The Blackbird, written in 1952 by Olivier Messiaen is a chamber work for Flute and Piano that lasts 5 minutes and is one of the most remarkable pieces of the Flute repertoire. Based on the study of bird songs, this piece is very technical and challenging, with many details to focus on and would therefore be a fit for advanced students.
The Blackbird is divided into five sections, not officially written, and mixed tonal and atonal parts. Each of the section is different to the ones surrounding them, and the piece also contains a few Flute solos.
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) was a French organist and composer passionate about Ornithology and one of the most important composer of his century. Inspired by Japanese music, he had a very special way of composing and his work can be identified by its complexity, its diatonic aspect, its harmony with limited transposition, its colour and its additive rhythms. He composed many works related to ornithology and birdsong, including the 'Bird Catalogue' in 7 volumes and the 'Treatise on rhythm, colour and ornithology' in 7 volumes.