Friday, January 06, 2006

The record you didn’t know you were waiting for...Peter and the Wolf

Head over to Kiddie Records this week if you would like to hear the first recording* of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Encouraged by Serge Koussevitzky (conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, founder of Tanglewood, and champion of new music), Prokofiev came over to the U.S. in 1938 and premiered Peter and the Wolf with the BSO. Less than a year later, the orchestra put together this recording under Koussevitzky’s baton, and with Richard Hale narrating.

Hale sounds like a combination of Vincent Price and the elocution teacher in Singing in the Rain, but his melodramatic vocalizations add a certain something to the recording and remind me that public speakers did not always have the same song newscaster voice we are so accustomed to now. The sound recording is pretty amazing too, considering it is from a sixty-six year old record. Thanks Kiddie Records!

* So says the Library of Congress’s recording registry.

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