Peter and the Wolf

Peter and the Wolf

Prokofiev’s modern classic retold by Sir David Attenborough


Prokofiev's timeless classic, brought to you by Sir David Attenborough and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier.

"If a wolf should come out of the forest, then what would you do?"

These are the words of Peter's grandfather from Prokofiev's much loved musical fairy tale, Peter and the Wolf, which here is wonderfully narrated by Sir David Attenborough. This story introduces children to the magic of an orchestra through the tale of a clever young boy who, with the help of some animal friends, outwits a very hungry wolf.

Wolf stories are common in folk and fairy tales. Shepherd boys who cry wolf; children who foolishly trust wolves; wolves in sheep's clothing. Many of the earliest stories about boys and wolves are found in Aesop's fables, and it is likely that this was Prokofiev's source for the story.

Prokofiev was excited to have been asked to compose this piece by Moscow Central Children's Theatre director Natalya Sats, finishing it in just a few short weeks ahead of its Moscow premiere in May 1936. "We must start with something specific, something full of contrasts, something that makes a strong impression," he told her. "The most important thing is to find a common language with the children."

Prokofiev had a lifelong love of fairy stories, myths and folklore and threw himself into the fantasy world of Peter and the Wolf. It has been recorded over 400 times, with a variety of narrators, and has introduced millions of children to the wonders of classical music.

First broadcast December 2000.
Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier.
Composed by Sergei Prokofiev.

©2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the authors

David Attenborough

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Sergei Prokofiev

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