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Exploring the often surprising links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern
Saturday, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.Rebroadcast Sunday, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.on Music Station
Swans in flight -- a major inspiration for composer Jean Sibelius
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
Handel: Complete Organ Concertos
Simon Preston, English Concert, Trevor Pinnock
Archiv Produktion 289 469 358-2
Vivaldi: Four Seasons
Janine Jansen and ensemble
Decca 475 6188
Sibelius: Symphony No 5
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle
EMI Classics 7647372
Sibelius: Finlandia, The Swan of Tuonela, etc.
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
Deutches Grammophon 413 755-2
Beach: Piano Music- Volume 4, The Late Works [for “A Humming-bird”]
Guild GM 7387W
Casals Encores [for “The Song of the Birds”]
Pablo Casals, Prades Festival Orchestra
Sony Classical 66573
Braunfels: Die Vögel (The Birds)
German Symphony Orchestra, Berlin, Lothar Zagrosek
Decca 448 679-2
Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes
Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Ravel: Works for Solo Piano [for “Oiseaux Tristes”]
Decca 433 515-2
Holst: The Perfect Fool, etc., [for The Golden Goose]
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Richard Hickox
Chandos CHSA 5069
British by Arrangement [for The Lark in the Clear Air]
Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Gavin Sutherland
White Line CD WHL 2155
Igor Stravinsky Edition [for The Bluebird]
Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky
Rimsky-Korsakov: Overtures and Suites from the Operas [for The Snow Maiden]
Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi
Chandos 10369(2) X
December 2, 2023
December 9, 2023
December 16, 2023