program notes by composition > C > The Carnival of the Animals

The Carnival of the Animals

Camille Saint-Saëns / arr. Geoffrey Brand

The Carnival of the Animals , subtitled “Grand Zoological Fantasy,” is a humorous musical suite by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921). It was written in 1866 for a small ensemble and was published posthumously. Tonight’s six movements from among the original fourteen are “Introduction and Royal March of the Lion,” “The Elephant,” “The Cuckoo Far Off in the Woods,” “Fossils, “The Swan,” and “Finale.” Saint-Saëns was a musical prodigy. He was church organist at La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire, then became a successful freelance pianist and composer.

Last updated on May 8, 2019 by Palatine Concert Band