Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TOS Review: Maestro Classics - Peter and the Wolf

I can't even begin to describe the wonderful memories this simple phrase brings to mind.  I grew up in a household where music was an integral part of our daily lives, and I listened to our well-worn record of this story more times than I can count.  Yes, record.  You know: LPs?  Vinyl?  Or, as another homeschooling parent overheard their child say "a big, old-fashioned CD".   When I was growing up, the record player was our "TV" (we didn't own a television set until I was 15 years old), the records in the cabinet below the speaker were our "favorite programs".  When other people my age reminisce about Smurfs and The Love Boat, I'm thinking about the Fiddler on the Roof and Mother Goose.  And, yes, Peter and the Wolf.

Maestro Classics has done a wonderful job with this offering, which comes on a single CD with a 24 page companion guide.  In addition to the classic narrated Peter and the Wolf story (a wonderful recording by the London Philharmonic Orchestra), the CD has stories about Prokofiev, the music of the story, the instrumental-only (no narration) version of the music, and much more.  There's over an hour of goodies on this one CD.  The companion guide offers several fun activities for kids, and a bunch of fascinating information about the composer, instruments, the story, and more.

That's just the beginning.  Maestro Classics offers many other musical stories on CD.  Some seemed quite like obvious selections (Swan Lake, the Sorcerer's Apprentice), and some were quite surprising.  I love the poem Casey at the Bat, and I'm quite curious about how they've set that one to music!  If your curious too, guess what?  You don't have to wait to purchase the CD - you can check out samples of every CD on their website!

We LOVED this one.  There's only one CD, and all four kids have been actually fighting over who gets to listen to it every night.  I finally had to set up a schedule.  The older kids have been fascinated by the information in the companion guide, especially the sections on the musical instruments, which are much different than the ones they're aware of.  My oldest was happy to find the sheet music for Peter's Tune, so he can learn to play it on the piano ("only one hand, though, so I'll have to make up the left hand myself" he told me).  This has made an excellent addition, not just to our "school" or our education efforts, but just to our household in general.  It makes me wish I'd made the effort much sooner to acquaint my kids with the music I grew up with.

The CDs retail for $16.98 each, but right now Maestro Classics is offering a special - 3 CDs for $45, with free shipping, using the coupon code WINTER2010.  Check out their full offerings and poke around the website to listen to samples and learn more about the creators of these awesome CDs.

You can also check out what my other crew members have to say about this CD here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received a complimentary CD of Maestro Classics' Peter and the Wolf in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased review. No other compensation was received.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jennifer!

    I laughed when I read that your kids had to be put on a listening schedule since our CD was so popular! - thanks so much for this nice review!

    I'm writing this belated comment to let you know that in the months since your review we've been busy setting up a Facebook page so that we can more easily get in contact with our customers, as well as host a monthly CD giveaway. (We have one going right now for Peter and the Wolf, as a matter of fact, ending on 6/13/2011) but we intend to have more giveaways in the future and grow our FB page in general, so we'd love it if you took a peek.

    If you have a business page, feel free to post on our wall and we'd love to become a fan of it.

    Thanks! Ruth, social media coordinator at Maestro Classics