Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf
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 Pioneers, 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).