One of our favourite programmes taking place at this year’s Two Moors Festival main two-week event in October has to be Elephants at a Lunchtime Concert – a show that includes Poulenc’s Babar the Elephant and excerpts from Debussy’s Children’s Corner Suite.
Taking place on October 18th at 13:00 at All Saints’ Church in North Molton in the very heart of Exmoor, the concert involves Year 6 pupils from North Molton Primary School who will be participating as narrators throughout the hour-long programme, accompanied by acclaimed pianist Harvey Davies.
This is definitely going to be one of the most fun events throughout the whole two weeks – and just because the pieces by both these composers were written for children certainly doesn’t mean that adults won’t have a brilliant time if they come along as well. You can bet we’ll be there!
Babar the Elephant was originally written by Poulenc for the children of his cousins and takes the form of narration alongside piano accompaniment, telling the story of the little elephant Babar whose mother is killed by a huntsman and who is then befriended by a little old lady. Eventually, Babar marries Celeste, becomes king of the elephants and lives happily ever after (as all excellent stories end).
The six-piece Children’s Corner Suite by Debussy was composed in 1908 for his daughter Claude-Emma (or Chou-Chou to her friends!), including an excerpt called Jimbo’s lullaby. The elephant in this story originally came from the French Sudan and lived in the Jardin des Plantes at around the time Debussy was born (part of P T Barnum’s circus), and which one of Chou-Chou’s toys was named after.
Check out these little videos of the pieces, just to whet your appetite ahead of October 18th!