Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dreamgates: World Lullabies

My acquisition of this charming CD falls into the timing-is-all category. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time heading home through Central Park one day. As I was approaching Strawberry Fields, I saw a young man handing out something, certainly a common sight in New York. When he reached out his hand to me, I did what I always do -- smiled politely, said “no thank you” and kept walking. Then I heard the words “free CD” and doubled back. Music-lover that I am I couldn’t resist that offer.

After listening to “Dreamgates: World Lullabies” I think it will soothe parents even more than their little ones. Husband and wife team Tessa Lang and Johannes Schwaiger have beautiful voices, whether singing a comforting classic like Schubert’s “Cradle Song,” a gorgeous “Ava Maria” or the old world sounding “Weber Wiegenlied.” They are accompanied by musicians on piano, flute, cello, violin, harp and bendir and, for the final number, the voices of nearly a half a dozen children.

On their web site,, Lang and Schwaiger say the recording of lullabies “grew out of our heritage, inspired by a love of poetry and music. . . They may accompany a child to sleep, as well as create a universal comfort and connection to one’s heritage and family. As a friend so poignantly expressed, ‘lullabies are desserts at the end of the day when a child, in a state of slumber, is at peace with the world.’”

The complete listing is:

1.) Hush Little Baby
2.) Weber Wiegenlied
3.) That’s an Irish Lullaby
4.) Hitrag’ut
5.) Schubert’s Cradle Song
6.) Dandini
7.) Les Berceaux
8.) Ava Maria
9.) An die Nachtigal
10.) All through the Night
11.) Mozart’s Cradle Song
12.) Nana
13.) Hush-a-by-Baby
14.) Oyfn Pripetchik
15.) The Little Sandman
16.) Brahms’ Lullaby
17.) Dreamgates -- World Lullaby

A press release explains the motivation behind the recording: “Our CD is a multicultural collaboration of timeless lullabies that brings nations together through the power of music.” It is produced for Dreamgates Children’s Movement, a nonprofit foundation “dedicated to helping our youth find their voices through quality cultural and performing arts events and education, teaching our children to work together.”

Dreamgates: World Lullabies is a perfect gift to have on hand for the next time you’re asked to a baby shower. Then again, it also could be a darn good stress buster for any adult, with a child or without. It’s lovely.

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