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The Carnival of the Animals "Le carnaval des animaux"

Noel Coward & Andre Kostelanetz

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Album Review

This is a version of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns' wonderful suite "Le Carnaval des Animaux," played by Andre Kostelanetz & His Orchestra. The work, written in 1886, but not published until a year after Saint-Saëns' 1921 death, has had a set of silly two-line poems added to it by Ogden Nash that characteristically fracture the language for this English version, Carnival of the Animals, and they are even funnier coming out of the mouth of Noël Coward in an upper-class British accent. "If you think the elephant preposterous," he intones, "You've probably never seen a rhinos-terous." And so on. Classical music fans of the suite may frown, but children will love it.

Biography

Born: December 16, 1899 in Teddington, Middlesex, England

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

A multi-talented Renaissance man of the 20th century, Noël Coward worked primarily as a playwright, actor, songwriter, and singer, but his creative activities also included the writing of fiction and poetry; producing and directing for the stage, film, and television; and nightclub entertaining and recording. Across a career spanning six decades, he was remarkably successful at these various pursuits, moving from one to the other with seeming ease, even when he was wearing several different hats...
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