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Music for Bird Lovers

Music for Bird Lovers

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Night Owl
A Very Fine Cat

Ref: CDG1269

Feathered classics!

A beautiful selection of classical music inspired by our feathered friends! Blue tit, robin, lark, nightingale, cuckoo, blackbird and linnet find musical expression alongside exotic pelicans, a bluebird and some imaginary birds. Listen too for the dawn chorus expressed in music and the thieving magpie!

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Music for Bird Lovers
Feathered classics

A beautiful selection of classical music inspired by our feathered friends! Blue tit, robin, lark, nightingale, cuckoo, blackbird and linnet find musical expression alongside exotic pelicans, a bluebird and some imaginary birds. Listen too for the dawn chorus expressed in music and the thieving magpie!

Spring from The Four Seasons
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Baroque Festival Orchestra conducted by Alberto Lizzio
1 Allegro
2 Largo e pianissimo sempre
3 Allegro (Danzo pastorale)
4 The Cuckoo
Louis-Claude Daquin (1694-1772)
Martin Souter, piano
5 The Dawn Chorus
Jean-Philippe Rameau
Martin Souter, piano
6 The Lark in the Clear Air
Traditional
Ian Giles
7 The Pelican
Thibaut de Navarre (1201-1253)
Matthew Spring, hurdy gurdy
8 On Wings of Song
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
James Gregory, flute, Martin Souter, piano
9 Bird as Prophet
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Martin Souter, piano
10 Tit Willow
Gilbert & Sullivan
Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra, David Croft
11 Little Bird
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Martin Souter, piano
12 Ah, Robin
Anonymous
Serendipity
13 Dou way Robin
Anonymous
The Oxford Girls' Choir
14 The Nightingale in Love, Part 1
15 The Nightingale in Love, Part 2
16 The Linnet
17 The Nightingale Victorious
(Francois Couperin 1668-1733)
Martin Souter, harpsichord
18 The Blackbird
Anonymous
Jon Banks, harp
19 The Bluebird
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
The Cherwell Singers conducted by Julia Craig-McFeely
20 Sumer is Icumen In
Anonymous
The Oxford Girls' Choir
21 Overture to The Thieving Magpie
Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)
Philharmonia Slavonica conducted by Henry Adolph

CCL CDG1269
Cover Image: Blue tit on peach branch Noel Hopking
© Medici/Mary Evans Picture Library
p & © 2013 Classical Communications Ltd
Made in Great Britain

Music for Bird Lovers
Feathered classics

Classical composers have been inspired by birds and birdsong for generations. This collection brings together music from seven centuries of tradition.

Vivaldi was one of the greatest Baroque composers. He wrote hundreds of concertos along with a vast corpus of sacred music for the church in Venice where he worked as a musician. He wrote for many instruments but his violin concertos are probably the best-known of all his works. The Four Seasons' is one of the best-loved set of concertos of them all. 'Spring' is particularly joyous. The first movement uses musical bird calls for most of its material. The second movement has the sounds of the murmuring forest, while the final movement is a musical explosion celebrating one of the best seasons of the year.

We follow this with music by two French Baroque composers. In the first piece the cuckoo's call can be clearly heard. In the second, there is a riot of birdsong expressing the excitement of the dawn chorus. A traditional folk song about the lark leads to a piece by one of the earliest named composers. Thibaut de Navarre was a troubadour and would have moved from court to court and great house to great house, singing for his supper and a bed for the night. This song, played here on the hurdy gurdy compares the pelican with God. Mendelssohn and Schumann were two of the ultimate Romantic composers. They both wrote large-scale symphonies, but also specialised in small-scale character pieces. Schumann's bird is an eloquent prophet, while in 'On Wings of Song', the flute in our arrangement soars above the rippling piano accompaniment as a bird would soar above the fields and forests.

Gilbert and Sullivan were famous for their witty operas, and their work 'The Mikado' is one of their best-known. The location of the plot is indeed exotic, but most of the characters are of course recognisably English, not to say Victorian! So the song we now hear is witty and clever and anthropomorphises the humble blue tit, who appears on our CD cover. Grieg's 'Little Bird' is another fine nineteenth-century character piece. We then turn to the robin, who is sung to in two medieval pieces. The seventeenth-century French composer Francois Couperin enchanted his aristocratic patrons with evocative harpsichord pieces inspired by the tuneful songs of the nightingale and linnet. A Celtic blackbird is heard next, played on the small folk harp. This is followed by Stanford's classic description in music of the exotic bluebird. Rossini was one of the most prolific opera composers in Italy in the nineteenth century. His 'Thieving Magpie'is both amusing and mischievous, and shows the composer at the height of his powers.


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