The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns is possibly among the most popular means of introducing young people to classical music and to the different instruments that make up an orchestra. The other is that wonderful symphonic fairy-tale for children, Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. At the end of May this year, the Grahamstown Music Society devoted the first half of their concert to a transcription by Werner Thomas-Mifune for cello and piano of The Carnival of the Animals. Parents were invited to bring their children and “nobody will take offence if they leave at interval!”
I cannot show you all of the animals, but will introduce you to a few – with a South African twist.
The Royal March of the Lion
Instead of hens and roosters you can see a Red-necked Spurfowl
Donkeys will stand in for the Wild Asses
I will have to skip the kangaroos and the aquarium, but a Zebra will step in for the Characters with Long Ears
Skip the cuckoo for now and come to an aviary
Of pianists I have no pictures, so perhaps some Bagpipers will do
The fossils will be represented by a skeleton
Alas, I have no swan so will show you a Yellow-billed Stork instead!