Mozart's Starling

Category: Book
By (author): Haupt, Lyanda Lynn
Subject:  MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Classical
  NATURE / Animals / Birds
  NATURE / Birdwatching Guides
  PETS / Birds
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Published: May 2018
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 0.00in x 0.00in
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$ 22.99
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse.
Two centuries later, starlings are reviled by even the most compassionate conservationists. A nonnative, invasive species, they invade sensitive habitats, outcompete local birds for nest sites and food, and decimate crops. A seasoned birder and naturalist, Lyanda Lynn Haupt is well versed in the difficult and often strained relationships these birds have with other species and the environment. But after rescuing a baby starling of her own, Haupt found herself enchanted by the same intelligence and playful spirit that had so charmed her favorite composer.
In Mozart's Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely and remarkable bond between one of history's most cherished composers and one of earth's most common birds. The intertwined stories of Mozart's beloved pet and Haupt's own starling provide an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, the secret world of starlings, and the nature of creative inspiration. A blend of natural history, biography, and memoir, Mozart's Starling is a tour de force that awakens a surprising new awareness of our place in the world.
Review Quote*"This hard-to-put-down, charming blend of science, biography, and memoir illuminating the little-known story of the composer and his beloved bird is enlivened by the immediacy of Haupt's tales of Carmen, and brimming with starling information, travelogues, and historical details about Mozart's Vienna."-Booklist (Starred Review)
Review Quote*"Weaving together cheerful memoir, natural history, and biography, the author celebrates her 'insatiably social' pet starling, Carmen; investigates Mozart's experience with his avian companion... and offers intriguing details about starling behavior."-Kirkus Reviews
Review Quote*"Stories of [Carmen's] upbringing interspersed with details about Mozart, his family and career are both delightful and interesting."-Seattle Times
Review Quote*"Charming and highly readable."-St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Review Quote*"Mozart's Starling is a delightful, enlightening, breathless flight through the worlds of Carmen and Star, two European starlings who join their human counterparts in exploring life and music and nature, helping to shed light on the connection between humans and birds -- those of us bound to terra firma, and those who are free to soar."-Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Sudden Light
Review Quote*"Mozart's Starling sparkles with imagination, emotion, and insight. Common birds, who too many consider vermin, have great gifts to share. Thank you, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, for showing us the delight and magic of a starling."-Sy Montgomery, author of Birdology and The Soul of an Octopus
Review Quote*"Lyanda Lynn Haupt raised a starling of her own to see if the tale of Mozart and his starling could be true. Her experience brings the legend of musician and bird into our present world where science rules. Yet even today, the song of the starling, but a minute in length, lies at the very limits of human comprehension. Read the book and you will learn why."-David Rothenberg, author of Why Birds Sing and Survival of the Beautiful
Review Quote*"A brave thing it is to write a love-song to starlings, in a conservation culture inclined not only to struggle with exotic species, but to demonize them. But Lyanda Haupt has done just that--not as apologist for wildlings in North America, but as celebrant of an utterly extraordinary, beautiful, and deeply engaging animal in and of itself. In prose as lovely as birdsong and as clear and sharp as the cool air itself, she has given starlings--hers, Mozart's, the whole species--the kind of loving and rigorous Life that every kind of creature deserves but very few get. I thought of Gerald Durrell, Konrad Lorenz, and Jane Goodall, none of whom I loved reading more. The story of Carmen, Star, and their humans is as riveting as a good novel, and I learned as much about Mozart as about birdsong and birdbrains. I enjoyed Mozart's Starling immensely, and I challenge anyone to read it and still treat starlings inhumanely. Lucky is the bird that finds its Papagena."-Robert Michael Pyle, author of Through a Green Lens and Mariposa Road
Review Quote*"By raising up her own pet starling, Lyanda Lynn Haupt reveals something that music historians have missed -- how daily life with a bird impacted Mozart during his most productive period. By sharing this delightful tale with the rest of us, she also reveals the unexpected quirks and charms of a species too often dismissed as a pest. Mozart's Starling is pure pleasure."-Thor Hanson, author of The Triumph of Seeds