Beethoven's Wig, Vol. 3, is a strange mixture of classic send-up and purposely ham-handed performances loosely related to classical music. The liner notes refer to the project as "zany lyrics set to the greatest hits of classical music," which sounds about right save for the idea that classical music ever made it onto Billboard. Similar to P.D.Q. Bach, it's the perfect disc for the man or woman who doesn't mind poking fun at his or her own pretension, for the NPR fanatic who knows better than to take himself or herself too seriously. Of course this is all very silly: imagine Toccata and Fugue in D minor beginning with two singers exchanging, "Hello anybody in there?" Obviously, this is the kind of thing one would put on the hi-fi after a couple friends had dropped by on Sunday afternoon to sample a new bottle of chardonnay. Perhaps the laughter would only be polite chuckles between sips of wine, but it would have to beat listening to Live from Mountain Stage again. Officially, of course, Beethoven's Wig, Vol. 3, is labeled as children's music, though it seems a strange way to indoctrinate kids into the pleasures of the fine arts. Still, the series has thus far earned two Grammy Award nominations, and with two nominations under its belt, the series is bound to be doing something right.
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