MENAGERÍE

Composer: 

Year Authored (or revised): 

2001

Instrumentation : 

fl, sop, pf

Duration (min): 

12

Movements-Titles: 

1. L’Hippocampe
2. Le Léopard
3. Le Zèbre
4. La Sauterelle
5. Le Ver Luisant
6. La Fourmi

Text Source/Author: 

Robert Desnos- Chantefables pour les Enfants Sages

About the Texts-

Although virtually unknown in the United States, these poems for children are celebrated in France, regarded in much the same way as Mother Goose Rhymes are here. Almost all French schoolchildren are said to know La Fourmi.

While not all of the poems in this set portray their subjects with such fantastic traits as a giant, multilingual ant, they all imagine an intricate, singular, and frequently ironic – sometimes dramatic – existence. There is the heroic seahorse that no one has been able to ride or harness, the industrious grasshopper who rests only on Sundays, the fearful leopard who sings duets with the nightingale, the frolicking zebra who wears his own prison, the firefly that feeds on the moon as it sprinkles dreams on sleeping children. All, too, present the kind of contrasting moods and the occasional internal twist that make them very rich material as musical texts.

Audio: 

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