Peter and the Wolf

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” will be presented several times this weekend in New York. As WNYC’s Sara Fishko tells us, there’s drama in the background of this ever-popular children’s classic.  Here is the next Fishko Files…

The Little Orchestra Society's Lolli-pops concert series will feature Peter and the Wolf in the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College this weekend. For more information, visit their website.

Read the English translation of Prokofiev's text for Peter and the Wolf here


Walt Disney and Sergei Prokofiev met in Hollywood in 1938. Later, Disney made this promotional film about their meeting. (The man at the piano is an actor, not Prokofiev)


Peter and the Wolf showcased some of the great voices and orchestras of the 20th century. See a list of some of the recordings used in Fishko Files, below. 

Peter and the Wolf(s)

  1. Koussevitzky Conducts Prokofiev: Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky, conductor, Richard Hale, narrator.  Pearl 1991. (recorded 1939)
  2. Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, conductor, Eleanor Roosevelt, narrator. Listen to the recording here. (Recorded 1950)
  3. Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Mario Rossi, conductor, Boris Karloff, narrator. Vanguard, 1992. (Recorded 1957)
  4. Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Sir Eugene Goossens, conductor, Jose Ferrer, narrator. MCA, 1989. (Recorded 1959)
  5. Stadium Symphony Orchestra of New York, Leopold Stokowski, conductor, Bob Keeshan, narrator. Everest, 1997.
  6. Academy of London, Richard Stamp, conductor, John Gielgud, narrator. Virgin, 1989. (Recorded 1989)
  7. Orchestra of St. Luke’s, James Levine, conductor, Sharon Stone, narrator. DG, 2001. (Recorded 2001)
  8. The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor, David Bowie, narrator. RCA, 1978. (Recorded 1978)
  9. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, conductor and narrator. Sony, 1998. (Recorded 1960)
  10. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, conductor, Itzhak Perlman, narrator. EMI, 1996. (Recorded 1986)

Other Music by Prokofiev Used in this Episode

  1. Romeo and Juliet, excerpt from Suite #2 Op. 64 C. Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Armin Jordan, conductor. Erato, 1992.
  2. Sonata #6, excerpt from 1st movement, Sviatoslav Richter. Philips Classics, 1998.
  3. Winter Bonfire, Op. 122, excerpt from “Departure.” The New London Orchestra. Ronald Corp, conductor. Hyperion, 1991.


For more from the speaker in this episode of Fishko Files...

Visit Professor Harlow Robinson's website, here. You can see his book, "Sergei Prokofiev: A Biography," here

WNYC Production Credits...

Mix Engineer: Wayne Shulmister

Associate Producer: Laura Mayer

Managing Editor, WNYC News: Karen Frillmann



Produced by:

Sara Fishko

Comments [3]

Laura from UWS

I don't matter thank you enough for Fishko Files. Pure genius and illumination and joy. Peter and the Wolf, absolutely wonderful; with Eleanor Roosevelt narrating... PRICELESS!

Actually, free on (Google is your friend).

Highest praise to Sara Fishko, always.

Dec. 14 2012 02:01 AM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

The stereotype of the "big bad wolf" in "Peter" has meant tremendous suffering for wolves in the real world.

Dec. 13 2012 12:22 PM
Mark L

My copy of "Peter and the Wolf", on 78's was narrated by Basil Rathbone. What a great thing to wait for the next record to drop...

Dec. 13 2012 08:05 AM

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