Peter and the Wolf: Combining music and film into a magical holiday tale!As part of their youth series, the Appassionata orchestra performed the celebrated music of Sergei Prokofiev while Englishwoman Suzie Templeton’s sublime 34 minute narration-free animated film Peter and the Wolf, played simultaneously in the background.
Peter and the Wolf: Combining music and film into a magical holiday tale!
As part of their youth series, the Appassionata orchestra performed the celebrated music of Sergei Prokofiev while Englishwoman Suzie Templeton’s sublime 34 minute, narration-free, animated film Peter and the Wolf, played simultaneously in the background.
I always find it marvelous when parents encourage their children to listen to classical music by bringing and exposing them to various concerts and recitals. Last week, thanks to the Appassionata Chamber Orchestra – led with much gusto by conductor Daniel Myssyk, young and old got to rediscover a timeless classic: Peter and the Wolf.
“Completely ignoring his wise grandfather’s warnings, young Peter ventures into the forest. With the help of a dizzy bird side kick and an idealistic duck, he finds the courage to conquer his fears and capture a wolf.”
A story well known and loved by generations of children around the world, Prokofiev’s famous work is now an animated film that took home several prizes including an Oscar for best animated film in 2008 and the grand prize and the audience prize of the 2007 International Festival of Animated Films in Annecy.
Eager to make a difference in the community and to encourage the creative spark in our youth, this incredible Montreal premiere of the film in Oscar-Peterson Hall came into being through Appassionata’ s ambitious youth program; “Musique, Maestro!” In just over three years, over 4000 elementary students have benefited from a musical and human experience through interactive workshops presented by musicians and actors alike.
During the 2013 autumn season, 1500 children had the chance to experience the adventures of Peter and the Wolf, where classical music and animated cinema united while members of the Appassionata orchestra accompanied the film live.
I have to give my heartfelt congratulations to all the members of the orchestra for their wonderful performance and creative, educational presentation during the first half of the hour long recital. Individual members came up to the front of the stage to present the various instruments and sections that make up an orchestra to the audience by performing short extracts of famous concertos of their individual instruments.
The film itself was 34 minutes of pure magic and spell-binding enchantment. What a gorgeous take on this classic story: Set in modern-day Russia, the protagonist Peter and his clique of feathery friends are all stop motion animated characters whose expressiveness in their movements eliminates the need for any narration. Viewers will notice that unlike the traditional tale, the hunters are the bad guys who openly bully Peter and force him into social isolation. When the wolf appears and kills the duck, we feel a pang of sadness as the duck is one of Peter's only friends. In the end though, when the musical theme of the duck reappears and Peter shows great maturity and acts heroically by releasing the wolf (thus preventing further torture from his captors) the focus of the film is on forgiveness and understanding. It is subtle touches like this that makes the character of Peter more complex and the overall film more poignant. Although the film is short, I do believe it is worth repeat viewings.
As a whole, the Appassionata orchestra gave a splendid and educational performance and I hope that in the near future they will have many more opportunities to share their music with listeners of all ages.
As for up-coming recitals, on the 26th of February 2014 , Appassionata will present “ Flute and Passion” starring virtuoso Vincent Lauzer performing the concerto for flute in C minor by Vivaldi at Pierre-Mercure hall.
For more information on up-coming recitals please consult the Appassionata main site :