Each character of this tale is represented by a corresponding instrument in the orchestra: the bird by a flute, the duck by an oboe, the cat by a clarinet playing staccato in a low register, the grandfather by a bassoon, the wolf by three horns, Peter by the string quartet, the shooting of the hunters by the kettle drums and bass drum.
As I was driving home the other day, my local classical radio station played a recording of the Colorado Symphony’s orchestration of the symphony that made me fall in love with classical music when I was just a tiny little child. Whether I first heard this at my hippie community college preschool program or at home, I have no idea. I do know that my mother, a kindergarten teacher, was a firm believer in music education and we had oodles of children’s books that came with narrated tapes. But the one that has stuck with me after all these years is Sergei Prokofiev’s 1936 symphony, Peter and the Wolf (which you can listen to here).