A collection of short, entertaining chamber music pieces by the great French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

Never published during his lifetime (except The Swan) because he feared that it would draw attention from his "serious" musical work. Which it now has, being his most popular material.

It includes:

  • Introduction et marche royale du lion
  • Poules et coqs
  • Hémiones (animaux véloces)
  • Tortues
  • L'éléphant
  • Kangourous
  • Aquarium
  • Personnages à longues oreilles
  • Le coucou au fond des bois
  • Volières
  • Pianistes
  • Fossiles
  • Le Cygne
  • Finale

A subtle sense of humor is displayed in the piece, such as in the inclusion of pianists as an animal, and some subtle parody. The double bass part of The Elephant is a transcription of Hector Berlioz's Danse de sylphes, and Tortoises is apparently a dramatically slowed version of Offenbach's "can-can" dance.

A very fun suite; it has everything. The Swan, a duet for piano and cello, is honestly very sweet and emotional. The finale is fast, catchy, and very easy to like. Many other pieces are just entertaining in their portrayals.