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Ferdinand the Bull
and Friends

narr: David Ogden Stiers
cello: Nina Flyer
piano: Chie Nagatani

The Story of Ferdinand the Bull
   music: Mark Fish
   story: Munro Leaf

The Carnival of the Animals
   music: Camille Saint Saëns
   arr: Mark Fish
   poems: Ogden Nash

The Mother Goose Suite
   music: Maurice Ravel
   arr: Mark Fish

upc# 6 11226 00322 7

Durations: 72:52

Price: $16.95

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About This Recording

Ferdinand the Bull is a musical setting of The Story of Ferdinand, written in 1932 by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The book has become a classic. In this version, certain characters or events in the story have musical themes: Ferdinand's flower-sniffing waltz (played by the cello), fast piano scales depict other young bulls running around and the fanfare is for the parade into the bullring. And there is a part everyone can play, right along with the recording: put a finger in your mouth, tighten your lips, and "pluck" one side just like the reader - it's the sound of a cork popping off a bottle, for the cork tree.

The Carnival of the Animals was written in 1886 by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The poems from the 1950s are by American poet Ogden Nash. In The Carnival of the Animals Saint-Saëns' music imitates many animal sounds. For one animal, not known for any sound, he plays a trick. He makes a really slow dance -- the famous French Can-Can for the tortoise. The elephant gets a funny waltz and the fossils... just imagine.

Maurice Ravel loved music and children. With Jean and Mimie, children of his musician friends Cipa and Ida Godebski, he spent hours telling stories and playing games. When they were 8 and 10 years old and learning piano, he composed The Mother Goose Suite for them to play together. Eventually it was so popular he made it into a ballet for a whole orchestra.

About The Authors

Mark Fish is a composer and music educator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied composition at UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, the Aspen Music Festival, and the American Music Conservatory at Fontainebleau, France (where Nadia Boulanger once taught many well-known composers including Aaron Copland).

Mark Fish

He currently conducts choir and orchestra at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, California.

Munro Leaf

Munro Leaf  wrote The Story of Ferdinand for his friend, illustrator

Robert Lawson. The Story of Ferdinand was curiously denounced by some as symbolically "pacifist." Banned in Spain and burned as propaganda in Nazi Germany, nevertheless, the book had over 60 foreign translations and is never out of print. Walt Disney adapted it to animated film, winning a 1938 Academy Award.

Ogden Nash, America's 'poet laureate" of light verse, so loved language, his poems are infested with invented and misspelled words, rhyming humanity's foibles, and which continue to delight world wide.

Ogden Nash
Camille Saint Saens

Camille Saint Saéns   (October 9th, 1835 - December 16th 1921), even as a young pianist, organist and composer was already famous world wide. While visiting Australia he wrote Carnaval des animaux.
Maurice Ravel (March 7th, 1875 - December 28th, 1937), a French composer of Impressionist music is known for his melodies, instrumental textures and effects. Much of his music is now standard concert repertoire. Maurice Ravel

Special thanks

Anthony Curtis, Jan Eastman, Audrey Fish, Hedda Fish, Sylvain Frémaux, David Friedlander, Gail Gaynin, Arlene Guerrero, Mark Jackson, Gary Kleinman, Roxanne Michaelian, Veronica Olivas, Nelly Quérol, Diana Sangare, Harriette Small, Susan Kline, and Mitchell Stubbs.

More music by Mark Fish on North Pacific Music

Pictures of Miró
on the NPM release
Glass Sky

Ensemble East West

   Eleven movements theatrically depict eleven paintings by the Spanish artist Joan Miró (1893-1983), ideally presented in performance as audio-visual companions to one another.
Glass Sky
      for children of all ages            amazon.jpg

media REVIEWS and INTERVIEWS online

2010 Award
® Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - Best Audio 2010
      "The music just calls kids to become the lion, elephant, Tortoise and all the others as they galump, swim, pounce and more to the marvelous score. These two pieces would have been enough, but they are followed by Ravel's Mother Goose Suite with short excerpts of several stories."
David Ogden Stiers and friends - GUSTO BuffalowNews.com
Review by Mary Kunz Goldman - Dec. 17, 2010:
      "David Ogden Stiers' gentle voice is perfect... The music, by Mark Fish, is fun. A sweet cello theme suggesting Ferdinand's pacifism sounds like a Beethoven minuet. Indignant chromatics describe when the bee stings the bull, and stomping staccato figures conjure up the angry picadors..."

...holiday-themed albums OregonLive.com
Review by James McQuillen - Nov. 15, 2010:
      "In contrast to the general run of amped-up children's fare, Fish's "Ferdinand" is a gentle take on the story of the gentle bull, and the rest of the album - with glossy cards featuring Ogden Nash's verses for the "Carnival" and a booklet with "Ferdinand" and "Mother Goose" texts - is an utter delight."

David Ogden Stiers: ...Fish, Shakespeare... Oregon Music News
Interview by Dot Rust - Nov.12, 2010:
      "...Stiers's narration is spot-on and very evocative... the playing is brilliant...throughout the record."
      ...classical music is a perfect opportunity to unplug, tune in, quiet the noise and engage the imagination. Ferdinand the Bull and Friends is a wonderful addition to the family music library for those reasons and I recommend it to anyone feeling a little frazzled and distracted.
- OMN review

Review by Myles McDonnell - Nov. 5, 2010:
      "...it's been our go-to-recording to put on for the kids on a Sunday morning after breakfast..."

TDmonthly - Nov. 1, 2010:
      "...Ferdinand the Bull and Friends a perfect record for bedtime."

Hilltown Families - Oct. 20, 2010:
      "In the tradition of Peter and the Wolf..."


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           Ferdinand the Bull   [20:03]
               story by Munro Leaf, music by Mark Fish
[ 1 ]              Introduction

[ 2 ]              "Once upon a time in Spain..." LISTEN
[ 3 ]              "As the years went by..." LISTEN
[ 4 ]              "One day five men came in very funny hats..." LISTEN
[ 5 ]              "What a day it was." LISTEN
[ 6 ]              "So they had to take Ferdinand home." LISTEN
           The Carnival of the Animals   [27:22]
               music by Camille Saint Saëns, arranged by Mark Fish,
               poems by Ogden Nash
[ 7 ]              Introduction

[ 8 ]              Royal March of the Lions LISTEN
[ 9 ]              Hens and Roosters LISTEN
[ 10 ]            Wild Jackasses LISTEN
[ 11 ]            Tortoise LISTEN
[ 12 ]            Elephants LISTEN
[ 13 ]            Kangaroos LISTEN
[ 14 ]            The Aquarium LISTEN
[ 15 ]            Mules LISTEN
[ 16 ]            The Cuckoo in the Heart of the Forest LISTEN
[ 17 ]            Aviary LISTEN
[ 18 ]            Pianists LISTEN
[ 19 ]            Fossils LISTEN
[ 20 ]            The Swan LISTEN
[ 21 ]            Finale LISTEN
           The Mother Goose Suite   [18:31]
               music by Maurice Ravel, arranged by Mark Fish,
               translation/adaptation by Mark Fish & David Ogden Stiers
[ 22 ]            The Pavane of Sleeping Beauty

[ 23 ]            Tom Thumb LISTEN
[ 24 ]            Laideronette, Empress of the Pagodas LISTEN
[ 25 ]            Beauty and the Beast LISTEN
[ 26 ]            The Enchanted Garden LISTEN

About The Performing Artists

David Ogden Stiers is an actor, voice-over artist and conductor. He has appeared in numerous live theatre, large and small-screen productions, directed orchestras across North America and has served as Assistant Conductor to the Newport Symphony Orchestra for over fifteen years.

David Ogden Stiers

photo - Peter Lawson, Nancy Reid

Nina Flyer

Nina Flyer has toured throughout Europe and the US, served as Principal Cellist with Jerusalem, Bergen and Iceland symphonies, Women's Philharmonic San Diego Symphony and performs with the San Francisco Symphony. She is cello professor and member of the New Pacific Trio, at University of the Pacific Conservatory, records for the TV/Motion Picture Industry and her solo recordings include concerti with the North/South Consonance and the English Chamber Orchestra.

Chie Nagatani, is recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including top prizes at the New Celebrity National Concerto Competition, UBC and USC Concerto Competitions, Canada Council Arts Grant Award, Friends of Chamber Music Competition, and Grand Prize at the IBLA International Music Competition in Italy, for which she performed in Newcastle, England, New York's Lincoln Center and Tokyo's Opera City Hall. She has performed extensively throughout Canada, the US, Italy, Poland, and Japan. Chie Nagatani
photo - Chris Leck




The 15 poems of Ogden Nash to the music of Camille Saint Saëns, illustrated by Devin Bernard

Drawings on the face, poems on the back of shiny firm CD-size discs: novelty conversation pieces or parlor game
for children of all ages

take turns, pick a card, start reading the poem, the first to jump in and finish the poem gets the card - "child" with the most cards gets to make punch and serve cookies as everyone enjoys David, Chie and Nina, having great fun with Mark's arrangements of all 14 animals in Saint Saëns' and Nash's whimsically artistic CARNIVALE ANIMALE - a timeless classic in music and verse.

Below is a sampling of the cards included in this offering.

Carnivale Animale

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