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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soldiers Tale Review and Giveaway


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Recently I was selected to do a review on "The Soldier's Tale" by Maestro Classics. Maestro Classics is the  winner of 50 prestigious awards for its "Stories In Music", CD series. It is dedicated to creating recordings that offer memorable listening experiences for the whole family -- albums where uncompromisingly great performances are woven into enchanting narratives, supplemented by expanded commentary and activities in beautifully illustrated, 24-page program booklets. Maestro Classics proudly announces the December 6 release of the company’s ninth CD, a sparkling rendition of Stravinsky’s masterpiece for narrator and chamber ensemble, L’Histoire du Soldat, retold for today’s young audiences as The Soldier’s Tale (Maestro Classics, $16.98, for ages 8+ and families, run time 55 minutes).

I received my CD, unwrapped it, and popped it into the computer. The kids and I gathered around in a little circle. We listened intensely. It is a great story with an even greater lesson.

The story opens with a soldier named Joseph stopping to rest by the roadside as he walks home to his village. Joseph has just taken out his violin and begun to play when an old man appears, offering to trade a mysterious book that can reveal the future in exchange for the violin. When the old man, who is really the Devil in disguise, convinces Joseph that the powers of the book can be used to gain great wealth, the soldier agrees, and the inexorable wheels of this Faustian morality play begin to turn. Joseph eventually recognizes that he has lost his family and friends, and that money does not bring happiness.

With eminent conductor Stephen Simon directing members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and narration by Yadu (a.k.a. Dr. Konrad Czynski), The Soldier’s Tale is much more than your typical “classical music for kids” CD.  Stephen Simon presents valuable information that enhances the meaning of the music. Stravinsky’s music is so accessible that it really isn’t necessary to know anything about the way it was composed in order to enjoy and appreciate its very unique sound.  However, with a little background from the Maestro, young listeners can learn a great deal about how this music connects to history and culture. Even though Stravinsky was still a young man when he composed L’Histoire du Soldat, he had traveled widely, spending time in most of the cultural capitals of Europe and Russia, and had already composed music that was world famous.  Maestro Simon not only paints a portrait of Stravinsky and his times, he also expands upon exactly what was in Stravinsky’s music that created so much discussion and is still so relevant to what we hear in concert halls today.
We were memorized by the intensity of this store. I have an 8 year old and a 5 year old. They both LOVED it. My 5 year old would get up and dance around the room every time the music would play, and  when the narrator starting reading again, he sat back down.  When it was over, he asked to listen to it again. He also LOVED "The Amazing Baz Dance Remix". I think it is a great story and it gets kids out of the norm. They get to hear it, and are introduced to classical music all at the same time. This is definitely something I feel good about letting my kids listen to.

Maestro Classics recordings are available at maestroclassics.com, amazon.com, and other major distributors and retailers.  In addition to The Soldier’s Tale, the Stories in Music series includes My Name is Handel: The Story of Handel’s “Water Music,” Peter and the Wolf, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Story of Swan Lake, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Casey at the Bat, and Juanita the Spanish Lobster (also available in Spanish).


"The Soldier's Tale" and other Maestro Classics recordings are available at maestroclassics.com, amazon.com, and other major distributors and retailers.

One of my lucky readers will WIN their very own copy. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Photobucket
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Jessica is the writer behind Sweet Southern Mama. She is the mother of 2 adorable kids- Aidan, 7 and Adisyn, 5. She lives in Kentucky with her fiance and kids. She loves designing blogs, reading, writing, crafting, all things electronic, photography, and spending time with her family.

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