In theory at least, the great shutdown has given us all a windfall of time — you know, all those extra hours that can be used for things you’ve always meant to do. It’s also prompted no shortage of rousing journalistic calls to action: Learn a foreign language! Organize that book collection! Channel your inner Gordon Ramsay! Well, in that same spirit, how about using this time to introduce the little people in your house to classical music?
That’s what folks at both the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra are aiming to assist with in a fresh crop of online content. Benjamin Zander’s Youth Orchestra has posted its March 12 performance of “Petrushka” complete with kid-friendly subtitles explaining the action. And the Toronto musicians, whose “Appalachian Spring” was among the first virtual “ensemble” performances mixed from isolated recordings of solo parts, have now returned Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Only in this telling, it’s “Penelope and the Wolf,” with a few other Zoom-inflected twists that reshape the story for a quarantine moment Peter never could have dreamed of.
Click here to watch the performance of Petrushka.