Music Review: "Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics" featuring Richard Perlmutter

beethovenswig“Beethoven’s Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics” is the fifth in a series of albums directed toward children, which introduce a wide range of classical pieces from renowned composers, using whimsical and approachable lyrics. As a series, they have been nominated for more than 40 awards.

As many parents are, I am fond of the idea of my kids becoming familiar with classical music. I was wary, however, of classical music hyped up with zany lyrics. So I was surprised when “Beethoven’s Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics” found its way into my CD player and my kids and I loved it!

Perhaps it is because, like the song “Poor Uncle Joe” (set to Chopin’s “Funeral March”), we have an Uncle Joe. Or maybe because “Bang Bang Bang” (Henry Cowell, “Amiable Conversation”) brings out the glee we feel banging on the piano. Likely it is the enduring music of Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky and all the other classical composers tied in with sing-along-silliness. But whatever it is, this album consistently brings smiles and requests for repeats. I was particularly pleased when we listened to the second half of the album, which has the piano pieces sans silliness, and my kids recognized the music. Joplin’s “The Entertainer” was easily recognized as “A Piano is Stuck in the Door”, and the famous “Chopsticks” was identified as “My Little Chicken."  Future enthusiasts of the fine arts, I’m sure.

For more information go to Releases Sept. 27.

When to listen: Short-to-medium car rides with a high-energy destination.

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