Meri’s Musical Musings

The Representation of Birds and Bird Songs in Classical Music

Posted on: March 25, 2012

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony no. 6 (there is a cuckoo call in the 2nd movement titled By the Brook)

Louis-Claude Daquin: The Cuckoo

Mikhail Glinka: The Lark

Edward Grieg: Little Bird

Joseph Haydn: String Quartet: ‘The Lark’

Albert Ketelby: In a Monastery Garden (there are several representations of bird calls in the music)

Felix Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Spring Song (no. 5)

Oliver Messaien: ‘Abyss of the Birds’ from Quartet for the End of Time

Leopold Mozart: ‘Toy’ Symphony (often incorrectly attributed to Haydn)

W.A. Mozart: Papageno’s Aria from The Magic Flute, Piano Concerto no. 17

Sergei Prokoffief: The Cuckoo from Peter and the Wolf

Jean Phillipe Rameau: Le coucou (The Chicken)

Giocomo Rossini: The Thieving Magpie

Franz Schubert: Vogel Als Prophet (Bird as Prophet)

Camille Saint-Saens: ‘The Swan’ and ‘The Cat’ in Carnival of the Animals, which contains an imitation of a cuckoo call

Jean Sibelius: Swan of Tuonela

Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird

P.I. Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Dance of the Cygnets

Antonio Vivaldi: Flute Concerto in D, op. 10/3 RV 428, ‘The Goldfinch’


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