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Classical Music and Stories: Once Upon the Thames - the life of Handel set to his music CD

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From the nearly unbelievable beginning of Handel's story in Germany, and through the magnificent performances of world renowned groups, this CD is a delight.

Ann Rachlin is herself a thoroughly accomplished performer, having recorded many similar tales since beginning in 1985. She was named a Member of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1986 by Queen Elizabeth II for her work as founder of The Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children. Ms. Rachlin's work with and for children came to prominence in 1987, when she began instruction of Prince William. She has gone on to teach many children of talented and dedicated performers.

In this story of the life of Handel, Ms. Rachlin takes the listener through the history of Handel's father's professional experience which turned out to be formative for the young Handel, introduces the teacher who intervened on his behalf, and takes us along for the first performance of the Water Music on the Thames in 1717. Ms. Rachlin's love of music shines clearly through as she introduces young and old to the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus and tells how a German boy became England's favorite composer.

With performances by The King's College Choir, The Bath Festival Orchestra, and The London Symphony Orchestra, children (and their parents) can't help but be drawn in to both the music and the story.

We have so enjoyed this CD that we're looking forward to discovering Ms. Rachlin's other works.

Product Review by Carrie Wilbur, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, May, 2009

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