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Sheet Music: Aviary

TitleAviary
from The Carnival of the Animals
Alternate titlesVolière from Le Carnaval des Animaux
ComposerCamille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyF major
RangeC4–Bb6
Time signature3/4
Tempo90 BPM
Performance time1:00
Difficulty leveladvanced
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (77 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (5 kB) (change tempo) MP3 (739 kB)
Date added2009-08-23
Last updated2009-08-23
CategoriesRomantic, Show-off pieces, Written for Flute

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Sunday 23 August 2009

Tune of the Day: Aviary

from Camille Saint-Saëns's “The Carnival of the Animals“
Birds

Carnival of the Animals is a set of orchestral character pieces, each of which is meant to describe a particular animal, usually by mimicking the sounds it makes or characterizing the way it moves or carries itself. The piece is scored for two solo pianos and a small orchestra of flute, piccolo, clarinet, xylophone, glass harmonica (usually replaced these days by celesta or glockenspiel in performance), and strings. This Carnival is a humorous, often parodistic work. Saint-Saëns only allowed the piece to be performed twice during his lifetime (once publicly by the Societe de la Trompette and once in a private performance requested by Franz Liszt, the famous piano virtuoso and composer who was a close friend of Saint-Saëns), likely because he feared the work would hurt his reputation as a serious composer. Only the movement “The Swan” was published before the composer's death.

The tenth movement, Volière (“Aviary”) depicts the fluttering calls of birds through a rapid flute solo that spans much of the range of the instrument. The similarity in sound to a flock of mixed birds is very noticeable. The movement ends very quietly after a long ascending flute scale.

Other Movements from the same Work

7.Aquarium Flute & Piano
12.Fossils Flute duet
13.The Swan Flute & Piano
14.Final Flute solo