Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Carnival of the Animals

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) wrote his Grand Zoological Fantasy, The Carnival of the Animals, in 1886 and it was first performed at a Shrove Tuesday concert in that year with the composer as one of the performers. Subsequently, Saint-Saëns allowed it to be performed on only a few occasions and under special conditions. Later he forbade it to be performed at all but this restriction was lifted under a special provision in his will. The movements included by arranger Geoffrey Brand are “Introduction and Royal March of the Lions,” “The Elephant,” “The Cuckoo far off in the Wood,” “Fossils,” “The Swan,” and “Finale.” Accompanying each movement are humorous verses written by Ogden Nash in 1949. (Source: published score)