Children’s music label Maestro Classics has been introducing young listeners to the joys of classical music for no less than ten year. The award-winning organization has introduced young listeners to a number of classical hits throughout its life including but not limited to: Sergei Prokofiev’s famed “Peter and The Wolf,” Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and Camille Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals” just to name a few. Now with its latest release Merry Pranks of Master Till, Maestro Classics has released yet another composition that is certain to catch audiences’ ears. Before getting into the record, it should be noted that unlike Maestro Classics’ previous releases, this latest work is not one that is meant for younger audiences, especially considering the story’s outcome. It is meant more for older audiences; perhaps those between the ages of 10 – 12 if not a little older. Staying on that topic, the composition itself makes for plenty of reason for older listeners to give this record a chance. It teaches a rather invaluable lesson for said listeners, especially at their given age(s). On a directly related note, young listeners will be just as interested to learn the back story behind Merry Pranks of Master Till. Learning its back story can easily lead to a discussion on the back story of so many other classical hits. It’s one more reason that this record proves to be so interesting for older youths. Having learned the back story of Merry Pranks of Master Till, audiences will be interested to hear the same composition a second time on the record. Only this time the composition is featured without narration, thus allowing listeners to hear the story for themselves and hopefully in turn gain a new appreciation for at least this piece of classical music if not even more appreciation for classical music in whole. All three factors taken into consideration, they make Merry Pranks of Master Till a work that belongs in any middle school music class if not any home with pre-teens in the house.
Maestro Classics’ latest release Merry Pranks of Master Till is an interesting addition to the company’s rich history of classical releases for children. That is because in comparison to those releases, this one is not as universal per se. Its content proves it to be more fitting for older youths than for younger ones. Keeping that in mind, the story that comes with this latest composition, crafted by composer Richard (pronounced ree-kard strowss) is itself just one reason for its target audience to give it a chance. The story itself centers on the young character Master Till Eulenspiegel (pronounced oi-len-shpee-gel) and his series of pranks. His pranks in question are aimed at pointing out to certain groups that they are not as smart as they would like to make themselves believe. The problem is that because Master Till is a child (it is believed that he is around 12 years old or so), he doesn’t exactly make the wisest choices in regards to his targets or his actions. The end result of this lack of foresight leads to some very negative consequences for Master Till, which will not be revealed here for the sake of those that have not yet been exposed to the story, or as it is more properly know, tone poem. The story teaches a very valuable lesson about knowing one’s limits both in terms of one’s actions and whom one targets when it comes to pranks such as those pulled by Master Till. Not everybody takes pranks such as Till’s the same way. In the same vein, not everybody today appreciates others’ similar actions. It is definitely an invaluable part of the whole that makes Merry Pranks of Master Till a worthwhile listen by its older target audiences.
The story that serves as the basis for Merry Pranks of Master Till is in itself invaluable because it teaches a very important lesson that young listeners will hopefully take to heart. On a related note, it also serves as a starting point for a discussion on the back story of not only this work but of other timeless classical hits, too. Audiences will learn that this composition is itself actually based on a series of stories centered on Master Till. This story in particular is just one of a number of stories. In the same vein, other classical compositions can be discussed in regards to their use in either the church and/or the world at large. This is a discussion that proves especially useful in middle school (and in some cases even high school) classical music classes. That is because an understanding of a composition in relation to its potential back story helps in its own way to gain a new or even renewed appreciation for said composition. To that extent, the back story behind Merry Pranks of Master Till proves even more why this newly released recording is a good fit in any middle school and high school classroom as well as any home with pre-teen musicians in it.
The story that accompanies Merry Pranks of Master Till is an important element to Maestro Classics’ latest release. That is because it both teaches an important lesson to its target listener base and because it serves as a starting point for a discussion for the role of music and culture on one another. Both of these elements are key in what makes Merry Pranks of Master Till an interesting listen for its target audiences. For all of their importance, they are just part of what makes it so worth the listen. Maestro Classics has included in its new record both a take of Merry Pranks of Maser Till with narration and without. The take that comes sans narration is just as important a part of whole as that with narration. That is because having listened to the narration in the previous take, listeners can experience the complete composition as it was meant to be heard. Having no narration, listeners can better hear the different moments that make up each moment of the story. It actually makes the experience of listening to the composition that much fuller. On a related note, hearing the composition in full serves as the starting point for a discussion on personal interpretations of not only the presented work but of other compositions, too. That within itself is a major positive. It is a positive in that it teaches students and listeners in general about musical interpretation. It can lead to discussions on deeper musical concepts such as the use of dynamics, tempos and other musical elements to interpret music and in its creation. Being that one song can create that much discussion whether in the classroom or the living room shows clearly the importance of this new release from Maestro Classics in any young person’s musical education. The addition of the composition’s story doubles and even triples its importance. All things considered Merry Pranks of Master Till shows in the end with its overall composition and its story to be yet another hit from Maestro Classics even if it is aimed more at older children.
Maestro Classics’ recently released recording of Richard Strauss’ Merry Pranks of Master Till is a greatly welcome addition to any middle and high school level band and/or orchestra class. That is thanks to the inclusion of both the composition with and without narration. Whether with or without narration, this latest recording offers its own value for teachers, parents, and children alike. It teaches basic music theory concepts all while entertaining listeners at the same time. Keeping that in mind, it proves again to be a fully welcome addition to any classroom or living room setting. It can be ordered online now via Maestro Classics’ online store at http://www.maestroclassics.com/merry-pranks-of-master-till.html. More information on this and other titles from Maestro Classics is available online now at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.