Noël Coward

Carnival of the Animals

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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.