BASQUE – Txoria Txori (“Bird, little bird”) – Laboa – TWO CELLOS, version B (fuller and more difficult)


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MIKEL LABOA – Txoria Txori (“Bird, little bird”) – Basque Song – TWO CELLOS

Download Contents or Instructions:

PDF 1 – PLAYING SCORE read comfortably by both cellists (6pages in all)

Tiempo: in three time ‘flowing, almost in 1’

General difficulty of the music – other Information:


Txoria Txori (“Bird, little bird”) is a Basque poem written by Joxean Artze in 1957. Mikel Laboa in 1968 created a tune adapted to this poem and successfully published the song in the 1974 album Bat-Hiru. The song is also known as “Hegoak” (“Les ailes” in French or “Wings” in Spanish) thanks to the version of Anne Etchegoyen. The young woman in 2014 got a Gold Record in France, selling more than 60,000 copies, and her CD was in the top 10 of the best sellers.

Artze was 25 years old when he wrote this poem about freedom and possession, dominance and respect between people and animals. There is a dilemma, when you want a person – or an animal – you have to choose between tying the person and possessing it as if it were a bird in a cage, in which case it ceases to be the bird that fascinates us, or to love the creature as he is, enjoying his way of being natural, and respecting it, so that if he wants to leave, he can leave at all times.

Meanwhile, Mikel Laboa and his wife Marisol Bastida in 1968 at the Aurrera restaurant in San Sebastián, saw the verses of Artze’s poem printed on the napkins. Mikel took one of them home and composed a melody for the poem.  It is a song dedicated to freedom denied at that time. It could be interpreted as “an act of resistance against the laws of the Franco regime that prohibited the use of the Basque”. It is now one of the “all time great” Basque themes!

Johnstone’s version uses the melody gloriously set in the middle A-string register for cello 1 and its highly expressive nature does not require the use of any open string. The second part is far more ‘harmonic’, yet uses the darker C# minor key wonderfully well in a series of melodic sweeping arpeggio figures.

Any known possible links of this music (audio, video, article etc.):
VIDEO -YouTube (HelloCello! cello duo):

P.S. If you ever record this music (preferably onto YouTube) we would be delighted to add YOUR link here and in the Audio-Video section of the Web …

Enjoy the music !!


Welcome to Johnstone-Music! A big Anglo-Spanish web for MUSICIANS and especially CELLISTS – original music scores for orchestral instruments and keyboard. Plus articles, audios, videos, resources, catalogues, news etc. Official web of the professional cellist David Johnstone, principal cello Navarre Symphony Orchestra (Spain), chamber musician and soloist in many premieres. Hundreds of cello arrangements in the web for a symbolic charge per download or for free.

The following have taken his work onboard, sometimes with special collaborations as composer-arranger-performer: the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi, Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Orchestre Nouvelle Generation de Montreal, the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon), Orchestra da Camera del Locarnese (Suiza), The Zagreb Soloists, the Saint Petersburg Musical Theatre “Zazerkalye” Chamber Orchestra, the Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum (Poland), Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra (New Zealand), Camerata Cambrensis (Basque country), Essener Philharmoniker (Germany), Ensemble Metamorphosis of Belgrade (Serbia), with Ara Malikian (Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra – Madrid), and a long etc.. Currently, many courses, conservatoires and music schools, university String departments etc. use his repertoire; there are dozens of his arrangements on ‘You Tube’ …

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