Peter And The Wolf…And Other Animals

Peter & The Wolf - Book here for the classic children's story arranged for & performed by a wind quintet. Ideal for venues, festivals, schools & family audiences.

...The piece came alive as it was narrated and played...

Eltham College prep school - February 2011

...It made a big impression, especially for those who hadn't been to a professional standard concert before...

Cranleigh Pre School

...the feedback from the public and staff was marvellous...

The Rose Theatre, Kingston
Listen to Peter And The Wolf…And Other Animals

Peter And The Wolf…And Other Animals's Bio

The Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev wrote “Peter and the Wolf” in 1936. It is actually composed for a small orchestra and is often presented in conjunction with Benjamin Britten’s  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

We are delighted to offer a version by Chamberhouse Winds that has been arranged for wind quintet and is available as a family concert. It can either be booked as a stand-alone piece or as a show in two acts with a selection of music representing ‘other animals’ being played in the first half. The programme includes: Flight of the Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov), Walking the Dog (Gershwin), Tomcats (from Opus Number Zoo, Berio), Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks (from Pictures at an Exhibition, Mussorgsky) and Beauty and the Beast (from Ma Mère l’Oye, Ravel).

Peter and the Wolf is aimed at helping children to enjoy going to concerts by making the experience fun and entertaining, as well as the educational benefits that this can offer. Each character in the story has a particular instrument and a musical theme:

  • The Bird is played by the flute
  • The Duck is played by the oboe
  • The Cat is played by the clarinet
  • The Grandfather is played by the bassoon
  • The Wolf is played by the French horn
  • The Hunters are played by the woodwind
  • Peter’s theme, here, is played by the whole wind quintet

The Plot

Peter, a young boy, lives at his grandfather’s home in a forest clearing. One day Peter goes out into the clearing, leaving the garden gate open, and the duck that lives in the yard takes the opportunity to go swimming in a pond nearby. The duck starts arguing with a little bird (“What kind of bird are you if you can’t fly?” – “What kind of bird are you if you can’t swim?”). Peter’s pet cat stalks them quietly, and the bird —warned by Peter— flies to safety in a tall tree while the duck swims to safety in the middle of the pond.

Peter’s grandfather scolds Peter for being outside in the meadow (“Suppose a wolf came out of the forest?”), and, when Peter defies him, saying that “Boys like me are not afraid of wolves”, his grandfather takes him back into the house and locks the gate. Soon afterwards “a big, grey wolf” does indeed come out of the forest. The cat quickly climbs into a tree, but the duck, who has excitedly jumped out of the pond, is chased, overtaken and swallowed by the wolf.

Peter fetches a rope and climbs over the garden wall into the tree. He asks the bird to fly around the wolf’s head to distract it, while he lowers a noose and catches the wolf by its tail. The wolf struggles to get free, but Peter ties the rope to the tree and the noose only gets tighter.

Some hunters, who have been tracking the wolf, come out of the forest ready to shoot, but Peter gets them to help him take the wolf to a zoo in a victory parade (the piece was first performed for an audience of pioneers during May Day celebrations) that includes himself, the bird, the hunters leading the wolf, the cat and grumpy grumbling Grandfather (“What if Peter hadn’t caught the wolf? What then?”) In the story’s ending, the listener is told that “if you listen very carefully, you’d hear the duck quacking inside the wolf’s belly, because the wolf in his hurry had swallowed her alive.”

The duration of the piece is approximately 25 minutes (and includes some fun acting work by the musicians!) The collection of music featuring ‘other animals’ is of approximately the same length and is rounded off by a surprise audience participation number called Serenade for Hosepipe and Funnel… If required, ‘Come and try the Instruments’ sessions can be arranged to run alongside the performance for an additional fee.

Chamberhouse Winds:

Samantha Moore (flute)
Hazel Todd (oboe)
Ian Stott (horn)
Sally Bartholomew (bassoon)
Caroline Owen (clarinet)
Jonathan Butcher or Robin Hutchinson (narrator)

All of the members of Chamberhouse Winds are established orchestral and chamber players as well as each being a solo artist in her/ his own right. In view of the fact that they were frequently playing together in larger ensembles, it followed naturally that the Chamberhouse Winds quintet was formed in 2005 with the intention of providing high quality chamber music for recitals, weddings and background entertainment at corporate and other functions.

Testimonials

“Chamberhouse Winds performed Peter and the Wolf to our Year 3 and 4s as part of our School Music Day. The boys enjoyed the live performance and loved the humour the players added through their props! The piece came alive as it was narrated and played. After the performance, the boys loved having the opportunity to try out some of the instruments and I thought it was great the way the musicians interacted with the children” (Eltham College prep school – February 2011)

“We are thrilled that the event went smoothly and was successful and the feedback from the public and staff was marvellous” (Jerry Gunn, General Manager, The Rose Theatre, Kingston)

“Peter and the Wolf was an excellent concert; perfectly judged length of programme, super information about the instruments and very well presented to engage the children. They loved the hats and the characterisation. It made a big impression, especially for those who hadn’t been to a professional standard concert before” (Catherine Beddison, Cranleigh Pre School)

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