November 18, 2017

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Pick of the Day: Listen to the Birds (Audio)

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Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music. CD. 26 min. with book. TheSecretMountain. 2013. ISBN 978-1-923163-89-5. $16.95.
K-Gr 2–The London Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Moscow, the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, and several other professional music groups give instrumental voice to a wide variety of birds. These wonderful performances feature whole orchestras or single instruments, such as voices, flute, violin, organ, piano, and harpsichord. Excerpts from 20 classical pieces include “Spring” from Four Seasons (Vivaldi); Le Chant des Oiseaux (Janequin); “Melancholy” from Cantus Arcticus (Rautavaara); “The Bird” from Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev); “Hens and Roosters,” “Aviary,” and “The Swan,” from The Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saëns); “Dance of the Little Swans” from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky); “Song of the Lark” from Album for the Young (Tchaikovsky); “Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks” from Pictures at an Exhibition (Mussorgsky); “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale” from Concerto for Organ and Orchestra (Handel); “The Robin” from Small Sketches of Birds (Messiaen); “Papageno and Papagena” from The Magic Flute (Mozart); “Dance of the Firebird” from Firebird (Stravinsky); and more. The accompanying, illustrated book includes notes about the birds, the musical excerpts, and the composers; a glossary of musical terms; and a time line of the composers and their periods. A truly enriching experience.–Beverly Wrigglesworth,San Antonio Public Library, TX

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