Saint-Saëns, Carnival of the Animals

SAINT-SAËNS, Camille, 1835-1921

Le carnaval des animaux. Fac-similé du manuscrit autographe / The Carnival of the Animals. Facsimile of the Autograph Manuscripts. Introduction Marie-Gabrielle Soret.

De Main de Maître, 2

Turnhout, 2018. Format: 30 x 36.6 cm, 192 pp (127 color); hardbound

Saint Saëns, Carnival of the Animals

click image to see the title page


Full-color facsimile of the autograph full score—“Stichvorlage”. The second volume of the series “De main de maître”, a facsimile collection devoted to orchestral scores of the most prestigious sources conserved in the Music Department of the Bibliothèque National de France.

If there is one work in all of Saint-Saëns’ musical output that supremely captures the disposition so typical of the composer, it is The Carnival of the Animals, completed in Feb. 1886, and created for friends and performers close to Saint-Saëns and performed about 15 times between 1886 and 1894 to a small audience. Because Saint-Saëns feared that his “zoological fantasy” would damage his reputation, the work was published in its entirety only after his death. Since then, its immense popularity has continued to grow, so much so that it is now enjoyed by music lovers and the general public alike.

Marie-Gabrielle Soret, a Saint-Saëns specialist, provides a detailed description of the work and the context of its creation, the facsimile includes the 14 numbers of The Carnival of the Animals. It reveals the composer’s handwriting, all the performance directions as he noted them, and the playful animal drawings with which he decorated his score—a fish for “Aquarium”, the skeleton of a dinosaur for “Fossiles”, and the pale blue pencil silhouette of a swan to illustrate the famous “Swan”. Commentary in Fr-Eng. Hardbound, with colorful dust jacket.  

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Saint-Saëns, Carneval of the Animals

Saint Saëns, Carnival of the Animals