Peter and the Wolf was first performed on this day in 1936

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SASHA (SAH-shuh)

    1. Bird from Walt Disney’s “Peter and the Wolf”

    2. Russian name – a short form of Alexander

Common clues: "Peter and the Wolf" bird; Bird in “Peter and the Wolf”; Nickname for Alexander; Alexander, for short

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Frequency in English language: 43147 / 86800

Video: Beatboxing Flute “Peter and the Wolf”

Peter and the Wolf is a composition by Sergei Prokofiev written after his return to Russia in 1936. It is a children's story (also written by Prokofiev) spoken by a narrator accompanied by the orchestra.

1947 coloring book cover

Stalin had ordered that art had to be reflective of the Communist ideal and that music had to be simple and understandable. Prokofiev, a child prodigy and enfant terrible, probably wrote this piece with tongue-in-cheek. Nevertheless it has been a great success not only with children everywhere but also with adults.

Peter and the Wolf is scored for flute, oboe, clarinet (in A), bassoon, 3 horns, trumpet, trombone, timpani, triangle, tambourine, cymbals, castanets, snare drum, bass drum and strings. Each character in the story has a particular instrument and a musical theme, or leitmotif:

Bird - Flute

Duck - Oboe

Cat - Clarinet

Grandfather - Bassoon

Wolf - 3 French Horns

Hunters (gunshots) - Timpani and Bass Drum (The hunters' theme is actually introduced by the woodwinds)

Peter - String instruments

Walt Disney produced an animated version of the work in 1946, with Sterling Holloway providing the voice of the narrator. This version makes small changes to the original Prokofiev story, particularly in providing names for the characters — Sasha the bird, Sonia the duck, and Ivan the cat, for instance. It was released theatrically as a segment in Make Mine Music, then separately on home video in the 1990s on.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Peter and the Wolf".