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The best of French composers – and quite a cosmopolitan bunch they were too.
The Carnival of the Animals, composed in 1886, was originally written as a joke and Saint-Saëns worried that it might damage his reputation. He banned complete performances and only allowed one movement, The Swan, to be published while he was alive. The piece became acclaimed worldwide as The Dying Swan after 1905 when it was choreographed for legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova. She performed the piece about 4,000 times.
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