Talk:The Carnival of the Animals

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People with Long Ears[edit]

My CD cover says that the "People with Long Ears" were actually meant to be critics. Can anybody check this information? --Pt 22:22, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hey, I looked up your question regarding Saint Saens's The Carnival of the Animals. It seems like "People with Long Ears" may have been referring to donkeys, though some sources do think that he was making a political statement. No one knows for sure... Flcelloguy 18:51, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

The violins are going "hee-haw" from the outset. The French Wikipedia article is written with a wit forbidden in English Wikipedia. Note how there isn't a whiff of an idea in this article that these are jeux d'esprit— even, I suspect, in the swooping lyricism of The Swan. --Wetman 02:56, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Reference for the identification of 'Persons with Long Ears' as critics here [1]. I thought this was so well-known as to be incontrovertible: otherwise, why did CS-S not just call the movement 'asses'? Garrick92 10:48, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Adding reference to music critics as donkeys - there are articles from the 1930s onwards in music magazines that make the comparison--Larrybob (talk) 15:03, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Dances des sylphes[edit]

I'm doubtful of the claim that L'Éléphant is derived from Hector Berlioz's Dances des sylphes, for two reasons:

  1. It is called "Ballet des sylphes", not "Dances des sylphes."
  2. Ballet des sylphes doesn't sound much like L'Éléphant to me. -- 08:50, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
The ballet of the sylphs is indeed quoted in "L'Éléphant," though it is not the opening theme. Kostaki mou (talk) 23:52, 31 May 2011 (UTC)


Can anyone confirm that the theme of Aquarium is also heard in the soundtrack to The Usual Suspects? Specifically the track entitled "The Greatest Trick" by john Ottman. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

The Aquarium also seems to be a theme within Amon Tobin's track "Back from Space" on the Out from Out Where album, but I cannot find any reputable sources to cite (which prevents me from adding this tidbit into the Popular Culture section). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 18 April 2011 (UTC)


User: has just added a long section headed 'Satire' claiming that the movements "in fact" satirise various people and institutions. No citations are given, so I propose to delete this section unless the material is justified very soon. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 22:12, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

It's not OR, so far as I know, as I'm pretty sure I've read it before. I'll check my various linar notes to see what turns up. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 22:25, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I've removed it. That editor had posted a chunk of OR at Robin Hood, thought I should check on what else they wrote. The one strong claim made - that Saint Saens himself said that the swan was about Pavlova - couldn't possibly be true, since the piece was written 5 years before Pavlova went to ballet school. Clearly that piece was identified with her later, but the assertion that it was written as a caricature of her is ludicrous. It may well be true that the piece was intended to caricatures other people; but we need something better researched than this. Bazzargh (talk) 12:47, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, my searchings didn't turn up anything like the paragraph was saying. I could have sworn I've read SOMETHING -- I do know the "Wild Asses" movement is supposedly referring to critics as asses, and the "Pianists" movement is pretty obvious in what it's doing. Beyond that, no idea. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:32, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

At this point, the article has an entirely different 'Satire' section, one about parody versions. Before my edit, it was pretty high up in the article, before the original piece has been entirely explained. Therefore, I moved the Satire section down the article. It could perhaps come before the Popular Culture section, but I put it after.--Larrybob (talk) 15:03, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


If anyone trusts me, a magazine recently published an article on Saint-Saens' work. It says that the pianistes are stuck in a cage practicing scales.User:Deathgleaner 03:47, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Substituted non-disruptive version of user signature above. Franamax (talk) 23:26, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

This music is spread around the world by kids who hear many things from thier teachers or just by looking this up online. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Rewrote history[edit]

I rewrote the whole history section, incorporating as much as possible of what was there, adding references etc.

I removed: the "hendectet" bit as unhelpful and inaccurate. I doubt the word has ever been applied to this work; anyway it "should" be undectet, since the series (sept- oct- non- dec-) is Latin not Greek.

The first performance is given as 26 February by at least two US sources (the one cited, and a CD blurb I have here). European sources seem consistent on 25 Feb, but sources in French often say there were performances on both 25 and 26. (Sat and Sun). Perhaps this was misunderstood, or perhaps it's a timezone conversion problem...

I also rewrote the lede (is that really a word?) and emphasised the comical nature of the work. I have one recording (Previn conducting) in which the pianists disobey the editors' strict note and play their scales like experts. Thank goodness for the performance by "Argerich and friends" which is hilarious.

I added one reference to the thematic catalog found on Google books. I'm not sure of the proper way to show that this supports almost all of the information in this section.

Imaginatorium (talk) 18:48, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Mystery: *Where* was the first (private) performance given? Sources don't give any explicit place, but one assumes it was somewhere in Paris, since (presumably!) that's where these people, Saint-Saëns, Lebouc, etc lived. But Japanese wikipedia, and the entire Japanese web is near unanimous that the first performance was in Ōsutoria no Kurudimu (オーストリアのクルディム), i.e. somewhere in "Austria" whose name transliterates to Kurudimu. Given that this was an annual Shrove Tuesday concert given by Lebouc it is hard to believe they all got in a carriage and went to Austria for the performance, but could this be the name of the "village" where S-S wrote the piece? The only occurrence (in Japanese) of this name I could find that is unconnected with Carnival is in the Battle of Chotusitz, where the WP:en article is no help, but Czech and German versions mention [Chrudim], a town in Bohemia. Not quite a "village in Austria", but why this coy description? (S-S does seem to have had a penchant for wandering off to get away from things and people...) To be honest I think this is all likely to be a red herring, but perhaps someone better at Prussian-Austrian history can investigate...

Imaginatorium (talk) 05:43, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

The melody is a quote of Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Little Swans from Swan Lake.[edit]

Is it? The outline is similar, but Tchaikovsky's tune is in minor, this is in major and there are other differences. What's your authority for saying this? Kostaki mou (talk) 21:29, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I removed this claim entirely. It is certainly not a quotation, and not even really similar. The S-S is in march rhythm (dum-dum-dum-dum), while Tsch has (hmm-cha-cha-cha), with the first beat not present in the melodic line; the remainder of the rhythm is different. The harmonic progression is different, and the only melodic similarity is really a repeated note ending in a turn. Imaginatorium (talk) 17:22, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Translations of titles (etc)[edit]

The titles were given the translations in the Dover reprint, several of which seemed odd to me. I replaced them with the titles used in the IMSLP page [2], so I cannot be accused of personal whatsit. For example, the cuckoo being in the "deep woods" strikes me as a mistranslation. I also replaced the bit about Pianists: the editors' note is in the original edition in French, and this seems preferable to Dover's version (where did 'hesitant' come from??) Imaginatorium (talk) 17:27, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Choice of Link---language[edit]

The page references Charles Turban (simply as "Turban")and there is no article on Turban in English, so the link goes to a Wikipedia article in another language. That's fine. What I found odd was the link goes to a page in Catalan. It seems to me that since Turban was French, the Wikipedia page about Turban in French would be the logical choice.

EinkomischerKauz (talk) 22:42, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

The French article was only created in March this year, so (presumably) didn't exist when that link was added. As it's longer than the Catalan version it seems a good idea to use it instead. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 10:27, 26 May 2021 (UTC)