Everything You Could Ever Want To Know About the Many Recordings of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf
This is the kind of thing I love about the internet, the space for people to just go incredibly deep on a single subject. Jeremy Nicholas, himself a recorded narrator of Peter and the Wolf, thoroughly examines the catalogue for Gramphone.
And in the process he says more clearly the idea I was trying to hit upon when I sacrilegiously suggested the Make Mine Music version would be better off without Sterling Holloway (keeping the introduction to the instruments and characters).
Then there is Suzie Templeton’s Oscar-winning animated film from 2006, already a classic of its kind. There is no narrator – none is needed – for the updated story unfolds with logic and comedic balletic precision in, arguably, the only attempt to bring some psychological realism to Prokofiev’s sketchy tale.
Essentially the narrator isn't necessary once you have the animation defining the action for you. I will definitely need to be checking out the film.
Or, if you wanted to, you could attempt to play the narratorless version while watching Make Mine Music with the sound muted. I might try that too, although I imagine there will be some synching issues.
[T]he Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra under Ondrej Lenárd...was issued initially without narration, an oddity you can still track down (the only other CD recording I’ve found without narration is Tatiana Nikolaieva playing her piano transcription).
Do you have a favorite recording of Peter and the Wolf? Join the conversation and let me know.