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Can You Hear It? Hardcover – November 1, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2–6—This visual and aural feast invites parents, educators, and young listeners to "listen and look" at 13 examples of pictorial music and visual masterpieces. The introduction prepares readers with an explanation of the connections between composers' notes and art images. A woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige, the pointillism of Seurat, and landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael and Thomas Cole are among those included in the presentation. The paired examples invite listeners to identify solo instruments or orchestral themes that characterize an image found in the visual art, e.g., "Can you hear the gun battles?" in a pairing of a Remington painting with Aaron Copeland's Billy the Kid: Gun Battle. Although seven of the musical pieces are by either Vivaldi or Saint-Saëns, the recordings of works by Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Copland reflect a broad range of artists and orchestral styles from America and Europe. This treasure completes a larger unit of study or simply gives pleasure with a presentation of inspired works in dual media for children's appreciation.—Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Classical music is filled with unforgettable images," writes Lach, a senior editor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In this title, he pairs reproductions of the museum's masterpieces with selections of classical music, included on an accompanying CD, that correspond with themes and images in the artworks. A spread featuring Utagawa Hiroshige's Chrysanthemums, which pictures a bee hovering over a flower, is matched with Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee, for example. For each pairing, Lach suggests what to find in the art and what to listen to in the music, making strong connections between the sounds of instruments and the mental images that they may evoke. The easily misplaced CD may pose a problem for libraries, and a reassuring note about the subjective nature of arts interpretation would have been welcome. Still, this beautifully produced volume fills a gap in arts titles for youth. Additional sections about musical instruments, the artists, and the composers round out this creative, useful title. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
The reader is asked to imagine that certain elements in the music correspond to certain elements in each painting. We felt that this correspondence was usually pretty good, but some cases seemed to be a stretch, so we were sometimes a bit disappointed and felt that we could have come up with better and more correspondences.
But the concept behind this book is certainly good and innovative, and makes this book a unique resource, so I recommend it to parents interested in introducing their kids to both paintings and classical music.
Another good resource to consider is Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! by Robert Levine, which provides a much more comprehensive introduction to orchestral instruments.