• Olivier Messiaen
  • Catalogue d'oiseaux (1958)

  • Alphonse Leduc (World)
  • Piano
  • 2 hr 30 min

Programme Note

Composed between 1956 and 1958, Catalogue d’oiseaux is a collection of musical portraits of birds, each painstakingly taken down and notated by the composer during visits to the French provinces. Messiaen writes: “Each soloist is presented in its habitat, surrounded by a landscape and the songs of other birds that are found in the same region.”


Book 1 [30’]

i. Le Chocard des Alpes (The Alpine Chough) (coracia graculus) [9’]
ii. Le Loriot (The Golden Oriole) (oriolus oriolus) [8’]
iii. Le Merle Bleu (The Blue Rock Thrush) (monticola solitaries) [13’]

Book 2 [14’]

iv. L e Traquet stapazin (The Black-eyed Wheatear) (oenanthe hispanica) [14’]

Book 3 [16’]

v. La Chouette hulotte (The Tawny Owl) (strix aluco> [8’]
vi. L’Aluette Lulu (The Woodlark) (lullula arborea) [8’]

Book 4 [28’]

vii. La Rousserolle effarvatte (The Reed Warbler) (acrocophalus scirpaceus) [28’]

Book 5 [17’]

viii. L’Alouette calandrelle (The Short-toed Lark) (calendrella brachydactyla) [5’]
ix. La Bouscarle (Cetti’s Warbler) (cettia cetti) [12’]

Book 6 [17’]

x. Le Merle de Roche (The Rock Thrush) (monticola saxatillis) [17’]

Book 7 [28’]

xi. La Buse variable (The Buzzard) (buteo buteo) [10’]
xii. Le Traquet rieur (Black Wheatear) (oenanthe lecura) [7’]
xiii. Le Courlis cendré (The Curlew) numenius arquata) [11’]