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The “Faunothèque”, small animals to introduce you to great music



The great concert of nature and its endless spectacle have never ceased to inspire composers. And it is from this repertoire that the educational platform Lumni and France Musique have drawn on to constitute a “Faunothèque” as playful as it is instructive. Aimed at children and not only, this series of twelve five-minute shows was shot in the open air, on a farm in Seine-et-Marne, as close as possible to these animals, small and large, entered in the scores and the history of the classic.

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Her instrument installed in the shade of a century-old walnut tree, the pianist Célimène Daudet takes us on a journey through time, from the baroque Rameau to the contemporary Hersant. Along the way, she summons works that deserve to be better known and others already well established in the ears of music lovers.

It is “Le vol du bourdon” by Rimsky-Korsakov, “Poisson d’or” by Debussy or “Le Cygne” by Saint-Saëns, performed with the help of a cellist. This piece – the only part of the Carnival of the Animals that this ultimately very serious composer has not regretted having written – shows under the bow the slender animal moving on the equal wave of the piano.

Partitions that come alive

“Certain composers evoke above all the movement, the behavior of the animal, others transcribe in the music its cry or are inspired by the sound produced by its flight”, notes Célimène Daudet, who in each episode, with a real talent for transmission, also alternates anecdotes and technical explanations, sometimes quite extensive.

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“We keep several levels of understanding, so that everyone, young or old, musician or not, can appreciate each program”, underlines David Unger, the director, who to facilitate access to these works relies on the endearing and familiar figure of animals and on the rhythmic animations that run on the scores. A beautiful introduction to classical music, which bets on the intelligence, curiosity and sensitivity of children.

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