Animals—past and present, real and imaginary—are celebrated in Sunday’s musical selections and in our annual Blessing of the Animals service at CUUC.
French composer Erik Satie had a penchant for ironic titles and tongue-and-cheek musical expression, all on display in his Embryons Deseches in the morning’s prelude; See below for translations of the composer’s notes on these pieces.
Unitarian composer Edvard Grieg embraced the natural world in many compositions, especially in his two Lyric Pieces “Butterfly” and “Little Bird”, both notable for their harmonic adventurousness as well as their deft approximations of the animal world. French composers furnish the remainder of Sunday’s solo piano works, include an excerpt from Camille Saint-Saens’ beloved “Carnival of the Animals” and two short selections from Jacques Ibert’s Histoires. Read on for programming details.
Prelude: Adam Kent, piano
Embryons Desseéchés (Dried Up Embryos)
Of the Edriophthalma*
Of the Podophthalma**
Butterfly, Op. 43, No. 1
Little Bird, Op. 43, No. 4
Royal March of the Lion from Carnival of the Animals
The Leader of the Golden Tortoises
The Little White Donkey
*Crustaceans with fixed eyes, that is to say, without stalks and immobile. Very sad by nature, these crustaceans live, withdrawn from the world, in holes dug out of the cliff. They’re all together. How sad it is! A patriarch speaks out. They all begin to cry. Poor creatures! How well he spoke! Big moan.
**Crustaceans with eyes on movable stalks. They are skillful, tireless hunters. They are found in every sea. The meat of the Podophthalma is a delicacy. At the hunt. Climb up. In pursuit. An advisor. He’s right! To charm the victim. What is it? Compulsory cadence (the author’s!)