Robert Twynham, as music director at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, has directed an ambitious concert program that has brought 750 concerts to the church since 1967. Sunday, as a respected organist, he will let loose himself with bird songs galore in one of six selections from Bach to Hindemith.
Twynham's program is Bach's Sinfonia to Cantata 29; Olivier Messiaen's "Chants d'Oiseaux" ("Song of the Birds"); Maurice Durufle's Scherzo; Hindemith's Sonata 1; Cesar Franck's Choral in A Minor and Marcel Dupre's Variations on a Noel.
"Messiaen's 'Song of the Birds' will make the cathedral sound like a giant aviary," said Twynham, an authority on the French composer under whom he studied. "It's a lovely piece, a little strange . . . In it, Messiaen wrote the songs of four birds -- blackbird, thrush, robin and nightingale. He saw this as the way God speaks through nature."
This season's 29 cathedral concerts, continuing through May 26, are again at 5:30 p.m. Sundays at the cathedral at 5200 North Charles St. Choral groups, pianists, organists, singers, harpsichordists and others are scheduled in its 24th season. Most of the Cathedral Concerts, like Sunday's, are free. An offering is taken.
Twynham, who last played two years ago in the series he runs, is in his 30th year as cathedral music director.