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Northern Chamber Orchestra: Peter and the Wolf

1 month ago

Northern Chamber Orchestra: Peter and the Wolf

02 Jun 2024

Storyhouse

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The great composer Sergei Prokofiev spent many years outside his Russian homeland, living in Paris and touring the world, including several visits to the United States. Peter and the Wolf, subtitled “an orchestral fairy tale for children”, was composed in 1936 after Prokofiev’s return to Russia. He should have added “and for grownups too” to the subtitle, for this remarkable composition appeals to people of all ages.

The narrator tells a children’s story, while the orchestra illustrates it by using different instruments to play a “theme” representing each character in the story: the bird by a flute, the duck by an oboe, the cat by a clarinet, the grandfather by a bassoon, the wolf by a horn, Peter by the strings, and the shooting of the hunters by a timpani and bass drum. It is one of the most frequently performed works in the entire classical repertoire.

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