"Horns, birds, and rainbow colors" mark this Cereal Music program, beginning with the raw sounds of hunting horns with the champion-ensemble Les Echos de Bellefonds, followed by Schumann's compact and elegant (albeit infrequently performed) Konzerstück for 4 Horns. Condors are the first birds on the program, with early American composer Anthony Philip "Papa" Heinrich's Ornithological Combat of Kings, whose works have largely been forgotten since his death. An ornithologist himself, Olivier Messiaen incorporated birds and birdsong into countless works of his, including Réveil des Oiseaux for piano and orchestra. (Messiaen, also falling under our "rainbow-color" portion of the program, was a bidirectional color-music synesthete — in music and sound he saw vibrant, flowing colors, and in the vibrant colors of nature, he heard music.) Jennifer Higdon composed her Scenes from the the Poet's Dreams for the Lark String Quartet and Gary Graffman, under a commission by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. She has written multiple works for the Lark Quartet, including An Exhaltation of Larks, which, strangely enough, is the term for a collection of larks in nature. Bohuslav Martinu's colorful and rarely-heard Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra followed, with Christopher Theofanidis's powerful Rainbow Body topping off the program.
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