Vivian Farrell

Original Children's Stories to Familiar Classical Music

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Vivian Farrell was a talented educator and entertainer. She was also a shrewd businesswoman, realizing that there was a significant market to be tapped in parents with an interest in teaching their children to appreciate classical music. Farrell's "Musical Storyteller" act appealed to the sort of parents that listen to Bach and Beethoven during pregnancy in the hopes of inculcating their progeny with a love of the classics in the fetal stage. Farrell's work was directed at a later point in development (she cites five years as the target age), but the objective was the same. Her method was to tell stories in time to famous classical pieces (played on piano by Robert Falk), attempting with each story to reflect the mood and title of the music. For Beethoven's "Fur Elise," for example, Farrell depicted a selfish little girl who demands presents and toys only to learn the value of love. Farrell plays on the repetitive rhythm of the piece, creating her own refrain to mirror Beethoven's and ending each resolution with the title of the song: "it was never enough for Elise," "they had nothing for Elise," "the best gift was love for Elise." Farrell was also concerned that children take an interest in the composers, introducing each piece with a story about its author. Perhaps because her interest in education was sincere, Farrell's stories are as timeless as the music that inspired them. This record should be of interest to classically inclined parents for generations to come.