Kids' Commute: The Carnival of the Animals

Jun 1, 2015

Hear "The Carnival of the Animals" this week on Kids' Commute!

It’s the final week of the school year! It’s become a tradition here on the Kids’ Commute to celebrate the last week of school with The Carnival of the Animals, by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. We’ll hear Leonard Bernstein conduct, and also describe every movement of the musical suite for us. Let’s jump right in!

The Carnival of the Animals was written in 1886. The piece is a sort of zoo, where Camille Saint-Saëns describes all sorts of different animals musically! 


Bernstein explains that music has lots of different uses in life. “There are pieces that lift your spirit, or interest your mind, or fill you with religious, or passionate, or dreamy, or triumphant feelings,” Bernstein says. “But some pieces are written only to amuse you, and one of them is this Carnival of the Animals.”

The Carnival of the Animals was written by Saint-Saëns as music for his friends to enjoy. But, it was also written to give young musicians something fun to play. So throughout the zoological romp this week, we’ll hear 7 young people performing alongside the string section of the New York Philharmonic.

To begin the week, we first hear from the roaring lion! Then, we hear from a flock of hens and roosters. Finally, we hear from some wild donkeys from Tibet...

Can you hear the roaring, cackling, and braying from our first three groups of animals?

Music piece for today:
First three animals from The Carnival of the Animals performed by the New York Philharmonic and conducted by Leonard Bernstein

Listen to the Kids’ Commute live on Classical IPR every weekday morning at 7:40am or listen to the archived episode at the top of the post.