The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux) is a humorous musical suite of fourteen movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The flute takes the part of the bird, with a trilling tune that spans much of its range. The work was written in 1886 and features 14 movements in all, each reminding us of feathers and fur. Two pianos and cello: This is by far the most famous movement of the suite, often performed solo and is used to showcase the interpretive skills of the cellist. In the composition, Saint-Saëns parodies many famous composers, such as Offenbach (“Can-Can” from the operetta Orpheus in the Underworld), Berlioz (“Dance des Sylphes” from The Damnation of Faust), and even himself (Danse macabre). Saint-Saëns wrote the Carnival of the Animals as a distraction while composing his Symphony No. After the four scales, the key changes back to C, where the pianos play a trill-like pattern in thirds, in the style of Charles-Louis Hanon or Carl Czerny, while the strings play a small part underneath. The Elephant . The violins alternate playing high, loud notes and low, buzzing ones (in the manner of a donkey's braying "hee-haw"). The fourth movement is satirical and opens with a piano playing at a higher register, as the strings offer a slow rendition of the famed "Galop infernal." 1 in D minorViviane Hagner, Saint-Saëns, C.Samson and DelilahCindy Boote, Our dream: to make the world's treasury of classical music accessible for everyone. Camille Saint-Saëns was widely heralded as a teen prodigy, as he started exhibiting perfect pitch at a tender age of two. Saint-Saëns did, however, include a provision which allowed the suite to be published after his death. For Christopher Wheeldon's 2003 ballet to Saint-Saëns's music, see, A complete recording of all fourteen movements by pianists Neal and Nancy O'Doan and the, I "Introduction et marche royale du lion" (Introduction and Royal March of the Lion), III "Hémiones (animaux véloces)" (Wild Donkeys Swift Animals), VIII "Personnages à longues oreilles" (Characters with Long Ears), IX "Le Coucou au fond des bois" (The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods), "Les exécutants devront imiter le jeu d'un débutant et sa gaucherie.  It is scored for two pianos, two violins, viola, cello, double bass, flute (and piccolo), clarinet (C and B♭), glass harmonica, and xylophone. Two pianos: The main figure here is a pattern of 'hopping' fifths preceded by grace notes. The two themes were both originally written for high, lighter-toned instruments (flute and various other woodwinds, and violin, accordingly); the joke is that Saint-Saëns moves this to the lowest and heaviest-sounding instrument in the orchestra, the double bass. The French Romantic composer's bit of fun makes for an eclectic and imaginative lullaby. See the, The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour, American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, International Music Score Library Project, Wikipedia article "The_Carnival_of_the_Animals", In 1976, Warner Brothers produced a television special directed by, "The Grand Finale" - read by Arte Johnson, A surf-rock version of "Aquarium" covered by, "Aquarium" is featured in the trailers for the, Australian/British classical crossover string quartet. 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. 8 in B minor "Unfinished"Berliner Philharmoniker, Saint-Saëns, C.Violin and Piano Sonata No. Carnival has since become one of Saint-Saëns's best-known works, played by the original eleven instruments, or more often with the full string section of an orchestra. Although the melody is relatively simple, the supporting harmonies are ornamented in the style that is typical of Saint-Saëns' compositions for piano; dazzling scales, glissandi and trills. The musical joke in this movement is that the musical pieces quoted are the fossils of his time. The strings provide the melody, with the pianos occasionally taking low chromatic scales in octaves which suggest the roar of a lion, or high ostinatos. The pianos provide occasional ping and trills of other birds in the background. Although the melody is relatively simple, the supporting harmonies are ornamented in the style that is typical of Saint-Saëns' compositions for piano; dazzling scales, glissandi and trills. Strings without cello and double bass, two pianos, with clarinet: this movement is centered around a pecking theme played in the pianos and strings, which is quite reminiscent of chickens pecking at grain. The musical themes from Danse macabre are also quoted; the xylophone and the violin play much of the melody, alternating with the piano and clarinet.
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