The Birds (Respighi)

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The Birds (Italian: Gli uccelli) is a suite for small orchestra by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. Dating from 1928, the work is based on music from the 17th and 18th-century[1] and represents an attempt to transcribe birdsong into musical notation, and illustrate bird actions, such as fluttering wings, or scratching feet. The work is in five movements:

The suite was used for the ballet of the same name, with choreography by Cia Fornaroli, first performed at Sanremo Casinò Municipale on 19 February 1933; with choreography by Margarita Wallmann at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, on 27 February 1940; and by Robert Helpmann, with design by Chiang Yee, by the Sadler's Wells Ballet at the New Theatre, London on 24 November 1942.[2]

Between 1965 and 1977 the first movement was used as the opening and closing theme for BBC TV series Going for a Song. The music played along with the sound of a bird in a cage automaton.

Instrumentation[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harry Beard, "Ottorino Respighi" (obituary) , The Musical Times (June 1936), 77 (1120): pp. 555-556
  2. ^ Arnold Haskell (ed.), Gala Performance (Collins 1955) pg. 215

External links[edit]