LANSDOWNE

SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA

Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf Program Notes

Prokofiev  wrote  Peter  and  the  Wolf  (both  the  music  and  the  text)  in  1936  for  Moscow’s  Central  Children’s  Theater.    It  was  for  a  planned  performance  for  a  young  audience  of  members  of  the  DzPioneers,dz  a  state-sponsored  youth  organization,  which  in  some  ways  resembled  the  cub  scouts  or  other  youth  movements  (including  neck  scarfs).    The  young  protagonist,  Peter,  was  to  be  one  of  the  Pioneers,  a  fact  which  didn’t  make  it  into  the  English  translation.  A  favorite  of  decades  of  youth  concerts,  Peter  and  the  Wolf  also  introduces  sections  of  the  orchestra,  with  various  instruments  representing  the  characters:  Peter:  the  strings  The  bird:  flute  A  duck:  oboe  A  cat:  clarinet  Peter’s  grandfather:  bassoon  The  wolf:  French  horns  Since  the  1990s,  performances  of  Peter  &  the  Wolf  have  declined,  because  an  international  treaty  restored  its  copyright.    It  will  be  expensive  to  rent  until  it  returns  to  the  public  domain  in  sixteen  years  (2031).    However,  sets  of  parts  already  owned  can  be  lent  -  we’re  using  the  set  belonging  to  Hunter  College  (CUNY).