Margaret and Rolf Rettich
Includes CD with music composed by Michael Rüggelberg, narrated by Meg Swansen*
Hardbound, storybook format
There once lived a man whose head was filled with music – but the city was so noisy that he could barely hear the beautiful melodies. So he bought a house in the quiet countryside and invited other musicians to move in: the String family, the Woodwind and Brass families, a man with a piano, a harpist, and several percussionists. Soon sounds droned and groaned, thundered and rumbled throughout the house. This was not what the man had imagined. What was he to do???
What to say about this award-winning children’s book, in clear and lovely English at last?
That it is a captivating introduction to symphonic instruments? And music itself? It is – whether you are a child or an adult, you’ll love it. I’ve started calling it “Peter and the Wolf for the 21st Century.”
That the musical score is a joy? It’s true – Michael Rüggelbert has captured the personality of each instrument (and the challenges of getting some of them to get along with some of the others!) with such insight and humor that I felt warm and smiley all the way through the CD.
That the story is wonderful? It’s more than just that, actually. It’s very, very human. Just as orchestra instruments each have their own very distinctive voice, and it is indeed an art make them harmonize with each other, so it is with all of us. The authors of The House Filled with Music understand well that the human comedy goes from cacophony to joy only with a lot of listening, some silence, self-control, skill, and effort. This is a story that children love and adults will love with them – priceless!
And, there’s more. The score is available (separately, from its publisher) for your school or community orchestra to perform! This is such an inspiration — my hope is that in halls throughout North America, this story with its music will be played, loved, and played again.
And in the meantime, you and your children or class can enjoy this musical story to your heart’s content.
*Yes, I know that Waldorf education does not encourage listening to recorded music, and I largely agree with the reasons for this. However, in the course of my life I have found that sometimes the delight we can share through such a recording is something to be grateful for, not shunned. This is the case with this CD — it has my unflinching stamp of approval for children and adults. I promise it will spring rightly to life in your hearts — do enjoy!