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Beethoven’s Wig 3 by ROUNDER RECORDSName: Beethoven’s Wig 3
Age: All Ages
Price: $15.99
Category: Audio & CD

What Is It?
Zany lyrics and classical music get together in this fun CD for kids and parents. An accompanying booklet with “librettos” lets kids sing along with the Toreador Song from Bizet’s Carmen: “Please keep your bull outside the china shop. No bulls allowed; that’s where they stop.” Opera lovers might cringe, but kids’ll squeal. For the purists (and for kids’ education), the sing-along symphonies are then followed by instrumental performances. The booklet is also filled with trivia questions that teach kids about the instruments and the composers.
What We Thought
Unlike many CDs for kids, the music is high quality. Well, with composers such as Bach, Bizet and Mozart, how could they go wrong? The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra doesn’t hurt either. The lead soloist, Richard Perlmutter, has an appropriately kid-friendly voice, but he’s surrounded by hard-hitting sopranos and tenors, a contrast that adds to the silliness of the entire venture.
Why’ll They Want It
Parents will love being able to introduce their kids to classical music in a fun and friendly way. Kids will enjoy the kookiness for itself and will undoubtedly get excited when hearing and recognizing the “songs” in their more normal context. Still, you have to wonder what it will be like for that grown-up kid when she sees Kubrick’s “2001” for the first time with the lyrics “Men of earth obey! Take me to your leader, take me to your leader” running through her head simultaneous with Strauss’s “Also Spake Zarathustra.”
-- Alison Marek, 5/5/06

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