Bird Song

9780316370899_08d68Mozart owned a pet starling bird, one he bought in 1784 just after finishing his Piano Concerto No. 17 in G. It could sing part of his new composition.

The story of that bird and Mozart’s relation to it is one of the subjects of Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Haupt tells NPR that in researching the book she followed suit and adopted her own pet starling, rescuing a five-day-old from a nest about to be destroyed.

Haupt tells NPR that her bird Carmen, like Mozart is smart,  mischievous and an amazing mimic, anticipating the household routine,  “I wake up in the morning … and she looks at me and says, ‘Hi Carmen,’ which is the first thing I would say to her. And then the cat comes downstairs and she says ‘Meow.’ And then I go to make the coffee, and before I grind the beans she goes, ‘Rrrrr.'”

Mozart wrote an elegy for it upon its death and more than one musical critic believes at least one of his compositions is is based on the starling’s song.

In a starred review Booklist calls the book a “hard-to-put-down, charming blend of science, biography, and memoir.”

Some libraries we checked are running 5:1 hold ratios on light orders. Several others have not ordered it.

One Response to “Bird Song”

  1. POP – Mozart’s Starling | Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle Says:

    […] the delightful surprise category –  see EarlyWord for more detail.  It has just slipped into Holds Purchase Alert […]

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