Ravel’s Trois Beaux Oiseaux Du Paradis, On Theremin

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Sunday Synth Jam: Trois beaux oiseaux du paradis by Maurice Ravel – performed by thereminist, Randy George and the Gaudete Brass Quintet.

via ooo6:

Arrangement for brass quintet and voice by Paul Von Hoff. Video produced by Randy George. Recorded on September 2, 2010 in Long Beach, CA.

The theremin was invented in 1919, about five years after Ravel composed this work.

The beautiful work of Maurice Ravel is the second of his Trois Chansons for unaccompanied choir.

The music tells of a conversation between a woman and three beautiful birds from paradise, one blue, one white, and one red. The woman’s beloved has gone off to war and she is asking the birds for news. The blue and white birds relay a gaze and a kiss respectively. The woman now queries the red bird and the red bird tell her of her beloved’s death.

In this edition; the woman is the voice of the theremin, the blue bird is the trombone, the white bird is the second flugelhorn and the red bird is the tuba.

English Translation of the original French text:

Three beautiful birds of paradise,
(My beloved is away at war)
Three beautiful birds of paradise
Have passed by here,
The ?rst was bluer than the sky,
(My beloved is away at war)
The second was the color of snow,
The third of reddest red.

“Lovely lottle birds of paradise,
(My beloved is away at war)
Lovely little birds of paradise,
What brings you here?”
“I bring a look from blue eyes,
(Your beloved is away at war)”
“And I, on your snow-white brow,
Am to lay a kiss, even purer.”

Red bird of paradise,
(My beloved is away at war)
Red bird of paradise,
What do you bring?”
“A dear heart all crimson,
(Your beloved is away at war)”…
“Oh! I feel my heart growing cold…
Take it with you.”

Randy George Theremin
Gaudete Brass Quintet
Maurice Ravel


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