Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Camille Saint-Saëns: The Carnival of the Animals

for 2 or 4 Piano Soloists and Symphony Orchestra

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) composed his popular work Le carnaval des animaux in 1886 for a private concert. He would not allow publication of the work until after his death, other than the cello solo ‘The Swan’. This was perhaps partly to protect his image as a serious composer, but also because of the numerous quotes of contemporary composers, poking fun at their music. The original piece was for a chamber group of eleven players. This arrangement is for a full scale symphony orchestra, with optional enlarged piano parts for two extra soloists. To allow a continuous flow between the movements, there are newly composed short linking passages, based on the existing material by Saint-Saëns.



Royal March of the Lion

Wild Asses





The Swan


Instrumentation: 2 pianos (2 or 4 soloists), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, strings

Performed on 15th July 2018 at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, BBC Concert Orchestra, Andrew Gourlay (conductor). Piano soloists: Martin James Bartlett, Freddy Kempf, Lara Melda, Lauren Zhang.

Listen to a performance of this arrangement here.

Watch a performance here: