Apollinaire's Bird

John Casken (1949)

Apollinaire's Bird 2013

3333-4331-timp.3perc-hp.pno(cel)-str
Duration 
20
Solist 
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

The poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire, a significant figure in the avantgarde movements of the early 20th century and soldier in the First World War, has a special quality of bringing the strange and the ordinary together. Apollinaire’s Bird takes as its basis the poem Un oiseau chante [A bird sings], which contrasts the realities of war with hearing a single bird singing. The solo oboe sings the song of the bird: the single voice that transports the mind of the soldier beyond the grim situation of the trenches. To begin, the orchestra evokes the blackness of the landscape with searing high notes that cut through the texture, but, in dialogue with the oboe, it too draws us elsewhere, away from this world, to a world that is never far away.

John Casken

Performances 
10.4.14 Bridgewater Hall, Manchester: Stéphane Rancourt, oboe / Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
3
Flute
3rd piccolo
3
Oboe
3rd cor anglais
3
Clarinet
3rd bass clarinet
3
Bassoon
3rd contrabassoon
4
Horn
3
Trumpet
3
Trombone
3rd bass trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
3
Percussion
2 bass drums, 2 side drums, 4 tom-toms, xylophone, sizzle cymbal, vibraslap, hi-hat, tam-tam, medium bongo (damped), bell-plate, slit-drum, 2 congas, large temple block, crotales, hand-bells, glockenspiel, cabasa, large Swiss cow-bell
1
Harp
1
Piano
doubling celesta
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