Carnival of the Animals

By Kay Gardiner
November 10, 2018

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  • Wonderful! Just listened while knitting a swatch.

  • Don’t ask how I dug this out of the back reaches of my cranium, but you joggled loose the Esso Trinidad Steel Band, my introduction to Saint-Saens and his Aquarium back in my college days:

  • This wonderful. Thanks for sharing

  • How do humans make such beauty? You knit, you write, you are already part of that mystery. As Rumi said, “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

  • I love this music! I also love your posts about College Boy! I had a very musical College Girl a few short years ago and I loved her sharing so much of what she was learning with me. She is now a doctoral student in musicology at a college far away from me and the opportunities for sharing are much less. As proud and excited as I am for her future, I miss those times and the opportunities for learning that they brought me! Isn’t it wonderful when our children teach us? Enjoy these years with College Boy–they sure are special!

  • I have listened to the classical music for over an hour and love it. Thanks bunches. I may knit most of the day to it.

  • I’m really looking forward to your presentation in Knit Stars 3.0, and hope it includes things like this….how to listen to music/podcasts/movies…while you knit. I’m so curious how you manage being a “professional knitter.” Retirement is looming for me and the thought of having endless time to knit is so delicious, yet scary as well. How can I possibly justify just knitting for hours on end? Won’t my brain go to mush? Obviously yours has not and I wonder if that “multi-tasking” is part of it. Can’t wait for the program!

    • My knitting teacher is retired and she makes things for the shelters, and she belongs to a coop and sells the most delightful children’s knit items (quicker to knit). Part of that is her fun trips in search of unusual buttons for child size cardigans. I have 10 years to go, and she is setting a goid ecample

    • Dana,

      You make me smile because I’m more of a professional typist than knitter, but I’m going to carry both of those skills with me into the retirement zone at some point. There are just not a lot of hours in the day, even if you don’t have the job anymore. I am still waiting to do all that closet-cleaning I thought I’d do once I “had the time.”

  • Oh so happy that other people love “Carnival of the Animals” too, including your young ‘un!! I have always felt sad that Saint-Saens was embarrassed by it..and p.s. today is Morricone’s 90th birthday! (Learn lits listening to KDFC, and they stream, fyi )

  • My high school orchestra played the Carnival of Animals (though not the Birds section – none of us flute players had the chops for it!), and the themes and melodies are still with me. The silly English narration still amuses me too: “Camille St-Saens was racked with pains/When people pronounced his name Saint-Sains”.

    • That’s so funny about the flutes! Your teacher was a pragmatist, I love it. “We are not going to not play this just because the flutes are not up to it!” I hope you had a good cellist!

      • We had a lovely cellist, so the music was well served there. And the flute section was up to the rest of the score, just not equal to the high-speed phrases in parts of the Aviary section (which I misremembered as simply the Birds). I doubled on piccolo, though, so I got the show-off bit in the Finale. Happy memories!

  • I went to a summer camp in Maine where we had live classical music twice a week. (The camp director played piano, and two counsellors were hired to play violin and cello; we heard that trio practicing all day while we swam or made lanyards with gymp.) “The Carnival of the Animals” (arranged for string trio) was always a favorite — that music is SO evocative for me!

  • Thanks for sharing this absolutely enchanting music!!! I could imagine myself playing one if the pianos!

  • I listened to the Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic version incessantly as a kid to the extent that I have his conductor patter almost entirely memorized. I had a tape with their “Peter and the Wolf” on one side and “Carnival of the Animals” on the other.

    I was overjoyed to find it on Apple Music relatively recently and listened to it on repeat at work that day.

    • I, too, listened to that version (with Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” on side B) incessantly as a child. It still brings back such memories!

  • I can’t play very well anything by Saint Saens as my sight reading skills have lessened at the piano…..but, I spent 11 years studying as best I could and loved most every minute; @@,./’;,./’;……wearing out several bench pads as well, oh, yes!! So now I can knit or crochet and listen in on the public radio airways to catch classical, romantic, blues works; Yeah!!

    Many thanks for all the good goop you offer up on the MDK site.

  • Wow, this brought back memories. When I took classical ballet as a child, our teacher decided to do our recital to this music. My class got to be the fish (I think I was in fourth grade at the time). My mom sewed my fish costume, complaining all the while about the complicated sewing patterns our teacher found for us. But I loved my fish costume (fins, netting for effect,and all!) and the music we danced to on the stage.

  • It is Ennio Morrocone’s 90th birthday! Cinema Paradiso, so beautiful. But so is Carnival of the Animals.

  • The Yo-Yo Ma playing Ennio Morricone is so beautiful – that kind of beautiful that can make you cry if you’re not careful (and I’m, apparently, not). Thanks!

  • How I adore Yo-yo Ma and this album. I have had a penchant for cello music of late and have always loved him but this album is on high rotation a the moment.

    I will play the Carnival of the Animals when I get home later and will definitely dig out the movie.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • But did the movie hold up?
    When Days of Heaven came out I had just landed what I thought was the best gig ever: working at a decrepit art film theater , watching unlimited movies and eating all the popcorn with unlimited Tab (good student meal substitute.) But now I need to listen to that music . Thank you for this ! Xox

    • My dream job as well. That movie still takes my breath away, partly because the setting is so like my grandmother’s childhood home—Addams Family house plopped down on the Texas prairie and occupied by her (to all accounts) rather wild family. And those scenes of the fire and the locusts (crickets?) are unforgettable. Malick is from my hometown, and I remember invasions of crickets that covered the ground. Each step you took was crunch…crunch…

  • That lissome of the sound track of another wonderful movie ” The Mission”

  • Thank you for sharing the music links. Have always enjoyed listening to The Mission soundtrack. Now add Yo-Yo Ma to Morricone…really beautiful.

  • I particularly liked the elephants. Oh, that contrabassoon!

  • In high school, I danced in our end of year performance (ballet), and we did the Carnival of the Animals. I was a personage with long ears (aka Jackass). My first time on pointe. My bleeding blisters had blisters, and my ballet mistress said, “Suzie, be thankful you have only ten toes.” She was Hungarian and very strict. Her husband, our French and Latin teacher, had been a criminal lawyer in Hungary, but in the US was a language professor at a girl’s prep school.

  • It’s amazing how often Saint-Saens music is used! I remember watching the movie Babe (you know, the sheep-herding pig) with my father. When the farmer started singing to Babe, my dad said that the music was Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony. And so it was! (another funny anecdote, when I told a friend this, she said she thought the music was from a Cat Stevens song.)

  • When I was an exchange student in Australia, my host school orchestra (I played flute) did a performance of selections from Carnival of the Animals that had a spoken part to accompany the pieces; I spent a lot of time trying to find a recording of that version of the music, and struck out each time. I was surprised to discover there are multiple scripts to go with the music–and that they weren’t original to the piece. I LOVE the swan!!

  • Aquarium has always been one of my favorites.

    U might enjoy the
    Immortal Beloved movie
    filled with Beethoven
    the Impromptu movie.
    Ahhhh, Chopin.