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Peter and the Wolf

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Peter and the Wolf is a composition by Sergei Prokofiev. It was written in 1936 after his return to Russia, then part of the Soviet Union. It is a children's story. Prokofiev got the idea from Natalya Sats, who led the Moscow State Musical Theater for Children. The idea was to introduce children to the different musical instruments in the orchestra. For this reason, each character in the story has a particular instrument and a musical theme:

  • Duck: Oboe
    <score vorbis="1"> \relative c' { \clef treble \time 3/4 \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"oboe" \tempo "L'istesso tempo"4=92 \key aes \major \slashedGrace fes8( ees2.\mf->) | \slashedGrace ees8( d[ des c des] \slashedGrace d g[ f)] | \slashedGrace fes( ees2.->) } </score>
  • Cat: Clarinet (in A)
    <score vorbis="1"> \relative c { \clef treble \time 4/4 \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"clarinet" \tempo "Moderato" \partial 4*1 d8-.\p g-. \bar "||" b4-. g8-. d-. cis4-. d8-. g-. | b-. d-. c4->~ c8 b g a | b( a) fis-. g-. a( g) e-. fis-. | g2-> } </score>
  • Grandfather: Bassoon
    <score vorbis="1"> \relative c { \clef bass \time 4/4 \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bassoon" \tempo "Poco più andante" 4=92 \key b \minor \partial 16*1 b,16\f( \bar "||" fis'8)[ r16 fis] b,4->~ b8._"pesante" cis16 d8. e16 | fis8. d16 a'8 a a-> a-> \times 2/3 { a-> b-> bis-> } | cis4->~( \times 2/3 { cis8 d dis } ais) r } </score>
  • Wolf: 3 French Horns
    <score vorbis="1"> \relative c { \clef bass \time 4/4 \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"french horn" \tempo "Andante molto" 4=66 \key bes \major <d bes g>2->\mp <bes' g d>16( <a fis ees> <bes g d> <a fis ees> <bes g d>8) <bes g d> | <d bes g>-- <cis a ees>-- <d bes g>-- <bes g d>-- <c f, c>2-> |} </score>
  • Peter: String instruments
    <score vorbis="1"> \relative c { \clef treble \time 4/4 \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"violin" \tempo "Andantino" 4=92 g4\p-- c8.( e16-.) g8-.[ a-.] g8.->( e16) | g8-.( a-.) b8.-> c16 g8( e) c-.( d-.) | ees4->\< ees8--( b'--) ees,4-- ees8--( b'--)\! | ees,4->\mf( bes) } </score>
  • Hunters: Timpani and Bass Drum
    <score vorbis="1"> \relative c' { \clef treble \time 4/4 \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"trumpet"\tempo "Allegro moderato" 4=116 \partial 4*1 c4\mf( | des8)->[ r ees-. r e->] r c4( | des8->)[ r ees-. r e->] r c4 | des8-> e f aes c4-> b8 c | des-.[ r f-.] r e2-> } </score>

(The hunters' theme is actually introduced by the woodwinds) In addition, there is a narrator telling the story.

In 1946, Walt Disney produced an animated version of Peter and the Wolf. There are some differences to the original work, for example the animals are given names. It was released on video tape in the 1990s.

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