For the past two weeks, most of my evenings have been spent in rehearsals with the L--- Symphony, preparing for tomorrow night's concert program of Sibelius Symphony No. 1, Respighi's Gli Uccelli ('The Birds'), and Les nuits d'été by Berlioz.
I first heard the Respighi over the summer at NOI, where one of the unconducted chamber orchestras performed it. I really like the whole piece, but my favorite movement to play is probably La Gallina, "The Hen."
It just makes me smile to play it. It does sound so much like pecking chickens!
In fact, I can't decide which one is a better musical representation of chickens, Respighi's version or Saint-Saëns' Poules et Coqs from Carnival of the Animals.
What do you think?
Before you go, listen to the Prelude to The Birds, another movement I particularly like. After the stately introductory material (written in the style of music of the baroque era, although Respighi wrote the work in 1927), you'll hear brief previews of all the aviaries (cuckoo, nightingale, dove, and of course, hen) that will be making appearances in later movements.