Not Just for Kids

Peter and the Wolf

Many years ago, in Russia, there lived a composer named Sergei Prokofiev who was well known among music lovers for the important music he wrote for orchestras. But today his folk tale for young people, Peter and the Wolf, is heard more often than any of his more serious works.

In Peter and the Wolf, orchestra instruments join a narrator to tell the story of a little boy named Peter who captures a wolf in the meadow right outside his house.

Early one morning, Peter opens the gate and goes into a big, green meadow. All the violins, violas, cellos and string basses play a happy, lively melody as he walks. The flute chirps and twitters every time the little bird flies around, the oboe announces the quacking duck and the clarinet plays a slinky tune as the cat creeps through the grass. The cat tries to catch the bird, but Peter yells, "Look out!" and the bird flies away.

Suddenly the old, gruff voice of the bassoon lets us know that Grandfather is angry because Peter has gone into the meadow. There might be a wolf out there, worries Grandfather, as he orders Peter home and locks the gate.

Then the wolf, announced by French horns, comes out of the woods to Peter.

As the excitement builds, everybody gets involved - Peter, bird, duck, cat and now hunters, whose guns, played by kettle drums, go boom! boom!

But kind-hearted Peter says, "Don't shoot!" The music ends with a procession as everyone, even Grandfather, takes the wolf off to a zoo.

Children have loved this tale for many, many years - and still do. This month many young people in Anne Arundel County will see the Bob Brown Marionettes act out the story, with the help of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. So many boys and girls wanted to go that all the tickets sold out.

But you can hear Peter and the Wolf when ever you like. Check out a tape or CD at your local library or ask your music teacher to play it for your class at school.

-Barbara Miller

Draw lines to match the instrument to its voice.
 Bassoon  Bird
 Clarinet  Cat
 Drums  Duck
 Flute  Grandfather
 French horns  Guns
 Oboe  Peter
 Violins  Wolf

Answers: Bassoon: Grandfather | Clarinet: Cat | Drums: Hunters' Guns | Flute: Bird | French Horns: Wolf | Oboe: Duck | Violins: Peter

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VolumeVI Number 10
March 12-18, 1998
New Bay Times

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