Catalogue D'Oiseaux by Olivier Messiaenis a set of 7 books with 13 pieces for Piano composed between 1956 and 1958. Each volume refers to a special bird and to the French region where the bird is typically from. The piece does not only describe the bird, it also depicts its surroundings, such as other birds, the landscape of its area, the colours and the temperature.
- Le Chocard des Alpes (Alpine Chough)
- Le Loriot (Golden Oriole) IH Le Merle Bleu (Blue Rock Thrush)
- Le Traquet Stapazin (Black-Eared Wheatear)
- La Chouette Hulotte (Tawny Owl)
- L'Alouette Lulu (Wood Lark)
- La Rousserolle Effarvatte (Reed Warbler)
- L'Alouette Calandrelle (Short-Toed Lark)
- La Bouscarle (Cetti's Warbler)
- Le Merle de Roche (Rock Thrush)
- La Buse Variable (Buzzard)
- Le Traquet Rieur (Black Wheatear)
- Le Courlis Cendré (Curlew)
As mentioned above, this 7th Volume focuses on the buzzard, the black wheatear and the curlew. The first one, the Buzzard represents “La matheysine” in the Dauphiny area, the Black Wheatear, the area of Roussillion and the Curlew, the west coast of Brittany.
The interpretation of these pieces requires a strong level of ability on Piano (upper advanced), due to some complex techniques required.
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) was a French organist and composer passionate about Ornithology and one of the most important composers 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 'Treatise on rhythm, colour and ornithology' in 7 volumes.