Friday, March 19, 2021


This montage from our Podcast Vault revisits a post from March 16, 2012. It can be found in our archives at


This week’s throwback montage dates back to our first Spring on the blog and is a set of works inspired by birds: larks, magpies, swallows, swans, nightingales, hens, seagulls and a piano suite dedicated to song birds by composer and amateur ornithologist, Olivier Messiaen.

As I often point out when we revisit old montages, I’m always pleasantly surprised how the original post does a good job setting up the montage, and I’ll simply refer you to the above link to read it. The post also included a filler – a complete performance of the entire Respighi suite Gli Ucelli in a vintage performance by the Chicago Symphony.

If you dare venture into the original “bilingual” section (in French), I inserted a concert performance of this week’s bonus track, Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, a work from the mid-1950’s originally commissioned by Pierre Boulez and meant to feature Messiaen’s wife, Yvonne Loriod, as soloist.

The birds that inspired Messiaen in this piece are: the gracula of India, the golden-fronted verdin, the Baltimore Trouble, the greater prairie chicken, the prairie northern mockingbird, the cat bird, the Indian shama, the white-crested laughingthrush, the migratory blackbird, entrusted to the two clarinets, the swainson, the thrush hermit, the red-whiskered bulbul and the wood thrush.

The YouTube clip features Philippe Entremont as soloist, and the Cleveland Orchestra under Boulez’s direction.

I think you will (still) love this music too.

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