I have always wanted to try out Maestro Classics. I have friends who rave about these classical music meets stories CDs, so when I was offered a chance to review to of their titles, My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I just had to jump at the chance.
Maestro Classics are stories set to music. Beautiful, classical music, preformed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. They are narrated by a man named Yadu, who speaks clearly, and has the perfect voice for showing the excitement and emotions in the story. The production value of these recordings is high, and they are enjoyable by adults and children alike.
The Story: My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music
This CD is all about how Handel composed his “water music.” At the time, he had gone back on his promise to the Duke of Hannover to return to Hannover, Germany to be the court composer. Then, surprisingly, the Duke of Hannover became the King George the First of England when Queen Anne died. In order to get back in the Dukes good graces, he composed beautiful music to be played on a barge on the river for the King’s big celebration.
- The story of how Handel came up with the Water Music
- The background of Handel
- The “My Name is Handel” song, a little diddy to help the kids remember the story in a nutshell
- About the Music, a background with the Maestro, which talks about what makes the music special
- Prepare to Preform
- “My Name is Handel” Sing Along.
The Story: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
You’ve seen the Mickey Mouse short with Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, right? This is that story. The young apprentice wants to do magic, but he just isn’t ready. He’s lazy, and he looks for shortcuts, and one day, the sorcerer asks him to fill the well, and he instead sets the broom to do it by magic. By the end of the story, the broom has flooded the house, the apprentice has chopped the broom to bits (causing him to multiply and flood the room even more) and everything is a disaster! The sorcerer arrives back to find the mess, sets it all back straight, and sends the apprentice packing.
- About the Story, which discusses the history of the story and where it originated
- March of the Brooms
- About the Music
- The Original Version of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice
- Prepare to Preform
- Play Along for Kitchen Percussion.
What do you DO with them?
We enjoyed our CDs while riding in the car. I feel like we spend a huge amount of time driving to and from various appointments and commitments, so I love products like this that help me make our time driving educational. The stories are engaging enough to hold our attention, and the music accompanying them is beautifully done, clearly recorded, and is just awesome to listen to.
The CDs come with a little CD sized booklet, which is full color and has things like sheet music for a kitchen percussion section, puzzles, fact sheets and other interesting tidbits for your child to read and play with.
If you want to beef up your studies, Maestro Classics has put together a really need free Curriculum Guide page, that has links and resources to turn these CDs into full unit studies- with history, science, art and more. Even without the added resources, you could reasonably use these CDs and, if you had the whole series, you could count them as a full year’s worth of music curriculum.
This is one of those reviews that ended up costing me in the long run- we have bought a couple additional titles to enjoy at home, and I have many more on our wishlist. I can’t recommend these enough!