Magazine article American Music Teacher

Did You Know Classical Music Could Be So Fun? Featuring 21 Famous Composers and More

Magazine article American Music Teacher

Did You Know Classical Music Could Be So Fun? Featuring 21 Famous Composers and More

Article excerpt

* Did You Know Classical Music Could Be So Fun? Featuring 21 Famous Composers and More, by various composers, created by John Altson. John Altson, 2014. www.johnaltson.com; 60 minutes, $13.99.

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This DVD by John Altson features 21 pieces from the standard classical repertoire paired with video or computer generated images. It is intended to be used as an educational tool to expose young audiences to classical music and to spark discussion about the character, mood or story behind each piece. Altson chose a wide variety of works from baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary style periods and picked some unexpected but welcome selections such as Copland's Cat and Mouse and Janacek's Sinfonietta No. 1. He also includes many of the works you would expect in an introduction to classical music, including Pachelbel's Canon in D, Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 and the introduction to Beethoven's fifth symphony.

While the DVD features a well-crafted line up of timeless repertoire, the quality of the accompanying videos varies. Footage of the NASA Rover landing on Mars paired with Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War," is quite captivating, but most others miss the mark. …

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