Carnival of the Animals

Carnival of the Animals

by John Morris Russell

CD

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Overview

Carnival of the Animals

This CD of animal-themed light music from the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is full of surprises, and John Morris Russell's program presents some familiar music in new arrangements, along with several character pieces that aren't heard every day. Perhaps the most controversial offering is Russell's re-orchestration of Camille Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals," in which the pianists -- and the piece called Pianists -- are eliminated, as is the movement Tortoises; parts are reassigned to different instruments; and recorded animal sounds are placed before each of the sections, Hens and Roosters, Elephants, Donkeys, Aviary, and the Grand Finale, as well as elsewhere in the program. This might be effective or amusing in concert, but on CD the canned animal sounds seem like an obvious gimmick that adds little for what was lost. The album is more successful for the remainder, because the short pieces are engaging and fun, and such crowd-pleasers as Percy Grainger's "Shepherd's Hey!," Leonard Bernstein's Turkey Trot, Johann Strauss' "Nightingale Polka," and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" are great fun. Somewhat less known but equally entertaining are Anatole Liadov's The Mosquito, Ottorino Respighi's The Cuckoo, and Edward Elgar's The Wild Bears, which take the program off the well-worn path. Taken together, these pieces will appeal to parents and children, and whatever one feels about the arrangement of "Carnival of the Animals," this is largely a successful album.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/11/2014
Label: Fanfare Cincinnati
UPC: 0870362000044
catalogNumber: 4
Rank: 167073

Tracks

  1. Growl! (Growling bear sound effect)
  2. Off the Clock (Cuckoo clock sound effect)
  3. A Little Night Music (Bird call sound effect)
  4. Waiting for Wings Overture, for orchestra
  5. Baah-Baah Bacchanale (Sheep sound effect)

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