Darren Henley, Author, Marin Alsop, Read by
Darren Henley, Author, Marin Alsop, Read by , read by Marin Alsop. Naxos AudioBooks $15.98 (0p) ISBN 978-962-634-310-4
Reviewed on: 01/10/2005
Release date: 06/01/2004

Naxos, long known for its catalogue of classical recordings and its appropriation of that music as accompaniment for spoken-word recordings, turns the tables a bit for this Junior Classics selection. Alsop, a well-known and respected conductor, takes the reins here, talking about the music she loves. Henley's text blends a historic time line, replete with facts about the Magna Carta, the bubonic plague and the industrial revolution, together with a colorful who's who of composers, spotlighting more than 90 artists. All the usual suspects are here—Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, etc.—as are more contemporary composers like John Cage and Philip Glass. Alsop's easygoing approach works well as she serves as a welcoming tour guide offering fun facts and interesting biographical sketches for listeners. Each era of history and composer's bio is paired with famous, representative snippets of music—150 in all—performed by world-class musicians. A fourth enhanced CD in the package contains such extras as quizzes, sheet music, photos and ancillary articles. Ages 8-up. (Oct. 2004)

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