The aim with this organ version of Peter and the Wolf has been to give the work an imaginative and colourful effect. The performance also leads to promote interest in the organ as an instrument.
Sergei Prokofiev composed the musical fairy tale Peter and the Wolf after his return to the Soviet Union in 1936. Natalya Sats, director of the Moscow Musical Theatre for Children, suggested that he should write a work for children. She gave him some ideas for a story, as her intention was that children should become acquainted with the instruments of the symphony orchestra. Prokofiev then wrote both the libretto and the music.
The work was first performed on 2 May 1936, with Natalya Sats as narrator. Peter and the Wolf is subtitled "A symphonic fairy tale for children" and is the earliest work of this genre in musical history. The characters of the drama are represented by individual instruments, with the intention of illustrating the different instrumental sounds to the audience of children.
Prokofiev’s use of various musical themes for each character makes the music suitable for adaptatation to the organ. Most organs have registers which imitate orchestral instruments, such as oboe, flute, bassoon and trumpet. If the organ lacks one or more of these registers, it should be possible to find alternative registrations which suit the character in question. This musical fairy tale makes for a unique opportunity to present the various colours of the organ.
Each organist will need to find characteristic colours based on the individual instrument’s tonal resources. Suggestions are intended for inspiration and guidance.
Svenskt text till Peter och vargen