Stefan’s musings

Le Chant Du Rossignol

I was recently talking with friends (with whom I’m rehearsing some renaissance music) about how birdsong has been represented / imitated musically throughout history. One of the most beautiful birdsong I have experienced myself is nightingales singing in crisp air, right after some good rainfall.

Youtube has some nice nightingale recording, for all those who can’t experience this first-hand.

Among the many occurrences in musical compositions, this excerpt from “Le Chant Du Rossignol” by Igor Stravinsky strikes me as particularly resembling, though that may just be my own musical / aesthetic bias showing through. (Just listen carefully to the beginning of this excerpt and compare that to the very beginning of the nightingale recording above. Isn’t that amazing ?)

There are many others, such as Olivier Messiaen’s “Chants D’Oiseau”, or even his “Quatuor pour la fin du temps”. And of course, there are many older ones, too, such as Janequin’s “Le chant des oiseaux”, which appears a little affected in comparison.

It might be interesting to build a themed concert out of this and similar material.

posted in: music