Kids Commute - Summer Listening - Week 1

Jun 18, 2018

Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic, performing, THE YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA.
Credit Original album cover

Happy Summer, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Week One of IPR’s Kids Commute Summer Listening Program! Each week for five weeks, we’ll bring you a special extended episode of Kids Commute to enjoy. Don’t forget to answer the Quizlet at the end of the program!

We’re kicking off the summer with a famous, beloved recording of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, by English composer Benjamin Britten. The recording features Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic, and a young narrator named Henry Chapin.

The recording was made in the early 1960’s, as part of Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts in New York City. The concerts were made into recordings and television specials, so kids all over the country could enjoy them.

This week’s episode features a very special guest - our music’s narrator, Henry Chapin, who is now a grown-up musician living in New York!! Learn more about Henry by visiting his website. Thank you so much for talking with us, Henry!

Kids Commute Summer Listening Week One
MUSIC: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
COMPOSER: Benjamin Britten/theme by Henry Purcell
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic

Here's this week's Kids Commute:


Here’s video of Henry himself when he performed is narration live with the New York Philharmonic! (Henry starts at 33:30 into the program, but we heartily recommend you watch the whole thing - it’s made for kids, after all! Check it out!!)

Henry’s recording of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra was heavily featured in the recent Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom. Henry said hearing his own voice coming off the screen was a big surprise! Here’s the opening sequence of the movie, with kids listening to the recording in their playroom on a rainy day:

Also, as a little bonus - Henry said his favorite thing about his, “surprise movie appearance,” was that at the very end of the movie, they created a cute “new version,” of The Young Person’s Guide based on the work of the film’s soundtrack composer, Alexandre Desplat. Here it is!

Other music featured in today's episode:

OPERA: DIDO AND AENEAS
COMPOSER: Henry Purcell
ARIA: When I Am Laid in Earth (Dido's Lament)
SINGER: Jessye Norman
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Raymond Leppard/English Chamber Orchestra

Here's a video of the incredible Jessye Norman performing the aria:

OPERA: Abdelazer
COMPOSER: Henry Purcell
MUSIC: Rondeau
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic

Here's a video of the group, Voices of Music, performing the Rondeau on period instruments!