Tune of the Day: Fossils
In this funny piece from Le Carnaval des Animaux, Saint-Saëns mimics his own composition, the Danse Macabre, which makes heavy use of the xylophone to evoke the image of skeletons playing card games, the bones clacking together to the beat. The musical themes from Danse Macabre are also quoted. Allusions to “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman” (better known in the English-speaking world as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”), the French nursery rhymes “Au Clair de la Lune” and “J'ai du bon tabac”, the popular anthem “Partant pour la Syrie” as well as the aria “Una voce poco fa” from Rossini's The Barber of Seville can also be heard. The musical joke in this movement is obviously that the musical pieces quoted are the fossils of his time.