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Animal Music Monday: “Cantus Arcticus”

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 6, 2016

This is a good one to listen to at dawn, with your coffee. It’s also known as “Concerto for Birds and Orchestra.”  It’s a classical piece, about 16 minutes long.  Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara wrote it in 1972. It features the calling of birds that Rautavaara taped around the Arctic Circle and in the marshlands of Liminka, Finland.

This is apparently from the liner notes, though I am taking it (with apologies) from Wikipedia:

‘The work is in three movements: The bog opens with a flute duet, after which the other woodwinds join in, followed by the birds. The second movement, Melancholy, features a slowed-down recording of the song of the shore lark. The final movement, Swans migrating, takes the form of a long crescendo for orchestra, with the sounds of whooper swans. At the end both birdsong and orchestra fade, as if into the distance.

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