The Carnival of the Animals is a “zoological musical fantasy” that was composed by Camille Saint-Saëns in 1886, then with the simple purpose of entertaining friends at carnival time. This explains the amusing tone with which kangaroos, chickens, fossils… pianists… are musically portrayed!
In fact, it is a satire on the musical milieu of the time. The tortoises slowly dance the slowest cancan in living memory, in an undisguised reference to Offenbach and his operettas. The elephants, on the other hand, do it to the sound of a (very) adulterated Minuet by Berlioz. Such is the mocking disposition that the composer never allowed its public performance. Posthumously, it became his most popular composition. In this programme a transcription for wind quintet is performed, similar to the twelve pieces by Georges Bizet inspired by children’s play.
The Carnival of the Animals
G. Bizet Children’s Games (transc. by G. Davies)
C. Saint-Saëns The Carnival of the Animals (transc. by D. Bussik)
Nuno Inácio flute, narration and commentary
Carla Pereira oboe
Jorge Camacho clarinet
Rafaela Oliveira bassoon
Jérôme Arnouf horn