(text by Jack Prelutsky)
I. Introduction et marche royale du Lion (Introduction and Royal March of the Lion)
II. Poules et Coqs (Hens and Cocks)
III. Hémiones (animaux véloces) (Wild Asses)
IV. Tortues (Tortoises)
V. L’Éléphant (The Elephant)
VI. Kangourous (Kangaroos)
VIII. Personnages à longues oreilles (Personages with Long Ears)
IX. Le coucou au fond des bois (The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods)
X. Volière (Aviary)
XI. Pianistes (Pianists)
XII. Fossiles (Fossils)
XIII. Le Cygne (The Swan)
The Carnival of the Animals
And what is Saint-Saëns best remembered for today? The Carnival of the Animals, a piece written just for close friends in two days in 1886 which he would not allow to be published until after his death in 1921. Why? Because he feared that its lighthearted and humorous character would detract from his image as a serious composer. During his lifetime, he permitted it to be performed only in a private setting.
In 1950, the conductor Andre Kostelanetz came up with the inspired idea of adding verses to Saint-Saëns’s score, and the great American humorist Ogden Nash was his choice to be the poet. Each of Nash’s fourteen verses were designed to be read before Saint-Saëns’s corresponding movement.
In this concert, new verses by Jack Prelutsky will be used to supplement Saint-Saëns’ amusing music.
WRITTEN BY THE HONORABLE STEPHEN S. TROTT
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