'Carnival of the Animals': Inside Saint-Saens's children's classic | Classical MPRCamille Saint-Saens, the famous 19th-century French composer, was usually quite serious about his music. However, he proved he had a sense of humor when he wrote Carnival of the Animals. Saint-Saens was a teacher in a music school when he decided to play a joke on his students a musical joke, of course. A series of 13 musical vignettes was the result. The book Carnival of the Animals includes a full-length CD as well as a commentary. Barrie Carson Turner's commentary begins with a solid explanation of the orchestral instruments selected by Saint-Saens to represent the various animals including a couple of surprises in his carnival. Sue Williams's illustrations not only display each of the instruments but each of the animals as well, enabling a visual correlation with the music and text.
The Animal Carnival
Aug 24, years Buy. Aug 24, years. A great way to introduce children to classical music. Included is a CD of the music and of Jack Prelutsky reading the verses. A note to parents and teachers by Judith Bachleitner, head of the music department at the prestigious Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, suggests ways preschoolers can act out the music—tromp like an elephant, hop like a kangaroo, glide like a swan—or, for older children, be creatively inspired by this joyful work.
America's first Children's Poet Laureate has written all-new verses to accompany the composer Camille Saint-Saëns's The Carnival of the Animals.
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The work was written for private performance by an ad hoc ensemble of two pianos and other instruments, and lasts around 25 minutes. On 9 February he wrote to his publishers Durand in Paris that he was composing a work for the coming Shrove Tuesday , and confessing that he knew he should be working on his Third Symphony , but that this work was "such fun" " A second private performance was given on 2 April at the home of Pauline Viardot with an audience including Franz Liszt , a friend of the composer, who had expressed a wish to hear the work. He relented only for the famous cello solo The Swan , which forms the penultimate movement of the work, and which was published in in an arrangement by the composer for cello and solo piano the original uses two pianos. Normally a glockenspiel substitutes for the rare glass harmonica. Ever popular with music teachers and young children, it is often recorded in combination with Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf or Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.