Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Cantus Arcticus (1972)

Through the Night

There I was trying to get some sleep last night, allowing BBC Radio 3's Through the Night to soothe my restive mind. However, instead of being soothed I found myself being mildly alarmed by the sound of screeching birdsong.

This is because at around 01:10am they decided to play Einojuhani Rautavaara's 1972 Concerto for Birds and Orchestra.

Listening to it again in the cold light of day, it's a truly extraordinary piece of work. At turns sumptuously beautiful, faintly comical and, yes, still pretty disturbing.

It'll be on iPlayer for the next 6 days:

The piece starts at 01:11:03. Things get particularly extraordinary from about 01:21:50 onwards.

Robert Baldock


  1. There's a pretty good recording of this piece on Spotify too:

    It's the 3rd movement which I particularly like.

    Robert Baldock