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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Musical Interlude

When in elementary school, our music teacher introduced us to the sections of the orchestra by having us listen to Peter and the Wolf. Later, when I was in college, our professor used the Peter and the Wolf as the beginning point of Music Appreciation I. Enjoy!

YouTube blurb:
This is Walt Disney's 'Peter & The Wolf' children's story. The images have been scanned at high quality, and the record digitized and cleaned as much as I can without losing the tonal clarity. It has then been edited into a short animated story to bring back memories in the big kids out there, and also something innocent and wonderful to watch for your new batch!...
Bonus video below the fold:


  1. I remember two pieces of music which I just reviewed again in the last week that My dad taught me about at his knee.
    This and Scheherazade, both work telling a story.
    I once found an archive of the original LP with the Peter and the Wolf Story, but can't find it again, so I played this particular youtube for Scherie.
    A couple years ago we saw a modern Russian (set today instead of czarist Russia) version as an addition to a DVD we watched and it was fascinating.
    I ended up humming both for a week.
    I particularly love this version, watching the relief of the young ladies at completing their solos without screwing up.

    1. Ed,
      Excellent links!

      I love Scheherazade. In fact, I bought a vinyl album of it back in 1968 and played the record until I wore out the grooves and had to replace it.

  2. If I'm still alive at a-hundred-and-five, I'm sure I would still love Peter and the Wolf –– a true work of genius meant to be loved, cherished and appreciated more with each passing year.

  3. It was a real pleasure by the way to hear the NARRATOR speaking English so beautifully with his fine, cultivated voice..

  4. FYI: The complete score to Peter and the Wolf is presented wonderfully in this video (below) where the orchestra is conducted by Claudio Abbado, –– one of the most dynamic and insightful conductors who ever lived, –– and the narration is beautifully performed by the Rock Star STING of all people!

    Interaction between live human beings and cleverly-crafted puppets brings the whole thing to life brilliantly with great comic flair, but as charming and endearing as ever all the same.


    WARNING: YouTube permits the video to be interrpted by hideous COMMERCIALS, a practice I find OBSCENE, but even so, if you'd like to get better acquainted with this masterpiece, the video is well worth your while.

    Better still, order the video from Amazon.com and play it at home without interruption.

    I first saw this on PBS years ago, and found it unforgettable.

    I love the truncated version by Disney too. The illustrations there are so full of life and character. Diseny's wolf is FAR more menacing than the one you'll see in the video, which makes a more comical figure of the villainous creature.


  5. This is the one I heard as a child.
    Basil Rathnone?

    1. Thanks, Ed. Basil Rathbone was a fine actor, rigorously trained in Shakespeare, I'm reasonably sure. I was introduced to him as as the dark, villainouslt cruel Mr. Murdstone in David Copperfield (1936), and then as Sherlock Holmes, which he played splendidly, so it never occurred to me that he could be chosen to read the narration for Peter and the Wolf, which, though dignified with an aura of venerability, is so tenderhearted and sympathetic to the whims and fancies of little children –– boys in particular –– that it's hard to associate with the sort of characters for which Rathbone was most famous.


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