In June of 1787, there was an unusual funeral procession in the household of one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—for the composer’s pet starling.
He had bought the bird three years before, and in the expense book where he’d written the price, he’d also jotted down the melody the bird was singing when he bought it.
That melody became the chirping opening of the final movement of the Piano Concerto No. 17 in G minor.
Inspiration of this sort isn’t unusual. Many composers have drawn on the sound world of birds, or described them in musical terms.
We explored some of these influences in another program, but had to leave out many more—which may have ruffled some feathers.
So, in this hour, more avian-inspired music, in works by Handel, Haydn, Brahms, Ravel, Beach, Sibelius and more.
|Mozart: Piano Concertos||Murray Perahia. English Chamber Orchestra||Sony 88691914112||886919141122|
|Handel: Complete Organ Concertos||Simon Preston, English Concert, Trevor Pinnock||Archiv Produktion 289 469 358-2||0289469358283|
|Vivaldi: Four Seasons||Janine Jansen and ensemble||Decca 475 6188||028947561880|
|Sibelius: Symphony No 5||Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle||EMI Classics 7647372||077776473727|
|Sibelius: Finlandia, The Swan of Tuonela, etc.||Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan||Deutches Grammophon 413 755-2||028941375520|
|Beach: Piano Music- Volume 4, The Late Works [for “A Humming-bird”]||Kirsten Johnson||Guild GM 7387W||795754738728|
|Casals Encores [for “The Song of the Birds”]||Pablo Casals, Prades Festival Orchestra||Sony Classical 66573||074646657324|
|Braunfels: Die Vögel (The Birds)||German Symphony Orchestra, Berlin, Lothar Zagrosek||Decca 448 679-2||028944867923|
|Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes||Robert Shaw Festival Singers||Telarc D110548||089408032622|
|Ravel: Works for Solo Piano [for “Oiseaux Tristes”]||Jean-Yves Thibaudet||Decca 433 515-2||0028942586024|
|Igor Stravinsky Edition [for The Bluebird]||Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky||Sony SX22K46290||0074644629026|
|Rimsky-Korsakov: Overtures and Suites from the Operas [for The Snow Maiden]||Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi||Chandos 10369(2) X||095115136928|