Peter and the Wolf – a Concert for Children’s Day
1 June 2019
concert I at 12:00 p.m.
concert II at 2:00 p.m.
Royal Castle, Grand Hall
Wind quintet of the Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra:
Magdalena Maliszewska | flute
Mykhailo Zakopets | oboe
Małgorzata Jończyk | clarinet
Edyta Chmielewska | French horn
Karolina Mętrak | bassoon
Paweł Królikowski | narrator
Sergei Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf op. 67 [25′]
Peter and the Wolf is one of the most popular works by Sergei Prokofiev, as well as the most well-known piece of music written with the intent of teaching children. This seemingly ‘innocent’ fairy tale, written in the Soviet Union in 1936, contains the inevitable gloomy historical contexts of the time and place it was created. The protagonist is the valiant pioneer Peter, who succeeds in capturing the wolf himself (despite the warnings of his grouchy grandfather) and takes him to the zoo in a joyful parade. The message to young Soviet audiences was clear – this was the triumph of a strong individual over nature, despite the strength of the old regime (personified by the defeatist grandfather) Popular actress Natalya Sac was slated to perform as the narrator during the premiere at the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow; however, she was replaced at the last minute due to illness, which reduced interest in the event. The work, however, would soon be a great success (Natalya Sac appeared in it once, but soon found herself in the gulag, which she miraculously survived; Prokofiev himself would fall out of favour with the Soviet regime, although he was spared the worst…).
Many years later – freed from this political context – the work still sparkles with grace, wit and melodic beauty and imparts a carefully concealed lesson – an ingenious presentation of individual instruments to young listeners (and ‘guiding motives’) corresponding to the heroes of the story. In the original score, the flute is assigned to the bird, the oboe to the duck, the clarinet to the cat and the bassoon to the grandfather, while the horns signal the part of the wolf and the strings of Peter. The hunters who want to catch the wolf are represented by percussion. During the June concert dedicated especially to young audiences, the role of the narrator will be played by Paweł Królikowski, a popular film, TV, theatre and dubbing actor, as well as television producer and president of the Association of Polish Stage Artists. The arrangement will feature a quintet of woodwind and brass instruments. [Piotr Maculewicz]
Children age 7 and up and their parents are warmly invited to attend.