On a quiet summer morning in Devon, as birdsong fills the woodland behind my studio, here is music in appreciation of our winged neighbours everywhere....
Above: "The Lark Ascending" by English composer Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958), performed by violinist Hilary Hahn with Camerata Salzburg at the George Enescu Festival, 2013. Williams' composition was inspired by George Meredith's poem of the same name.
Below: "The Wild Dove, Opus 110," by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904), performed by the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen in Belgium in 2012. (The video will direct you over to YouTube to hear this one.)
Above: "The Blackbird," a short piece for flute and piano by French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), performed by Kenneth Smith on flute and Matthew Schellhorn on piano. Messiaen was a passionate ornithologist as well as a musician, and spent a great deal of time in the wild studying birdsong.
Below: "Cantus Arcticus, Op.61" by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016), performed by the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. In this piece, the conventional instrumental soloist is replace with taped birdsong from Arctic Finland.
Above: "Bird Concerto with Pianosong" by British composer Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012), performed by Ensemble X, at Cornell University in upstate New York, 2018.
Below: "songbirdsongs, movement 5, morning dove" by American composer John Luther Adams, performed by Sandbox Percussion on marimba, with Jessica Sindell, Martha Aarons, Zack Patten, and John Luther Adams on ocarinas, at the Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana, 2018.
And one more to end with, above: "The Gannets" by Scottish composers Inge Thomson and Jenny Sturgeon, from their gorgeous album, Northern Flyway (2014), exploring the ecology, folklore, symbolism and mythology of birds in the northern isles of Scotland.