Maestro Classics is a company that sells classical music CDs that are especially for children, but that adults will appreciate as well. I was sent their disc for Peter and the Wolf for the purpose of this review.
Peter and the Wolf is a wonderful piece for introducing the different sounds of the orchestra to your children. Composed by Sergei Prokofiev for his two young sons, Peter and the Wolf is a story about a little boy that goes out looking for adventure one day and ends up catching a wolf (with some help from a little bird). The story is fun by itself, but it is set alive by the music. Each character in the story is assigned an instrument (eg. the duck is a clarinet and the little bird is played by a flute) and each character also has a distinctive theme song.
The first track is the narrated version of the music and the narrator has a pleasant voice that is easily understood. The setting for the story is first introduced, along with the characters, and then the story begins and is followed by the appropriate music. The music and story alternate throughout until the story has finished.
What makes this version of Peter and the Wolf truly special (I have listened to at least 3 different versions) are the extra tracks that are included. One track gives a short biography of Prokofiev, another gives a short music appreciation lesson, and another plays the score using a traditional Russian folk music sound.
If you don’t own a copy of Peter and the Wolf, then I would highly recommend picking up this version. The music is beautiful and complex enough for adults to appreciate and the adventure story appeals to even small children (although I must caution you that the duck is eaten by the wolf in the story).
If you already own Peter and the Wolf, then I would suggest checking out all of the other stories that this company offers. My only complaint is that I would like to see the complany offer mp3 downloads on their website.
Pros: great narrator, wonderful music, Prokofiev’s biography
Cons: only available in CD form
Price: $16.98, available at many different retailers
I received a free copy of the Peter and the Wolf disc by Maestro Classics for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received for my honest opinion.