KidTunes: My Name Is Handel
Imagine attending a lecture where the speaker is a jolly sort, enthusiastic about the subject and excited to share it with his audience. The audience, in turn, is drawn in by the speaker’s delivery and the stories shared. That is very much the experience of My Name Is Handel: The Story of Handel’s “Water Music”, an entry in the Stories in Music series from Maestro Classics, designed to educate and entertain “in the tradition of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf." Featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stephen Simon and narrator Yadu (Dr. Konrad Czynski), My Name Is Handel is an introduction to Handel, his life and music. Excerpts from Water Music, The Messiah, and Rinaldo are performed by the London Philharmonic throughout the story. Yadu’s ebullient narration invites the listener to experience the music and learn the story behind it. Included with My Name Is Handel is a 24-page, illustrated booklet giving a brief biography of George Frideric Handel, descriptions of the orchestra , travel, and important churches in Handel’s London, a timeline of “The Barge Trip on the River Thames” (when Handel first presented Water Music to King George), and an introduction to the harpsichord and organ (including a short history of the instruments).
My Name Is Handel is an excellent music appreciation exercise, filled with interesting anecdotes and humorous stories. While so many of us baby boomers were introduced to classical music via Looney Tunes, Stories in Music gives children an appreciation of both the music and its history. Release date: August 24, 2011; recommended for ages 7+.