Kuckuck trifft Känguru, © Rolf Giger
© Rolf Giger

In the heart of the action

Klosters Music presents a family concert for the first time in the old school building – the “Carnival of the Animals”. 

Camille Saint-Saëns composed the “Carnival of the Animals” with a house concert in mind. The “great zoological fantasy”, as he humorously called this work for instrumental ensemble and two pianos, which premiered in Paris on 9 March 1886, was, in his eyes, too popular for an established classical concert audience. Saint-Saëns was afraid this could lose him his reputation as a serious composer. But there are reasons why this witty, humorous, accessible composition became his best-known ever. Klosters Music deliberately chose the work, which lasts about an hour and is divided into fourteen individual numbers, for its first family concert. “We also want to inspire children and young people with classical music. The ‘Carnival of the Animals’ with its great music and funny story outline is ideal for this. And adults will really enjoy this concert too,” says Franziska von Arb, general manager of Klosters Music. It also fits in perfectly with the festival motto ‘Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes’.

The range of musically characterised animals varies from clucking chickens to the swan serenely gliding along, from hopping kangaroos to elephants dancing lethargically. There will even be a whole family of warthogs In the story outline, which will be recited by the Graubünden-based actor Nikolaus Schmid. The Georgian Piano Duo Beraia has been enlisted for the virtuosic piano part. The eight-member instrumental ensemble will be provided by the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Graubünden. “The orchestra has a lot of experience in music education, and family concerts have a firm place in its programme. The ensemble is not afraid of close contact. ‘The music of the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Graubünden is heard in the city and in the countryside, on village squares, in churches and dance halls, for young and old’ – writes the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Graubünden about itself – in order to make the music accessible to as many people as possible,” says von Arb.

The Old Schoolhouse in Klosters has provided the festival with an ideal space for this concert that creates great proximity between the artists and the audience. “In addition to the rows of chairs, we will lay out gymnastic mats at the very front of the stage and set up gymnastic benches to allow children to listen in a relaxed environment. It’s all happening at this concert,” promises the general manager, who will be working closely with the schools and the Prättigau Music School prior to this concert. The children can also draw pictures on the theme, which will be exhibited at the concert in the Old Schoolhouse. “We are very excited about this premiere. We will definitely be offering a family concert again next year,” says Franziska von Arb. “At Klosters Music, we want to break down barriers, making classical music appealing to everyone and at the same time pass on our enthusiasm.”



Cuckoo meets Kangoroo

Monday, July 31, 2023, 5:00 pm, Altes Schulhaus, Klosters

Kammerphilharmonie Graubünden, Natia & Tamar Beraia (pianos), Nikolaus Schmid (narrator)

Camille Saint-Saëns (“The Carinval of the Animals” for two pianos, Instrumental ensemble and a narrator)