Le Carnaval des Animaux: Aqarium
Go under the sea with this evocative setting of Saint-Saens’ masterwork! Carnival of the Animals was composed by Saint-Saens in 1886, and he originally scored it for two pianos, strings, flute and piccolo, clarinet, glass harmonica, and xylophone. Cellist Charles Lebouc staged the first performance at a private concert on March 9, 1886. Saint-Saens was insistent that the work not be published in his lifetime for fear that it would mar his reputation as a composer of serious music. He later allowed publication of The Swan, the next-to-last movement, for cello with piano accompaniment. After his death, the firm of Durand in Paris published the entire work, which remains popular today. This "Aquarium" arrangement includes a soft dynamic level, slower tempo, and chromaticism to reflect the mystery of the aquatic life. 39 measures.