b>Baby Needs Baroque
see end of review for track listing
rec. no details given. DDD
DELOS DE1609 [70:54] 

Correlating listening to art music with intellectual advancement is a risky gambit in a post-modern culture that luxuriates in the lowest common denominator, but Delos's blurb for their 'Baby Needs' series, originally released over a decade ago, pulls no punches: "Research indicates that listening to classical music promotes learning and improves problem-solving skills, with Mozart's music currently heading the list. With this in mind, Delos introduces a series focused on developing intellectual capabilities right from the start", taking into account "the special needs of the very young."
Current received 'wisdom' avers that art music is mainly for old people, but Delos know that to be nonsense, insisting instead that "Everyone needs Baroque". 'Baby Needs Baroque' is one considered, non-frivolous collection among many in this series, offering infants and toddlers - not to mention mums and dads - a gentle but varied "musical bridge between play time and quiet time".
In fact, this is probably one of the most successful CDs in the series: the gentle melodies and rhythms of these Baroque pieces seem ideally suited to baby salving. Those played by Paul Galbraith on his 8-string guitar and Carol Rosenberger's piano are especially becalming. Some adult newcomers will be gratified to recognise several pieces from the Classic FM playlist. As elsewhere in the series, performances are all of good quality, with no shortage of well-known names cropping up throughout. Enthusiasts of historically informed performance are not likely to be drawn to this disc in the first place, which is just as well - these basically modern readings aim more for handsomeness and tenderness than authenticity.
Sound quality is at least fairly good throughout, better overall in fact than other discs in the series. Unlike others, however, the booklet does not provide any notes at all on the pieces heard, although it is probably fair to say that a mum making perhaps her first purchase of such music is not likely to expect any. Nevertheless, the tracklist provides surprisingly full detail with regards to music and performers; though this may strike the casual buyer as slightly intimidating, at least those captivated by the music, babies and parents, will know where to look next. On the other hand, there is in one case too much detail: track 14, the Largo from Telemann's Trio Sonata in E flat, has mysteriously vanished from the disc, meaning that all the track numbers beyond 13 are one too high.
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Probably one of the more successful CDs in the series. 

Track listing
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Air (from: Water Music, Suite no.1 in F) [3:00]
Sarabande (from: Water Music, Suite in G) [2:47]
Lentement (from: Water Music, Suite in D) [2:04]
Allegro (from: Water Music, Suite no.1 in F) [4:14]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Largo (from: The Four Seasons, 'Winter') [2:14]
Allegro (from: The Four Seasons, 'Spring') [3:25]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Menuet (from: Ouverture no.2 in B minor, BWV 1067) [1:12]
Largo (from: Violin Sonata no.3, BWV 1005, arr. Paul Galbraith) [2:32]
Aria (from: 'Goldberg' Variations, BWV 988) [5:11]
Polonaise (from: Ouverture no.2 in B minor, BWV 1067) [3:05]
Menuets I & II (from: Partita no.3 for violin, BWV 1006, arr. Paul Galbraith) [2:44]
Sinfonia in E flat, BWV 791 [3:13]
Siciliano (from: Sonata no.1 for violin, BWV 1001, arr. Paul Galbraith) [2:44]
Minuet, Trio I, Polacca, Trio II (from: Brandenburg Concerto no.1 in F, BWV 1046) [7:34]
Loure (from: Partita no.3 for violin, BWV 1006, arr. Paul Galbraith) [1:30]
Sarabande (from: French Suite no.5 in G, BWV 816) [5:56]
Adagio (from: Sonata in G minor, BWV 1020) [3:09]
Johann PACHELBEL (1653-1706)
Canon in D [4:26]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Adagio (from: Concerto in D, for trumpet & orchestra) [2:12]
Andante (from: Sonata no.4 in E minor) [2:36]
Giuseppe TORELLI (1658-1709)
Andante (from: Sonata a 5 no.1 in G) [2:20]
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz (Handel)
Elmar Oliveira (violin), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz (Vivaldi)
Brazilian Guitar Quartet (Pachelbel)
Eugenia Zukerman (flute), Shanghai Quartet, Anthony Newman (harpsichord) (Bach: Menuet, Polonaise)
Carol Rosenberger (piano) (Bach: Aria, Sinfonia, Sarabande)
Paul Galbraith (8-string guitar) (Bach: Largo, Menuets I & II, Siciliano, Loure)
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Bach: Minuet, Trio I, Polacca, Trio II)
Allan Vogel (oboe), Patricia Mabee (harpsichord) (Bach: Adagio)
New York Chamber Symphony/Gerard Schwarz (trumpet, conductor) (Torelli & Telemann: Adagio)
Jean-Pierre Rampal, Claudi Arimany (flutes) (Telemann: Andante)