Lauds Partnership of Literature and Music
music with literature is certainly nothing new. Opera. Broadway.
Off Broadway. The child who hums himself to sleep reciting Little
Boy Blue or Little Miss Muffett.
is the literature part of a partnership like this nonfiction. Or
if, like the Sound of Music, it is, someone has done a
very good job of structuring the true tale into a fictional art
form. And seldom is its purpose to educate as strong as to entertain.
And even more rarely is a combination of this sort something that
appeals to both children and adults.
around Book Expo America in New York (yes, I wore very comfortable
shoes!),I found some CDs that I simply had to have -- a whole set,
really. Naturally, I offered to review them and that's when I realized
they deserved much more than a review. In fact, I am incapable of
giving them the exposure they deserve, unless I took the company
on as a PR client.
company is Classical
Genius, an iSummaries, LLC Company. They have put out a series
of CDs, beautifully designed. They are "The Narrated Life Histories
of the Great Composers" -- twenty-four of them. They cover
individual composers like Chopin and Brahms, and larger moments
in musical history like Italian Opera. No matter how the times,
composers or musical genre is grouped, the narration of each (against
the background of great music, of course) is woven in a way that
the listener gets a real sense of the time, the influences, the
compatriots and the contemporaries of the composer or the period.
children, really, this structure makes them suitable for adults,
possibly even adults who know the history of classical music relatively
well. The narrative, beautifully recited by William Sergeant, is
full of anecdote and of poetry. This narrative, then, against the
music, with interludes to let the sound take hold of one's soul.
I wanted to
listen to each of the twenty-four before I wrote this review but
I keep going back to the ones I've heard before. Each time I learn
something new, hear something new. Number nineteen, "The Americans,"
tells the amazing and spirited stories of John Philip Sousa and
George Gerswin with Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber woven in for
good measure. The music includes rousing marches, classical jazz
and when one is done, one has a sense for the fabric of American
music, perhaps even the warp and woof of America itself.
The young will
hear things they never knew, older generations will find moments
to reminisce. Tin Pan Alley, Victor Records, how Gershwin influenced
Bernstein and Hollywood.
scrupulously researched and written by the Indian University Jacobs
School of Music scholar, Marcia Dangerfield, is the result of "more
than a half a decade of dedication." They may be purchased
as a complete set, in "Era Sets" of six, or individually.
This is the gift of a lifetime for a child, one he or she will never
grow out of, one that will put her on the path to a true understanding
and appreciation of music. And the smart parent who wraps a full
set up for their child as a holiday gift? They will find that it
is a gift of involvement, one that comes from heart for all time.
Possibly even more memorable than a Red Schwinn.
Toll Free Phone: 1 866 986 6887
Each month in this box, Carolyn lists
a writing or promotion tidbit that will help authors and a
tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected books
or a sapphire among the newly-published.
Coalition offers an assortment of free e-books from members
and others who are interested in helping writers. Find them
on the free e-books page and check the other things the organization
is doing to support authors -- members and nonmembers alike.
Tip: Do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to
rereading. It's easy. Pick a book you read and loved when
you were younger and read it again. Before you do, you might
want to see what others got out of such an exercise. Farrar
Straus Giroux just released Rereadings, edited by
My review of that book is available on Myshelf.com.
MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved.