Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Alice in Vivaldi's Four Seasons: The Music Game

Alice in Vivaldi's Four Seasons: The Music Game

Fall 2003 Software
Ages: 5 & Up
Price: $19.95
This computer game introduces children to the orchestra and the fundamentals of musical composition by challenging them to games that will ultimately help Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice in Wonderland escape from the White Rabbit's pocket watch in which she's become entrapped. The diverse games that can be played at various levels of difficulty use Antonio Vivaldi's 1720s concerti, The Four Seasons, to teach the sections of the orchestra (woodwinds, strings, brass, and percussion), the sounds they produce, and the ways in which musical lines work together to produce melody.

These games, musical puzzles, and riddles will hold your children's attention despite the fact that at times the directions (delivered by the Cheshire Cat, of course) are somewhat hard to follow and the whimsically drawn images a bit small to easily identify. What comes through clearly from the start, however, is the vibrancy and true power of Vivaldi's stunning programmatic music. A biography of the composer and a "bonus" CD of the Baroque Strings of St. Petersburg performing works by Vivaldi are welcome additions to this interactive CD.

Erich Parker, APR   ©2003 Parents' Choice
Erich Parker has sung with opera companies and in recital programs around the world and regularly performs under the aegis of The Smithsonian Institution. In addition, he is a frequent guest speaker at schools and student organizations.

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