Carnival of the Animals
Music by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra 
Sample This Album
Carnival of the Animals
Includes activity booklet
Includes activity booklet PDF
"Elephants are useful friends, They come with handles at both ends..."​
About Carnival of the Animals

The Story: American poet Ogden Nash was invited to write a series of humorous animal poems to go with Saint-Saëns' musical composition. ​

Lions roar, elephants dance, roosters whistle, and fossils clatter in this brilliant, new child-friendly recording of Carnival of the Animals. (Many people know this music from Disney's movie ​Fantasia 2000.) Conductor Stephen Simon with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Young Concert Artists' winners, pianists Donna Kwong and Wendy Chen give this recording a wonderful, youthful interpretation.

The Extras: The activity booklet includes a biography on Camille Saint-Saëns and sheet music and lyrics for the "Au Clair de la Lune" sing-along. The booklet also contains the complete Ogden Nash versus illustrated by Anne Wildsorf so that you can follow along with the music.

After listening, download the free ​Carnival of the Animals curriculum guide with unit studies in math, science, history, and more! Use them with the music to create your own Carnival of the Animals activities & homeschool lessons and print out these Au Clair de la Lune sheet music duets for students. 

Recommended for ages 3+ and families

Listening Guide

In the Royal March of the Lion, the strings and pianos create a stately march, and the pianos do a low roll, evoking the sounds of a lion roaring   

The strings and piano portray the pecking of Hens and Roosters 

Two pianos portray the Wild Donkeys running

You might recognize the song Saint-Saëns satirically uses in the Tortoises movement, played by the strings and piano

The double bass portrays The Elephant in this heavy-footed  theme

Two pianists hop along the keyboard, evoking the sounds of hopping Kangaroos

Strings, piano, and flute create the peaceful, floating sounds of an Aquarium

The violins create the high and low sounds of a donkey in Characters with Long Ears

The Cuckoo is portrayed by a two note repeating pattern in the clarinet, while two pianos play soft chords in the background

The flute portrays the bird in the Aviary movement while the strings and piano create the sounds of nature in the background

Two pianists practice their scales in the Pianists, with loud chords aided by the strings when modulating from one key to another

The Fossils theme is played by the xylophone, along with strings, two pianos, and clarinet

The Swan melody is played by the cello with piano accompaniment