Peter Ustinov reads the orchestra

Canada, 1990

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This video version of the award-winning recording and book featuring The Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Walter Babiak, is a highly engaging way to introduce children to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra. It explains the process of composition and the basic musical concepts of melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, dynamics and tone colour. It then describes the four main families of orchestral instruments and each of their individual members. It concludes with the role of the conductor, bringing music and musicians together in a grand concert finale. There are excerpts from 22 of the great classics, such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. Peter Ustinov’s narration, bursting with warmth and humour, and Alan Daniel’s colourful drawings of the musicians and their instruments make “The Orchestra” thoroughly entertaining and informative viewing.

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Mark Rubin

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