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1001 Stories Collection

Peter and the Wolf

1001 Peter And The Wolf
Added on 08th August 2020

Composer Sergei Prokofiev
First performed 1936, Moscow Children's Theatre

A symphony written for children which tells a story through music.

Story

A fairy tale symphony, which introduces children to the different instruments of the orchestra. Each character is played by a different instrument and generally they introduce themselves at the beginning of the piece.

Peter lives with his grandfather who wants him to stay in the garden because there are wolves around but Peter disobeys – and meets a wolf.

Why we chose it

A symphony written for children, where the story is told in classical music.

Where it came from

Prokofiev was commissioned to write Peter and the Wolf by Natalya Sats, director of the Children’s Theatre in Moscow. Prokofiev wanted the piece to introduce children to the orchestra but Sats wanted it to show the battle between youth and age, the right thinking Peter and the inflexible Grandfather. Despite the Soviet overtones it has become one of the most popular pieces of children’s music.

Where it went next

Peter and the Wolf has been recorded over 400 times in 12 different languages. Narrators have included Alice Cooper, Bill Clinton, Boris Karloff, David Attenborough, David Tennant, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sting and Patrick Stewart.

In 1938 Prokofiev took it to Los Angeles and played it to Walt Disney who made an animated film version.

Associated stories

Prokofiev wrote the ballets Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet and the Lieutenant Kije Suite which was written for a film of the same name, and includes Troika (Sleigh Ride) a piece of musical now synonymous with Christmas. Part of it was used by Greg Lake in the song I Believe in Father Christmas.

Added on 08th August 2020

Composer Sergei Prokofiev
First performed 1936, Moscow Children's Theatre