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Lodewijk Mortelmans 1868-1952


Explanation to this Lied

In english, unfortunately, incorrectly translated as: 'Like a Singing Bird'
Our foundation insists that every publication use the correct translation.


- Het Wielewaalt en leeuwerkt
- Le Loriot et l'Alouette

- The Oriole and the Lark
- Es pirolt und es lerchet

Some explanation about these birds:
The flemish title refers towards the Oriole and the Lark. Birds whom Lodewijk Mortelmans heard singing many times during his countless wanderings, North of Antwerp, at 'the Kalmthoutse Heide' and around the town of 'Huibergen', and East of Antwerp, in the 'Waasland' and around the town of 'Waasmunster'.
It is the behaviour and the singing of these birds, who inspired him and made him compose this beautiful work for piano.
The english title "Like a Singing Bird" or the french title "Les oiseaux qui chantent" only refers to the song of "a bird",
without specifying which bird exactly is meant.
For proper understanding and evaluation of this work it is of essential importance to know to which birds Lodewijk Mortelmans refers.
* About the Lark we talk in fact about two different birds: the Skylark and the Woodlark. Their feathers are browny, hardly noticable.
Oriolus oriolus 
* The Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
is a fascinating bird. His feathers are one of the most beautiful of the birds breading in Flanders: black wings, black tail with yellow dots, his body is strong yellow and a red beak. He's really hard to spot because hiding between the thick leafs of parktrees, gardens, alleys and forestborders. And then we have his singing. It's not a long phrase as the Oriole, as the european robin, or the mocking bird. It's a rather short, loud, soundy whistle which sounds a bit like "wiela - wieo" containing some variations. The sound of his voice is to be compared with a oboe.
Alauda arvensis 
* The Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
flies slowly steep into height until we only notice a small dot, stays there a long time hanging and comes down sailing back to the ground.
In the maintime he uninterruptly sings a clear, jubilating and thrilling song which sounds as a continuous repeated "tirlie".
Lullula arborea 
* The Woodlark (Lullula arborea)
sails in bat-like flight outline in wide spirals upwards, stays high in the air for a long time hanging and falls down with closed wings. His song is less long hold than of the Skylark but more melodic and mixed with a fluid, thrilling lu-lu-lu-lu (latin name "Lullula").


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