Kids' Commute: The Carnival of the Animals

Jun 5, 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! Saint-Saëns wrote the music for his friends to enjoy, but also 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.


Happy Friday, Kids’ Commuters! Today is the final Kids’ Commute of the school year…

The most famous part of The Carnival of the Animals is perhaps the swan. The lovely melody that represents the swan was originally written for the solo cello, but today we hear it performed on the double bass! It takes a special performance to make this low, and clumsy animal really make it sing! But young soloist Gary Karr does just that…

There are very few double bass players in the world who dare to play solos on their instruments- at least in public” says Leonard Bernstein. Have you ever heard a double bass recital?

Well, we have finally reached the end of our trip to the zoo. In a sort of finale, several of the animals we have already heard get together for one final musical can-can! You might recognize the lion, or maybe hear the hens and roosters clucking about.  

What is your favorite animal in The Carnival of Animals?

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