Saint-Saëns's zany zoological garden provides a perfect vehicle for Thomas Gaynor to explore the full range of the Auckland Town Hall organ's unique colours.
Performed by Thomas Gaynor at the organ of Auckland Town Hall
It's the piece that Camille Saint-Saëns refused to have published during his lifetime out of fear that it would ruin his reputation as a serious composer, but which is now one of his most-well-known and most loved works.
Originally written for small chamber orchestra, it contains 14 short movements – witty musical portraits of a variety of creatures: Lions, Chickens, Asses, Tortoises, Elephants, Kangaroos, Fish, Characters with long ears (a poke at a reviewer that Saint-Saëns didn’t like), Cuckoos, Birds (in general), Pianists, Fossils, and the most famous movement of them all portraying The Swan.
This transcription for organ was made by Thomas Gaynor himself.
Recorded in Auckland Town Hall, 19 August 2018
Producer, Engineer: Tim Dodd