In 1936, 50 years after Camille Saint-Saëns wrote the Carnival of the Animals, the Central Children’s Theater of Moscow commissioned Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to write a piece that was intended to enrich the musical taste of children. The music and text of the symphonic story Peter and the Wolf for narrator and orchestra were written in just four days. The premiere did not bring the expected success, but over the years this work has become one of the most popular musical works for children; an amusing story of the brave boy Peter, who was able to capture the bad wolf with the help of the other animals. Each character in the story has its own theme in a specific tone that is evoked by a special instrument: Peter – string instruments; the bird – flute; the cat – clarinet; the duck – oboe; the grandfather – bassoon; the hunters – timpani; and the wolf – horns.
From its premiere to the present time, this work has been performed countless times at concert programs as well as on numerous audio and video releases, including an animated version by Walt Disney. The role of the narrator included many world-famous public figures, including actors Sean Connery, Sofia Loren, Sharon Stone, Antonio Banderas, musicians Leonard Bernstein, Itzhak Perlman, David Bowie, Sting, but also Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Peter and the Wolf: Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Mladen Tarbuk,
Narrators: Gorica Nešović and Dragan Ilić