Finale from carnival of
Arr. for Woodwind Choir (2018)
Original by Camille Saint-Saëns
the animals (1886)
Written in 1886, Le Carnaval des Animaux (Carnival of the Animals) is a series of fourteen programmatic vignettes by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Originally for two pianos and an eclectic series of other instruments (strings, flute, clarinet, glass harmonica, and xylophone), the composition was intended as a work of fun. Saint-Saëns seeks to musically represent hens, donkeys, kangaroos, songbirds, swans, dinosaurs, and humorously, pianists throughout the composition before bringing as many themes as possible back for a reprise in the finale. This woodwind choir arrangement is a work of extreme difficulty, with flutes taking over the piano glissandi from the original piece, and the saxophone family working as a whole unit through passages of sixteenth notes that explore the entire range of their instruments (with some help from the piccolo). Though sure to be a time-consuming piece to rehearse, this arrangement is guaranteed to act as an incredibly high-energy addition to any concert, channeling the same sense of fun imagined by Saint-Saëns in the 19th century to players and audience members alike.