Compositions exclusively or overwhelmingly devoted to a musical translation of birdsong include Le Merle noir (The Blackbird, for flute and piano, 1951), Reveil des oiseaux (Awakening of the Birds, for orchestra, piano, and gamelan, 1953) Oiseaux exotiques (Exotic Birds, for orchestra, piano, and gamelan, 1956), Catalogue d'oiseaux (Catalog of Birds, for piano, 1958), La Fauvette
des jardins (The Garden Warbler, for piano, 1970), Des Canyons aux etoiles (From the Canyons to the Stars, for orchestra, piano, French horn, and gamelan, 1974), Petites Esquisses d'oiseaux (Little Bird Sketches, for piano, 1985), and Un Fitrail et des oiseaux (A Stained-glass Window and Birds, for orchestra, piano, and gamelan, 1986).
The core of this remarkable evening was actually Messiaen's La Fauvette
des Jardins, a powerful exploration of piano sonorities, veiled atmospherics, thunder and lightning and, of course, the ever-present atonal chatter of birds.
It must be said that it was a time of media coverage of the great exceptional champions (Gertrude Ederle, Suzanne Lenglen, Maryse Hilsz, or Ella Maillart), of the explosion of a number of women's sports clubs (Les Hirondelles de Paris, La Ruche, Les Muguettes de Charenton, les Fauvettes
d'Argenteuil), an incredible expansion of youth movements (creation of the Rayon Sportif Feminin in 1919, the establishment of the French girl guides (10) in 1923, opening of French workers sport to women), and a significant increase in the number of female athletes at the Olympic Games.