Various Artists

Mozart for Mothers-to-Be: Tender Lullabies for Mother and Child

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The liner notes for Mozart for Mothers-to-Be offer expectant mothers a whole raft of reasons they might want to get their hands on this. A Canadian conductor is quoted as saying that he was initially mystified by his ability to play certain pieces of music sight unseen, but it turned out that her mother had played them while she was pregnant. Some researchers claim that music relaxes the fetus in utero, and others say that babies like Mozart specifically. Listening to music, it seems, may even ease labor pain, and who wouldn't spend a few dollars on something that might do that?

It's worth a try. Be assured that you're getting the straight, unadulterated Mozart here, not something with heartbeat rhythm tracks added or anything else like that. These are performances of Mozart slow movements from 1970s recordings in the Philips catalog, many of them by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and its master-of-the-sweet-tones conductor, Sir Neville Mariner. There are analog performances that have been remastered more smoothly for CD, but the sound isn't terrible. And the music -- well, it's a very good bet for putting you in a positive frame of mind at a critical time. It's tuneful, it's light, it makes unexpected turns that keep you alert and focused without being jarring. In short, given the big bucks people spend on all manner of things to enhance the childbearing experience, this disc, at ten or eleven dollars, sounds like a bargain. Note that these are all instrumental compositions; a sequel disc, More Mozart for Mothers-to-Be, is devoted to operatic and vocal selections.

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