Wolf Tracks Released


CONTACT: Amanda Sweet
Tel (718) 768-6170

CD Release Date: September 23, 2003
PENTATONE CLASSICS 5186.011(SACD) and 5186.012(CD)
Distributed by Telarc
Russian National Orchestra
Kent Nagano, Conductor

Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Peter and the Wolf
Narrator: Sophia Loren
Jean-Pascal BEINTUS (b. 1966)
Wolf Tracks
Narrator: Bill Clinton
Prologue, Intermezzo, Epilogue: Mikhail Gorbachev


[September 1, 2003] -- Screen legend Sophia Loren and former presidents Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev are narrators on the latest CD from the Russian National Orchestra (RNO). The PentaTone Classics release features Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and a new composition, Wolf Tracks by Jean-Pascal Beintus. The project was conceived by the RNO and developed under the artistic direction of Kent Nagano, who also conducts on the recording.

Nagano joined the RNO's prestigious Conductor Collegium in 2000 and this CD is the first of several recordings that are part of their collaboration. Said Nagano, "The entire project team was extraordinary, tied together by the rare combination of creative vision and inspired artistry."

The RNO commissioned French composer Jean-Pascal Beintus to write the score of Wolf Tracks and selected award winning American broadcast writer Walt Kraemer to create the accompanying text. "This is a truly international endeavor and a model of cooperation also relevant to wildlife preservation, a complex issue that transcends national boundaries," stated RNO chief executive Sergei Markov.

Wolf Tracks, narrated by Bill Clinton, engagingly delivers its modern environmental message to cherish and protect natural resources. Said Mikhail Gorbachev, "In Prokofiev's classic, man dominates, but Wolf Tracks expresses quite different values of balance and tolerance. All of us hope for a future where these values are lived every day."

Gorbachev sets the stage for both pieces in a Prologue, Intermezzo and Epilogue. Sophia Loren narrates Peter and the Wolf and of her involvement she said, "I first heard the RNO some years ago and welcomed the opportunity to collaborate artistically with this remarkable orchestra. It has been such a pleasure."

All three narrators have designated charities to receive their royalties. "I am very pleased to be part of this project," said President Clinton, "and I support the Russian National Orchestra's decision to use the CD to raise money for charitable causes, including the International Aids Trust (IAT), which works to mobilize leadership and resources for the global fight against HIV/AIDS. As the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of IAT, I'm glad that this very worthy organization will receive my royalties, and we all look forward to the day when HIV/AIDS is history, instead of a threat to our future."

Loren has chosen the Magic of Music, an arts therapy program sponsored by the RNO. "The Magic of Music reaches out to children in Moscow's orphanages and residential homes for the disabled, bringing them artists and art teachers, musicians and music," said Loren. "Special children like these truly capture my heart and I am grateful for the chance to touch their lives." The art on the CD's cover and booklet was selected from the program's annual How I See Music exhibition in Moscow.

Green Cross International, which Gorbachev founded in 1993, will benefit from his participation in this project. He said, "Green Cross International is an organization that aims to foster and sustain harmony between mankind and the environment. I am donating my royalties in support of its mission and programs worldwide."

Proceeds from the CD's sales will also be shared with the New York-based Wolf Conservation Center.

Unique among the principal Russian ensembles, the RNO is independent of the government and has built its own path-breaking structure. It is perhaps the only orchestra in the world to establish a Conductor Collegium, a group of renowned conductors who have a special rapport with the RNO and its musicians, and who help guide recording and tour strategies. Wolf Tracks is one example of an active commissioning program that, by design, encompasses worldwide collaborations. Detailed information on the RNO's artist and orchestra partnerships, as well as its discography and tour schedules, can be found at www.rno.ru.

PentaTone specializes in surround sound recordings using Super Audio CD technology. This recording will be released simultaneously on hybrid Super Audio CD (which can be played on standard players), as well as on regular CD. Additional background and the original texts of Peter and the Wolf and Wolf Tracks are available on the PentaTone Classics website. Telarc distributes the CD in the US.

Main Wolf Tracks page

What They’re Saying

"[The] American-Russian Festival Orchestra, featuring distinguished players from the Russian National Orchestra and a number of prominent American orchestras...[conveys] a vital message to our participants and observers, that by working together we can share our musical and historical cultures and increase our understanding of one another."

Athena T. Blackburn

Founding board member, Festival Napa Valley