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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Birds

Writing my last-post-but-one got me searching Youtube for Messiaen's music. In the process I found these videos of the composer talking about birdsong. Birdsong was a huge influence on him: it found its way into a huge number of his pieces and, frequently, into the titles he gave them.





And here's Le Rouge-Gorge (The Robin), from Messiaen's Petites Esquisses d'Oiseaux (1985-1987), played by Thibaut Surugue:



I was reminded of Messiaen's music when I went to an exhibition of Marcus Coates' work at the Baltic in Gateshead in 2007:

10 comments:

Elisabeth said...

That last video ourselves as birds is wonderful, Dominic, but not quite as wonderful as the composer's music. Thanks.

The Weaver of Grass said...

It is hardly surprising that bird song should play such a part in music as to a composer it must be so inspiring. Other than 'The Lark Ascending' have any other composers that you know of used it in their work?

Jinksy said...

Brilliant last video! LOL

Rachel Fenton said...

I'm with Jinksy on the last clip!

Rachel Fenton said...

Also, am I the only person alive who CANNOT STAND "Lark Ascending". It's the music equivalent of drinking tea after you've cleaned your teeth.

Ann O'Dyne said...

oh Rachel - that was so vivid.
Never mind larks, Australia has a magpie whose carolling song is so joyous and melodic and thrilling it should, would, could, inspire any musician.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everyone. I've been listening to a lot of Messiaen and will be coming back to him again.

I don't mind The Lark Ascending, but one of the things I like about Messiaen is the idea implicit in what he did that perhaps there's something for us to discover about making music in birdsong.

swiss said...

my favourite bit of bird music is this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZQ4VmicDeM

swiss said...

course, now i'm filling my afternoon with the linky things. check this out. isn;t this down your way?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B0hGyKV9qs&feature=related

Dominic Rivron said...

swiss: Great Youtube videos - thanks for that. they're really effective, too, if you open them simultaneously.