Byrds Birds - Gezwitscher mit Nachhall

Anna Trauffer, musical and scenic concept

At the centre of this project is the exquisite variety found in William Byrd’s consort music, ranging from the elaborate polyphony of his In Nomine settings to the captivating humour of his folk song variations and the elegance of his pavanes and galliards.

The Swiss composer Anna Trauffer has created an evening for the B-Five recorder quintet that combines music from the English Renaissance master with her own compositions. Bird calls form an essential part of the evening, exploring the questions: Is it possible for recorders to evoke the sounds of birds without simply mimicking them? Is enough that the movement of air plays the decisive role in creating both of these soundscapes? The elements of breathing and air bring these newly composed pieces to life in the same way as English Renaissance music, forging a bridge between these two worlds. Anna Trauffer’s music is at times fluid and warm, then sad, sparse and fragile, before suddenly pulling all these threads together, lifting the mood rhythmically almost like pop music.

The evening Byrd's Birds – Gezwitscher mit Nachhall (Twittering Echoes) promises to draw the audience deep into William Byrd’s rich harmonic artistry, immersing the listener in the music that accompanies our daily life – echoes of breathing and twittering birds.

Fulfilling far more than just the role of adept interpreters, the musicians of B-Five skilfully work together to weave a scenic tableau, giving the evening a unique dynamic of its own.


Concert of Birds, Frans Snyders [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Concert of Birds
Frans Snyders [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons