Tag Archives: Camille Saint-Saëns

🎻♫♪ – The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
Progress:
 30/501Title: The Carnival of the Animals
Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns
Nationality: French
Year:
 1886

I needed this album. All the music that I have listened to for this classical list is so serious or pious that it is easy to forget that there were composers out there who were having a bit of fun with the art form. This is why I was so keen on listening to The Carnival of the Animals – a series of short pieces that take cues from different animals. Seriously, this is the antidote to yet another choral piece.

When listening to The Carnival of the Animals it helps to have the track list to hand to find out which animal you are meant to be listening to. Some of the pieces, such as the ‘Kangaroos’ and the ‘Aviary’, are pretty obvious whilst others, like the ‘Elephant’ and the ‘Fossils’, need a bit of helpful clarification.

Speaking of ‘Fossils’, it’s criminal that Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre doesn’t feature on the list. Therefore the small rendition of this piece within ‘Fossils’, which happens just before a short rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, is as close as I’ll get to that on this list.

Getting slightly back on track, it always makes me happy when, for this list, I am able to find a context to classical pieces I know from osmosis. Within The Carnival of the Animals there are two of these which now have homes in my internal Rolodex. The first is ‘Swan’, which I am not sure how I know it but there was a glimmer of recognition when I heard it; the other is ‘Aquarium’ whose beautiful cascades have brought me joy on many occasions and I am thrilled to know its origins.

I know that I am going to have to go back to something a bit more serious for the next classical piece (and probably all the others to follow), but it was nice to take a bit of a sojourn amongst the animals of the carnival.

 

🎻♫♪ – Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saëns

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
Progress:
 23/501Title: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns
Nationality: French
Year:
 1863

It’s been about a year since I saw Your Lie In April and yet it’s reach has yet to diminish. I believe that with this piece I am done with all the music from this series. In terms of the show Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso isn’t as iconic as Chopin’s Etudes or the Kreutzer but few pieces could match their use in the show.

Still the point where we transition from the introduction and into the main body of the piece just has so much energy that it fits Kaori’s character so well. For me, that is an instant win. Another instant win: that this is a duet between piano and violin with the violin at front and centre.

To use a term from the gay sphere (because I am currently watching Season 5 of Drag Race and it’s encroaching on my brain) this violin in Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is fierce. It is strong-willed, independent and, at times, cold. It draws you in and commands you to love it, which I do.

Whilst it lacks the urgency of other pieces there is something aloof about it. I can appreciate that in a piece of classical music.