Peter & the Wolf

Peter & the Wolf (in Russian: Петя и волк, Petya i volk) by Sergei Prokofiev

Introduced by Anne Brichto, co-ower of Addyman Books in Hay-on-Wye

My Booksellers Breakfast is Russian themed today with blinis; some topped with creme fraiche and fake caviar and others with smoked salmon and dill or harissa paste and roast tomatoes and thyme. I don’t have a samovar so I just made do with a cup of strong hot tea.


The books are two Oxford World ClassicsWar and Peace and a Dostoevsky. In the background are a small stack of Turgenev, the first Russian writer I lost my heart to – On the Eve is a near perfect book. I have also included a Chekhov translated by Christopher Hampton and a lovely wrappered Russian Folk Tales. 

The star of the piece is Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf. My earliest memory is recreating the scenes from this with my mother and father with the music in the background I liked playing Peter or the little bird and would climb up my father while my mother prowled below making wolf noises.

The music was an important part of my childhood and as my mother died when I was six it was a wonderful way for me to remember her.

Later at the end of Primary School we did a production of this piece and as I was a fairly solid child I was cast as the duck. Not best pleased with the casting I still worked hard on the costume and the quacking and I think the audience was pleased when it was discovered I had been swallowed alive.

If you haven’t heard Peter & the Wolf listen soon, choose a narrator you like. Your children will also be entranced.



Listen to Boris Karloff‘s classic narration of Peter and the Wolf with The Vienna State Opera Orchestra, conducted by Mario Rossi.

4 thoughts on “Peter & the Wolf

  1. My clever Father gave my brother and me free choice of one record from his much-treasured record collection with the promise that we would have complete ownership of its performance. Years later he confessed that it was a ruse to wean us off Radio Lixembourg. To a degree, it worked and, at the age of six, my choice of Peter and the Wolf laid the foundation for a life-long love of music. I read various illustrated books in my youth but my imagination had already provided the pictures, which stay with me still.
    My Brother chose The Sabre Dance and I wonder if that was what opened his ears to Big Bill Broonsey and The Blues?


    1. Ah, lovely anecdote – and at all not surprising to find that you had good taste and judgement even at the tender age of six.

      (Radio Luxembourg … the sound of my childhood too!)

      doble M


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