Written in 1917
Includes piano and celesta
This piece is inspired by indigenous Brazilian influence and includes sounds of the jungle.
Uirapurù is a legendary Enchanted bird considered by some to be the “King of Love”. Its nightly song lured natives into the woods in search of the enchanting singer.
In such a search, a gay group of young natives comes upon an ancient and ugly Indian seated in the forest playing upon his nose-flute. Resenting the invasion of their forest by this unsightly old man, the natives beat him mercilessly and drive him out. Continued search for the elusive Uirapurù by the natives is witnessed by all the members of the nocturnal animal and insect kingdoms – glow worms, crickets, owls, enchanted toads and bats, and crawling things.
A beautiful maiden appears, also lured by the sweet song of Uirapurù. Armed with bow and arrow she catches up with the enchanted bird, piercing its heart, whereupon the singing bird is immediately transformed into a handsome young man.
The huntress who has thoroughly captivated the young man, is about to leave the forest followed by the natives when they are stopped by the shrill, unpleasant notes of a distant nose-flute. Suspecting the arrival of the ugly Indian seeking revenge for the beating, the natives hide in the dense woods. The unsuspecting young man boldly confronts the ugly Indian who slays him with a perfectly placed arrow. As the Indian maidens tenderly carry the body to a nearby fountain, it is suddenly transformed into a beautiful bird which flies, its sweet song diminishing into the silence of the forest.
INSTRUMENTATION: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in B-flat, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 3 cornets in B-flat, 3 trombones, tuba, soprano saxophone in B-flat, timpani, xylophone, glockenspiel, chimes, côco, tamborim, tambor surdo, cymbals, bass drum, tam-tam, réco-réco, 2 harps, celesta, piano, violinophone and strings