In 2014, Camera Lucida and Radio France teamed up to create a series of classical music-filled apps for children. One of these shared Sergei Prokofiev’s Pierre et le loup in a typography-filled adaptation by Gordon (Thierry Guernet), Pierre-Emmanuel Lyet, and Corentin Leconte. It’s a stunning version that mixes animation, musical symbols, and musicians, featuring the National Orchestra of France, conducted by the maestro Daniele Gatti.
If the video above is no longer available, you can find the 30-minute piece here on France.tv until June 1st, 2020 or (though it’s a bit buggy for us since we bought it a few years ago) in the Pierre et le loup app for iPad or iPhone.
Note: While the retelling is innovative in form, the story follows tradition. There are gun-toting hunters and (spoiler) the duck is eaten by the wolf. It’s beautifully visualized.
From Prokofiev’s performance directions for Peter and the Wolf:
Each character of this tale is represented by a corresponding instrument in the orchestra: the bird by a flute, the duck by an oboe, the cat by a clarinet playing staccato in a low register, the grandfather by a bassoon, the wolf by three horns, Peter by the string quartet, the shooting of the hunters by the kettle drums and bass drum. Before an orchestral performance it is desirable to show these instruments to the children and to play on them the corresponding leitmotivs. Thereby, the children learn to distinguish the sounds of the instruments during the performance of this tale.
And though there is some French narration, their masterful visual and musical storytelling requires no understanding of French.
Camera Lucida provides a series of clips from the animation in this playlist. A few are included below:
And here’s the original app trailer:
Watch these orchestra and classical music videos next:
• Le Carnaval des Animaux by Camille Saint-Saëns
• Boomwhacker Bach: Prélude n°1 aux tubes musicaux
• Line Riders ride to Beethoven’s 5th
• Nine animal sounds and Super Mario World sound effects created with a violin