Instrumentation: Large Chamber Ensemble (fl (d picc), cl - glock, xyl, str, solo pianos (2) in set)Following a disastrous concert tour of Germany in 1885-86, Saint-SaŽns withdrew to a small Austrian village, where he composed The Carnival of the Animals in February 1886. It is scored for two pianos, two violins, viola, cello, double bass, flute (and piccolo), clarinet (C and B?), glass harmonica, and xylophone. From the beginning, the composer regarded the work as a piece of fun. He wrote to his publishers Durand in Paris that he was composing a work for the coming Shrove Tuesday, and confessing that he knew he should be working on his Third Symphony, but that this work was "such fun" ("... mais c'est si amusant!"). He had apparently intended to write the work for his students at the …cole Niedermeyer, but it was first performed at a private concert given by the cellist Charles Lebouc on Shrove Tuesday, 9 March 1886.
|Instrument||Large Chamber Ensemble|