The pairing of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with a new composition, Wolf Tracks by Jean Pascal Beintus – in performance and on a surround sound recording – is the result of the commitment of artists, technical experts, world leader and arts patrons from many countries. The project was conceived by the Russian National Orchestra and developed under the artistic direction of Kent Nagano.
Wolf Tracks is a tale that converts the image of the wolf from a fearsome creature to one that represents the imperative to cherish and protect natural resources. This is a contemporary perspective that encompasses the importance of recognizing the point of view of others, a value that lies at the core of understanding different people and cultures.
With support from the Russian Arts Foundation, the RNO commissioned French composer Beintus to write the score of the new piece and selected award winning broadcast writer Walt Kraemer to create the accompanying text. Contributors include Linda Whitaker, Martha Bredon and Héléne Grimaud, co-founder of the Wolf Conservation Center. Nagano led the RNO in the premiere of Wolf Tracks in August 2002 at San Francisco’s Stern Grove Festival.
Narrators Sophia Loren (Peter and the Wolf), Bill Clinton (Wolf Tracks) and Mikhail Gorbachev (introduction and epilogue) contributed their time for recording sessions in Geneva and Moscow. Each has designated a charity to receive their royalties.
The art on the CD’s cover and booklet is the work of some very special children who live in Moscow orphanages and facilities for the disabled. The drawings were selected from the hundreds shown at the 2002 How I See Music Exhibition an annual event sponsored by the RNO at the Moscow Conservatory. These young artist live under difficult, challenging circumstances and their art, like music is testament to the magic of creative self-expression.