Charles Camille Saint-Saens was a French composer and performer. His most famous piece is The Carnival of the Animals, despite the fact that Saint-Saens forbade complete performances of it shortly after its premiere, only allowing one movement, The Swan, a piece for cello and piano, to be published in his lifetime.
The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux) is a humorous musical suite of fourteen movements. Saint-Saëns regarded the work as a piece of fun.
This is the only movement from The Carnival of the Animals that the composer allowed to be played in public during his lifetime. He thought the remaining movements were too frivolous and would damage his reputation as a serious composer. It was originally composed for a cello with the accompaniment of two pianos.