According to Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale, the idea to collaborate with the von Trapps came about in order to help the siblings — the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp — to “bridge the transition” from being merely part of the famous family to bona fide recording artists. “Dream a Little Dream” features additional collaborations from Wayne Newton, the Chieftains, Jack Hanna and even Charmian Carr, who portrayed Liesl in the film version of “The Sound of Music.”
On this collaboration with Pink Martini, Sofie, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp — the great-grandchildren of the von Trapps immortalized in The Sound of Music — continue the family tradition with beautifully harmonized versions of songs ranging from Johannes Brahms’ “In Stiller Nacht” to the national anthem of Rwanda, “Rwanda Nziza.” Working with Pink Martini was an inspired choice, as they almost always bring out the best in their collaborators — along with the unexpected, like “Kuroneko No Tango,” a version of the Italian song “Black Cat Tango” inspired by Japanese singer Osamu Minagawa’s 1969 rendition. The group sounds just as natural backing the von Trapps as they do working with their usual vocalists, and Dream a Little Dream bears the same mix of kitsch and sublime beauty as one of Pink Martini’s own albums. “Die Dorfmusik” sounds like it could have strolled in from The Lawrence Welk Show, while the version of ABBA’s Fernando” sounds like it came from a Swedish Carnaval parade thanks to the involvement of the Lions of Batucada.