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Classical 101

Alice Cooper's Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

Deutsche Grammophon
A new take on an old favorite

In the tale of Peter and the Wolf, the wolf lives in the forest where Peter lives with his grandfather.  There is a pond in the clearing where Peter sometimes swims.  Along with the wolf, a duck, bird, and cat get involved. Eventually, hunters who had been tracking the wolf show up and Peter convinces them to take the wolf to a zoo.

What if the wolf had been in the zoo to begin with, that zoo was located near Hollywood, Peter's grandfather was an aging hippie, and instead of hunters, it took helicopters and a robot to track down the wolf after it escaped from the zoo?

Welcome to the unique world of Alice Cooper.

Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood is described as a prequel which gives us a bit of the back story. Cooper provides all of the voices, which he said was kind of like getting to be six or seven years old again. The tale is accompanied by animations and an app you can download, so youngsters can get involved in the story in a way more familiar and comfortable to them than a concert hall. Beyond Prokofiev, music by many other composers has been used to support various scenes and is performed, fittingly, by the young musicians of The National Youth Orchestra of Germany.

In an article by Tom Service in The Guardian, Cooper says of his early musical education that there were musical appreciation tests required. “We learned a lot of stuff we forgot immediately because the Rolling Stones never used any of it. We dismissed it. But now, I don’t think it’s possible to write an original melody that hasn’t been written somewhere before in classical. You hear these pieces and don’t even realise you’re borrowing from them. You write a song and, later on, you hear a classical piece and go, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s the melody from my song!’”

As has been the case with many Classic Rock acts, Cooper put together a Rock Meets Classic tour in 2014, performing in 20 cities throughout Germany, Austria, and France.

I believe kids are going to love this. Release date is November 13th on Deutsche Grammophon with the app provided by Giants are Small. The app will be available on iTunes. You can find out more on the Giants are Small Facebook page.