Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Peter & the Wolf: Sergei Prokofiev

GREAT PERFORMANCES

Go To PBS's: Peter & the Wolf - Video: Peter with His Friends.

This week, we look at  Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev’s musical piece, Peter and the Wolf. This version is an animated one: Peter & the Wolf - Video: Peter with His Friends. It was conceived and directed by award-winning animator Suzie Templeton.

As described by the Great Performances series at PBS:
Sergei Prokofiev’s fanciful musical tale “Peter and the Wolf” is given new life in this innovative new animated interpretation, which won the 2008 Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film. “Oldies will remember the work from school music lessons,” wrote London’s OBSERVER, “while those coming to the story for the first time will be delighted with this darkly comic modernization.” Originally composed in 1936, the piece famously uses personified instruments in the orchestra to tell the story — also penned by the composer — of young Peter and his animal friends the Duck, the Bird, and even a mischievous Cat (represented by an oboe, flute, and clarinet respectively).
Peter, himself represented by the string section, becomes an unsuspecting hero and outwits the Wolf (French horns), who’s intent on menacing his small Russian village — not to mention Peter’s beloved animal friends. Conceived and directed by award-winning animator Suzie Templeton, this modern-day “Peter & the Wolf” uses stop-frame model animation, puppets, and digital photography to retell the enduring classic story, and features the Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Mark Stephenson performing Prokofiev’s beloved score.