without remembering the words. However, to help get the words out of your head, a purely orchestral performance of each piece is presented as well.

Lauren Mayer