Is your child stuck on Bieber? No, not the great composer Biber. Justin Bieber? If you're trying to add a little classical to your Belieber's life, we have some options.
There's Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. Written shortly after the war, I found this really awesome updated version of the classic at the Carnegie Hall website.
There's Camille Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals. Not written as a children's piece, its depiction of animals has drawn educators to it and it's trotted out regularly as a piece to entertain the kids. The poetry helps, of course.
But the biggest of the biggest of these is Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. Prokofiev wrote the work in four days (after receiving the commission to write a symphony for children) and his memory of the first performance (recorded in a 2000 anthology of autobiographical notes) didn't bode well for Peter and the Wolf. "...[attendance] was poor and [it] failed to attract much attention."
Peter and the Wolf was first recorded in 1939 (in English) after premiering in 1936.
It only took three years for the first English-language recording to be released, in 1939. Since then, it's become one of the most recorded pieces in classical music. Everyone's had a go at the narration, from Bill Clinton to David Bowie to Captain Kangaroo. There are more than 400 recordings in over 12 languages.
CBC Music has an exclusive Canadian recording to add to that list. Below, watch the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and conductor Bramwell Tovey performing Peter and the Wolf as part of a kids' concert back in October 2012.
Watch the VSO play the Imperial March from Star Wars
Watch the Gryphon Trio's studio session at CBC Vancouver
on Dec 08, 2012