Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A record to remember

Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev.

At the age of four it was the first music recording on vinyl - or in any format, for that matter - I could call my own. I forgot about this fact until I heard it played on WRR 101.1 FM during the commute today. The version that the station aired had Patrick Stewart narrating with the Orchestre de L'Opéra Lyon performing the composition, which of course was done quite well. Memories began to flood back of hearing Peter Ustinov and Philharmonia Orchestra (which, come to think of it, may explain the origins of my, er, "Anglophiliactic tendencies") bringing Prokofiev's sublime creation come to life through the medium of a portable record player in my room during the early/mid-Eighties, becoming immersed in the story of Peter's adventurous day in the woods and being mesmerized by the sounds of an orchestra (particularly the oboe and bassoon). Good, good memories.

I haven't listen to Peter and the Wolf since I was a child but this composition has stayed with me, apparently on a subconscious level. When I'm home alone cleaning, doing laundry, and/or any other similarly mundane task, I'll find myself whistling a tune that for all the tea in India could not think of what it was... until today, when I discovered that it was the bit played to represent Peter. Never ceases to amaze me how music can become so fundamentally entrenched into our lives.

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