This CD is nestled into a 6-page digipack, highlighting scenes from the story, and featuring the stunning artwork of Chandra Calihan. To our knowledge, this is the first U. S. recording of this masterpiece that features a woman as the narrator. Joani's warm and sensitive revealing of this classic story, draws the child close, as if they were all sitting on the floor together, rather than stiffly plunked down in a concert hall with an imposing male narrator.
Prokofiev's delightful music sparkles with excitement. From the squabble between the bird and the duck as to which one is a real bird, to the angry snapping of the wolf as he tries to catch the bird, and the comic relief of the hunters, this tale has delighted children for almost sixty years. The engaging use of various orchestral instruments and themes for each character of the story is not only entertaining, but also enlightening to the workings of the symphonic orchestra.
Wolf Song, the second offering on this CD, consists of two movements. Winter in the Forest, and The Wolf Comes Back. Joani's narration interacts with Karl's original music to highlight the tenuous existence of the wolf in the United States over the past century. Then through the cascading ice and snow that the orchestra portrays, the unexpected callings of real wolves lead the listener into the optimism of the return of this most beleaguered creature.