Today whilst I had spare time, it seemed today was a lot of spare time, I listened to a piece of music I had not heard since I was a boy. It was Peter and the Wolf.
Sergei Prokofiev in 1936, was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow to write a new musical symphony for children. This symphony was completed in four days by Prokofiev and was first performed on May 2nd of the same year 1936.
It tells of a small boy, Peter, who was staying with his grandfather in Russia. His bedroom overlooked a meadow and a mysterious forest.
As I listen to the music, my mind went back to a client I saw recently, his name can be Peter too. He was having relationship problems with a loved one, they were not seeing eye to eye. It seemed that Peter’s partner was beginning to not believe what Peter said anymore. Peter said certain things would happen, had happened, were happening, and they never happened.
The partner had built great expectations up on what Peter had said, only to become confused and frustrated, eventually saying “oh yes” to anything Peter said.
It appeared that Peter also had a lot of “pain”, or would say something was painful, or hurt, giving out utterances such as “ouch”, or would flinch when touched.
In Peter and the Wolf, there are certain characters, each depicted or played by instruments of the orchestra, with the story being narrated by an actor.
* Peter is played by the stings of the orchestra
* the wolf is played by the French horns
* the bird is played by the flute
* the duck is played by the oboe
* the hunter is played by the timpani drums
* the grandfather is played by the bassoon
* the cat is played by the clarinet
Early every morning, as the sun’s rays crept through the curtains, Peter would be up and out into the yard, which had a big wall and gate to stop Peter entering the dangers of the meadow and forest.
There was a large tree in the yard which had a big branch reaching out into the meadow, which Peter loved to climb. In the middle of the meadow was a pond.
One morning whilst sitting on the branch a little bird began to sing a happy tune which made both very happy, the bird flying over the pond.
As the bird flew, he saw a duck swimming in the pond keeping cool. They did not like each other and tormented one another, saying the duck was not a bird as it could not fly, and the bird was not a bird because it could not swim.
The two argued about who was the best, and did not notice the cat creeping up to eat the bird. It was Peter who saw the cat and shouted a warning to the bird who flew out of harms way, landing o the branch of the tree with Peter. The cat realising that it was not worth climbing the tree, settled at it’s base for a sleep.
The grandfather hearing the commotion, told Peter what a bad place the meadow was, with dangerous animals, and made Peter go back in the yard.
At that time, the wolf came into the meadow. The bird saw the wolf and chirped a warning, making the cat run up the tree, but the duck left the safety of the pond and waddled across the meadow.
The wolf quickly caught the duck and swallowed it whole.
The wolf now sat at the base of the tree waiting for the cat or the bird to make a mistake. But Peter had a plan, he would catch the wolf, so he asked the bird to distract the wolf.
The bird flew over the wolf’s nose many times, enough to distract the wolf allowing Peter to snare the wolfs’ tail with a rope. The more the wolf struggled the tighter the rope got.
As the wolf struggle some hunters came out of the wood, and were about to shoot the wolf, when Peter shouted at them to spare the wolf’s life and take him to the zoo so everyone could see this animal. So off they paraded the wolf as they took him to the zoo, the villagers proud of Peter, but the grandfather knowing that there were dangers in the forest.
It is a loverly piece of music and narration, and it reminds me of another small child and a wolf.
Every night the child went to bed, and as the parents went downstairs to rest, the child would shout, “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”. Just to draw the attention of the parents.
The parents would race to the aid of the child, to save it from the wolf, but each time they got to the bedside, there was no wolf.
The child continued to call out, “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”, and the parents would go to the bedside knowing there would be no wolf.
One night, a wolf crept towards the house looking for food, and saw the child in bed.
The child cried out “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”, and the parents took no notice of the cries.
The wolf ate the child.