Emma and I feel good as middle-class parents now that Toby is a classical music buff, officially. We have a CD in the car of Bernstein conducting and narrating Children’s Classics, featuring Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals and the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Toby’s really gotten into Peter and the Wolf over the the last couple of weeks – he knows the story and laughs at certain points. He really gets into it.

He liked Carnival of the Animals before he started asking for Peter and the Wolf, and often when we’re in the car he’ll ask for the “Elephant Song”, and roars for the “Lion Song”. Emma said he was cuckooing along with the cuckoo song yesterday.

On the CD Bernstein talks about each animal’s music before the actual piece, so they play the bits of tunes used during the fossils movement for example. One comment he makes which I really enjoy is when he’s introducing the Swan. Usually it’s played on the cello but for this recording it’s played quite impressively and beautifully on the double bass. The comment I like is when he says that it’s “played on, of all things, the double bass”. Now usually when I say “of all things” I’m going to come up with something rather extreme, so I would have preferred “of all things, the kazoo” or “of all things, the banjo”, or “of all things, the triangle”.

Leave a Reply