Useful as a soporific for nap time, The Ultimate Most Relaxing Classics for Kids in the Universe
presents 29 excerpts and short pieces that, for the most part, have been selected to calm down even the most rambunctious youngster. Of course, if this double-disc collection is used merely to induce sleep, it's only important to know that most of the selections are softly played and quite gentle, and there are no sudden crescendos, loud crashes, or bombastic climaxes to wake anyone up. Except for two inappropriately perky tracks -- Leroy Anderson
's "The Waltzing Cat" and "Plink, Plank, Plunk," which really belong on a playtime compilation -- the rest of the pieces are serene classics that won't disturb anyone. However, if the quality of the music and the playing matter, then rest assured that Denon has chosen wisely from its extensive back catalog, and included fine renditions of great music by its leading artists, including pianist Yuji Takahashi, cellist János Starker
, violinist Chee-Yun
, I Solisti Italiani
, the Philharmonia Orchestra
, and several others. Levels are even and well-balanced throughout, so the sound varies little between solo piano tracks and orchestral performances, and the reproduction is uniformly clear and free of noise; however, just to be safe, play this album at a low volume for an uninterrupted siesta.