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The Carnival of the Animals App | About the Composer and the Work
Companion Titles | More Exciting Mobile Apps for Children

Welcome to The Carnival of the Animals! This ever-popular musical work by Camille Saint-Saëns is now enhanced with words and animation in a new and thoroughly entertaining app. The carnival has never been so alive!

Is the Elephant happy with his trunk? Do Kangaroos like school? What about the poor old tortoise – does he ever get out and have fun?

With Naxos’s excellent recording of the music, this app presents brand new verses and animated illustrations. Tap the pictures – they’re full of surprises…


About The Carnival of the Animals

The French composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) was prolific and lived a long time, although by the time of his death in 1921 music had changed beyond anything he could have conceived. He was a gifted pianist and, in common with many other well known French composers, found employment and distinction as organist at one of the principal churches in Paris. The popular Carnival of the Animals, described as A Zoological Fantasy, was written in 1886, originally for two pianos and a small chamber orchestra to celebrate that year’s carnival. The composer forbade further performances of this occasional music, except for The Swan, which enjoyed immediate and irresistible popularity.

The pianos open the work in a brief introduction that seems to suggest the roar of the lions, before the Royal March begins, with its suggestions of the exotic in its theme. Cocks and Hens are as true to nature as the composer can make them, followed by Wild Asses of unexpected rapidity of motion, in contrast to the lumbering Tortoise, who offers a can-can at the slowest possible speed, putting a foot wrong here and there. The Elephants are naturally represented by the double bass in an episode that includes a direct quotation of the highly inappropriate Ballet of the Sylphs by Berlioz. The pianos alone then imitate the capricious leaps of the Kangaroos, to be followed by an evocation of the Aquarium. People with Long Ears, critics, are portrayed by piercing whistles and the braying of donkeys, while pianos and clarinet bring in the Cuckoo, followed by the rest of the Birds, with the help of the flute. Pianists, creatures not usually found in zoos, practice their scales, heavily accented, and are followed by Fossils, with tunes of undoubted antiquity and interesting activity for the xylophone. The Swan sings its dying song on the cello, reminding us now of the dance devised by Fokin for the great Anna Pavlova. The fantasy ends with a summary of much that has gone before.

More about Camille Saint-Saëns

Also Available

PROKOFIEV, S.: Peter and the Wolf
SAINT-SAENS, C.: Carnival of the Animals
BRITTEN, B.: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Slovak Radio Symphony, Lenard
Naxos 8.550499

SAINT-SAENS, C.: Carnival of the Animals
RAVEL, M.: Mother Goose
DUKAS, P.: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Johnny Morris, narrator
Slovak Radio Symphony, Lenard, Jean
Naxos 8.554463

The third opera of the cycle, Siegfried, deals with the life of the young hero, his release from the evil dwarf Mime, who has nurtured him for his own ends, his killing of the dragon Fafner, and his braving of the surrounding flames to wake the Valkyrie Brünnhilde from her enchanted sleep. “Lothar Zagrosek’s shaping of the score is unerringly vivid.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2004.

A MUSICAL JOURNEY – FRANCE: A Musical Visit to Provence and a Carnival of Animals
Music by Bizet and Saint-Saëns
Naxos 2.110311

The places visited include Arles, with its Roman arena, the mill made famous by Alphonse Daudet in his Lettres de mon Moulin and the celebrations of the guardians of the Camargue, with its wild horses. Accompanying the Zoological Fantasy of Saint Saëns are scenes from zoos, the nature reserve at Sigean, near Narbonne, and the Swiss children’s zoo at Rapperswil.

Other exciting mobile apps

My First Orchestra App My First Classical Music App

Little Beethoven App Little Mozart App

Little Classical Music App

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