Beethoven’s Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics Review

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FOUR-TIME GRAMMY NOMINEE BEETHOVEN’S WIG

FEATURING RICHARD PERLMUTTER

ADDS BRAINY, ZANY LYRICS TO KEYBOARD MASTERPIECES

‘BEETHOVEN’S WIG: SING ALONG PIANO CLASSICS’

SEPTEMBER 27th 2011 RELEASE

Beethoven once said, “If my music had words it’d be a lot more popular.”    His wish has come true, but he had to wait 200 years for the other half of his team.  Modern day “co-writer” Richard Perlmutter, lyricist and lead singer with four-time GRAMMY® nominee Beethoven’s Wig, has, in the Beethoven’s Wig series of recordings, added witty and insightful lyrics to instrumental selections byBeethoven (and Bach, Mozart, et al.) that havezipped the works of the longhairs to the tops of the chartsand created a charming, fresh,and memorable introduction to some of the world’s greatest music.  The fifth Beethoven’s Wig album, Beethoven’s Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics, will be released September 27.

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The idea behind all the Beethoven’s Wig CD’s is simple.  Take classic well-known songs and add silly lyrics to draw children to the music.  Or in my case draw the mommy to the music.  I have been a fan of Beethoven’s Wig for many years.  A few years ago we were planning a trip to Norway to visit relatives and I was thrilled to find out we would have a lay-over in Paris.  My celebration theme song?  “Can You Can Can”, of course!  My eldest son and I danced around the house being silly together with this song.  “All the girls in Paris, France love to do the Can Can dance”.   Just thinking about that song makes me want to listen and maybe dance right now even though it about 7:30 in the morning.  Another favorite of mine?  “Kings and Queens” of England.  Being a former history teacher I love, love, love history in music.  It is not very common, as you can imagine.  This song simply lists the kings and queens of England in order, but it makes for a great way for children (and adults) to learn this information.   And it also opens the door of dialogue about certain important characters of British royalty.   My eldest son made the mistake of asking about Bloody Mary.  How could you not ask about a name like that?  It gave me a chance to provide an impromptu lesson about Henry VIII, his wives, the fight for  his throne after his death, and ultimately Elizabeth I.  Don’t worry I kept my explanation in PG terms.  Those royals were a bloody, divorcing (annulling) bunch!

Here is a list of all of the Beethoven’s Wig CD’s

Richard Perlmutter (the creator of Beethoven’s Wig) has hit the mark with his newest edition, Sing Along Piano Classics.  Just like before he takes classic piano tunes such as Chopin’s Funeral March and Debussy’s Clair de Lune and adds witty and clever words.  I love these classical pieces in their original format and normally I wouldn’t like them to be “messed with” by creating words, but Perlmutter is an exception.  He defiantly has a knack for writing lyrics.  I also appreciate that the original non-lyrical editions are also included on the CD (this is true for ALL Beethoven’s Wig CD’s).  The first half of the CD is Perlmutter’s creations, while the second half is the original in its true form.  This allows children to hear classical music with a funny modern twist, but also have a chance to listen to “the real thing”.  Brilliant!  What a way to expose your children to classical music and have them giggling all the way.

I have three favorites from the new Beethoven’s Wig CD.  First, Mozart Makes Kids Smart which is a take on Mozart’s All Turca.  Mozart is amazing and this piece is one of my favorites, and Perlmutter’s twist is that parents should have their kids listen to Mozart because it makes them smart.  He takes this popular idea and sets loose the fun.  I especially like his tie in with the modern education policy of “No Child Left Behind”.  I was driving in the car the first time I heard this song and it literally brought a smile to my face.  It’s just witty and fun.

My second fav is Voyage To The Moon from Debussy’s Clair de Lune.  This is a rare Perlmutter song where I feel it isn’t so silly, but rather the singing fits so beautifully with the music.  The singing is amazing.  Perlmutter himself does not sing, but the ladies and gentlemen who do are superb.  There is “space” talk throughout the song that I could do without. And frankly I had a hard time completely understanding what they are saying, ultimately it is the singing that prevails.  How can adding singing to Clair de Lune work?  It’s Debussy.  It stands alone.  But yet, I love Voyage to the Moon.

And my final favorite is Poor Uncle Joe a take on the Funeral March by Chopin.  This song is a funeral.  It is moving, dark and intensely serious.  I was really interested at what Perlmutter could come up with for this one.   As it turns out Poor Uncle Joe has a car that doesn’t go.  It is silly and perfectly makes fun of the seriousness of the song.  My children were completely entranced.  Was it Chopin or Perlmutter?  I’ll never know:)

Not familiar with Beethoven’s Wig?  I highly recommend checking out any of the above CD’s.  My personal favs are Sing Along Symphonies and Sing Along Piano Classics!  If not for your children, listen to them for your own personal amusement:)

I received the above mentioned CD for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

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