The girls and I have been big fans of Maestro Classics since we were given the opportunity to review Peter and the Wolf back in 2011. I was so glad to see the vendor on the vendor list again this year with more titles to review, including such classics as Casey at the Bat and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel that we received to review.
Maestro Classics is not just your everyday run of the mill audio story. It’s more than that. These stories are designed so that the classical music brings out the story behind the story for children to understand the whole picture better. As an ambassador of great music for both children and adults alike, Maestro Classics helps listeners experience the classical music art form in new and exciting ways while discovering the magic that can be found within music.
Casey at the Bat is a great poem about the Mudville Nine baseball team who are most certain to lose the game. That is until Mighty Casey takes his turn at bat. This thrilling story will have fans holding their breath as each pitch is thrown.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra creates an upbeat, jazzy musical performance for this piece. With cheering crowds and spectators and vendors hawking their wares you are transplanted to a seat in the stadium with the sounds of the ball being hit. As a bonus the complete poem by Ernst Lawrence Thayer is included along with some amazing facts about baseball.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is the classic American children’s book by Virginia Lee Burton. This story has been a favorite of mine and of many children for many generations as it tells the story of Mike Mulligan and his aging steam shovel Mary Anne.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra brings to life this tale of loyalty and friendship, good ideas and perseverance with Irish bagpipes as Mike Mulligan travels to find one last job with Mary Anne. This musical production is so great, it has won a Parents’ Choice GOLD award!
Each audio series has three significant benefits:
To expand listening horizons ~ each series of recordings introduces the listener to an orchestra's magical sounds and awe-inspiring power. It helps them to further understand that music can be dramatic, can paint mental pictures, and is often filled with humor.
To hone listening skills and accumulate musical memories~ the musical discussions will sharpen listening skills of children and adults alike. With discussion of the story, conversation will be about human values, and the musical work will leave each listener whistling a new tune.
To encourage adults and children to listen to music together ~very young will listen for the story, slightly older children will enjoy the music, and the adult will be surprised by how much he/she has learned.
Each of the CD’s we received includes a 24-page program book, that tucks nicely into the CD case and retails for $16.98 plus shipping. With roughly 7-11 tracks on each disc you hear the performance and also learn about the composer, conductor, narrator, various instruments, extra stories and more. Also included with each CD are fun little activities in the program booklet including a dot-to-dot, matching, song lyrics, descriptions of instruments, and a crossword puzzle.
Currently,there are 11 individual CDs available to purchase from Maestro Classic for $16.98 each or you can purchase the musical files as MP3 downloads for just $9.98 each. The following stories are available:
Peter and the Wolf
The Story of Swan Lake
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
My Name is Handel
Casey at the Bat,
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,
The Tortoise and the Hare
Juanita the Spanish Lobster
Carnival of the Animals
Juanita la langosta española
The Soldier's Tale
The girls and I have truly enjoyed listening to these two CD’s for many hours whether it be in the van on the way to practices or games or just in the comfort of our home. We each have our favorite story but overall they are both gems in there own special way! If you are looking to add Classical music to your household and daily routine these CD’s are the way to go. Since the start of this review, we have added another CD to our collection, The Tortoise and the Hare. Like the other CD’s in our collection we have not been disappointed in the least! Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of each of the CD’s being reviewed by clicking the banner below.
Company ~ Maestro Classics
Price ~ $16.98 CD or $9.98 MP3 Download
Ages ~ 4 years and older