Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Donald Fraser (Composer); et al|
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical, Children's Music
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Varied, eclectic, intriguing and occasionally fascinating
Jay Rudin | 09/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The game of translating a piece of music from one style to another is an old one, and can have many different results. It can seem like just a new arrangement of an old song, or an interesting combination, or its own new piece entirely. This eclectic collection shows several of the possibilities.[Warning: I have no musical training, and these are personal impressions, not educated analysis. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.]The Mozart version of "Heigh Ho" is a straightforward rendering of Disney's tune in Mozart's style. It's fun, but not a tour de force. The Johann Strauss "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" is similarly interesting, but doesn't really rise above the level of a re-arrangement of a familiar thirties movie tune.By contrast, the Rachmaninoff version of "Beauty and the Beast" adds to the emotional effect. The love song plays well in this form. Similarly, the Tchaikovsky approach greatly improves "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" Yes, now I can feel it, which I never quite did in the Elton John original version. The impression of Handel's Water Music (I think) adds to the effect of "Little April Shower".A very few pieces became new and excellent works on their own. "I Wanna Be Like You" translated very well from its Jazz origin to Villa-Lobos classical guitar, and "Under the Sea" makes a very good Joplin rag. These translations work so well that they are almost new songs, rather than variations, just as "West Side Story" became its own story, not just "Romeo and Juliet in New York".Some of the combinations are obvious and straightforward. "Feed the Birds", for example - a Brahms version of this sentimental lullabye is not much of a stretch. And both the words and music of "Second Star to the Right" fit well as a Tallis Canon. (It's the only piece with lyrics - in a polyphonic Renaissance religious style.) These versions work very well in the new style, and my appreciation for each song has gone up because of it.Three pieces sounded very familiar to me, and it took me awhile to figure out why. The orchestrated Grieg "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", Chopin "With a Smile and a Song" and Richard Strauss "When You Wish Upon a Star" didn't feel like translations at all - they felt like straightforward Disney. Eventually I realized that they mimicked perfectly the feel of the entrance music into the Magic Kingdom, which is, after all, orchestrated Disney tunes. If these three had been on a "Music from the Parks" album, I would have believed it completely.The piece that fascinates me the most is the Vivaldi Main Street Electrical Parade. I've heard synthesized music trying to duplicate instrumentals, but this is the first time I've heard an instrumental copy of a synthesizer. The instrumental version almost, but not quite, captures the strange tones of the original. The result is that both versions run in my head together, and the piece becomes almost a fugue of what I hear and what I remember.All in all, an interesting game of styles, and a varied and intriguing collection of music."
Once upon a time ...
TundraVision | o/~ from the Land of Sky Blue Waters o/~ | 02/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
a long, long time ago, I was wandering around one of those bricks and mortar bookstores. I usually pay little attention to the ambient muzak - but hark! Is that Seven Dwarf music I hear? I listened. I strode over to the music section. "What is this delightful music I hear? I must have it!" And so I did, and so should you!In the accompanying lesson booklet, Shirley Fleming asks: "What accounts for that elusive thing called style? What makes one composer's music different from another's? ... The music `paraphrased' here covers three centuries and close to a dozen countries. It gives us a bird's-eye view of a very wide range of musical personalities, and - as you will hear - each has his own distinctive voice."The composer/arranger/conductor of this wonderful CD, Donald Fraser, says: "This collection brings together two magical worlds: the world of Disney and the world of classical music. The album fulfills a wish I've held for some 15 years - to help introduce today's audiences to classical music via some of the most familiar and beloved melodies in movie history."Educational factor aside, this CD is just plain fun! The arrangements are rich and lush. My favorite is Heigh-Ho a la Mozart. Picture the Seven Dwarfs marching off to their daily toil in the mines as you listen to this on your morning commute! The Second Star to the Right chorale reminds me of the St. Olaf Choir when they're going fine! There's a Joplin-esque "Under the Sea" and a stirring "Can you Feel the Love Tonight" a la Tchaikovsky ( no 1812 canons, but some buildups come close!- Elton never did it this way!) and a spritely "Winnie the Pooh."What an excellent 100th birthday celebration for Walt Disney!"
I just *LOVE* it!!
Rachel Shields (reshields@imailbox. | Greenville, SC | 09/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found this CD while browsing through our public library's music selection. It looked interesting, so I go it. I have listened to that CD every single day since I got it--I listened to "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" four consecutive times on one occasion. The only thing I'd like better than listening to this music would be playing it. I think it would be a great way to introduce someone--not just a child, either--to classical music."