Music and Vision homepage


<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    OFTEN RAVISHING


When writing about Peter and the Wolf in his 'short' autobiography of 1941, Prokofiev emphasised the unimportance of the story and relevance of showing to children the various musical instruments involved in the tale. As a little older myself, and familiar enough with a quacking oboe or grumpy bassoon, I find the tale irresistible and enter passionately into the moments of tension when so many of the characters are under dire threat. Willie Rushton as narrator keeps me on tenterhooks. It is therefore a moment of intense relief when Peter leads home his 'triumphant procession' [listen -- 5 86175 2 track 11, 0:00-1:22].

Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf, and other children's favourites by Britten, Debussy and Ravel. © 1984, 1990, 2004 EMI Records Ltd

It seems an odd idea to present three of Debussy's 'Children's Corner' pieces in an arrangement for wind instruments by Graham Sheen, when the composer himself took a hand in André Caplet's orchestral version. I can only assume that Chouchou's toys, here in anomalous company, appeared originally in 1984 with other wind works. Debussy gave the publisher strict instructions about the front cover to the work: he must 'surround the Golliwogg's head with a golden halo'. The great virtue of this version is that the two-horn quotation from Tristan und Isolde stands out with literally brazen clarity [listen -- 5 86175 2 track 14, 0:54-2:19].

Continue >>

Copyright © 20 July 2005 Robert Anderson, London UK


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Bajazet >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.