by The Kanneh-MasonsThe Kanneh-Masons


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The Kanneh-Mason siblings have sometimes performed in groups, but this project is unusual in that it brings them all together, including 11-year-old Mariatu Kanneh-Mason, who appears as a narrator in the poem "Grandpa Christmas," by poet Michael Morpurgo. The whole thing involves a lot of moving parts. Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals" is among the few works in the repertory that can include the whole family, augmented by friends and associates, and Morpurgo is represented not only by his popular "Grandpa Christmas" but by a new set of "narrations for Carnival of the Animals," read by the poet himself. Various writers have furnished these, including, most famously, Ogden Nash, but Morpurgo's contributions do not talk down to children and can stand with any of them. More inventive still is the "Grandpa Christmas" treatment, which is interspersed among little animal and nature portraits by various composers, with Eric Whitacre's lovely "The Seal Lullaby" as a calming finale. In effect, the program creates a second "Carnival of the Animals," which is saying a lot. The final instrumental "Redemption Song" of Bob Marley is in the nature of an encore. At any point, this project could have become forced or contrived, and it is to the credit of these young performers that this does not occur: the entire thing has a relaxed feeling of discovery. Without a doubt, the children's album of the year, and one that brings smiles in short supply when the album was released in 2020.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/06/2020
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028948511563
catalogNumber: 003296702
Rank: 1957


  1. Redemption Song
  2. The Seal Lullaby, for chorus & piano
  3. Dance (Kalamajkó), duo for 2 violins (44 Duos Vol. 1/2), Sz. 98/2, BB 104/2
  4. Sea Murmurs, arrangement for violin & piano (after Castelnuovo-Tedesco's "Arise" from Shakespeare Songs, Op. 24)
  5. The Flight of the Bumble Bee, musical picture for orchestra (from The Tale of Tsar Saltan)
  6. Vöglein (Little Bird), lyric piece for piano, Op. 43/4
  7. Mosquito dance (Szúnyogtánc), duo for 2 violins (44 Duos Vol. 2/22), Sz. 98/22, BB 104/22
  8. Dance (Kalamajkó), duo for 2 violins (44 Duos Vol. 1/2), Sz. 98/2, BB 104/2
  9. Grandpa Christmas, story (by Michael Marpurgo)
  10. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  11. Carnival of the Animals, zoological fantasy for 2 pianos & ensemble
  12. Carnival of the Animals, narration for Saint-Saëns' suite (by Michael Morpurgo)

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