The source of Mozart’s inspiration – a great musical whodunnit

Starling (image: iStock)

Starling (image: iStock)

The composer was devoted to his pet starling. But did its singing really contribute to the Piano Concerto in G major?

If you were to compare Mozart to a bird it wouldn’t be the starling. Possibly the wood thrush or nightingale, with their beautiful, haunting songs; or maybe the lyrebird with its astonishing ear for imitation; or perhaps the composer would find his match in the exotic rarity of the ivory-billed woodpecker or giant ibis. But the common starling? More pest than pet in its adoptive North American home, this ‘ubiquitous, non-native, invasive species’ seems an unlikely fit for a singular prodigy. Full story.

Alexandra Coghlan (The Spectator) / September 2, 2017

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