Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys
Title Details

348 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

15 b/w illus.

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 143

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys

A Selected Correspondence

Edited by Kimberly Francis

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Published for the first time: a rich epistolary dialogue revealing one master teacher's power to shape the cultural canon and one great composer's desire to embed himself within historical narratives.

Nadia Boulanger and Igor Stravinsky began corresponding in 1929 when Stravinsky sought someone to supervise the musical education of his younger son, Soulima. Boulanger accepted the position and began what would prove to be a warmand lasting dialogue with the Stravinsky family. For fifty years, Boulanger exchanged letters with Igor Stravinsky. An additional 140 letters exist written to Boulanger from Stravinsky's immediate family: his wife Catherine, hismother Anna, and his sons Théodore and Soulima.

Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys: A Selected Correspondence makes available a rich selection from this many-sided dialogue. The letters are published here in English translation (most for the first time in their entirety or at all). The little-known French originals are available on the book's companion website. The letters allow us to follow the conversation shared between Boulanger andthe Stravinskys from 1929 until 1972, the year following Igor Stravinsky's death. Through the words they exchanged, we see Boulanger and Stravinsky transition from respectful colleagues to close friends to, finally, distant icons, with music serving always as a central topic. These letters are a testament to one master teacher's power to shape the cultural canon and one composer's desire to embed himself within historical narratives. Their words touch upon matters professional and personal, musical and social, with the overall narrative reflecting the turmoil of life during the twentieth century and the fragility of artists hoping to leave their mark on the modernist period.

Kimberly A. Francis is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Guelph, Canada.
Introduction
October 1929-August 1938
Toward America: January 1939-June 1940
The American Years: November 1940-January 1946
After the War, 1946-1951
A Friendship Unravels, 1951-1956
Old Friends: 1956-1972
Bibliography
Index

Kimberly Francis is an associate professor of music at the University of Guelph, Canada, and has previously published with URP (Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys: A Selected Correspondence, 2018)

"Reveals for the first time the full extent of the Boulanger-Stravinsky correspondence and allows us to set aside the errors and erroneous interpretations that [Robert] Craft introduced when he published forty of the letters in 1982. An indispensable complement to [Francis's] deeply researched study [Teaching Stravinsky]. . . . The translations from French into English are excellent. . . . The book has been well and carefully produced. H-FRANCE Full review: https://h-france.net/vol19reviews/vol19no258dufour.pdf" .
"An extensive haul of letters spanning more than four decades (1929-41) [that] saw the continuation of the composer's remarkable contribution to 'modernist discourse." MUSICAL TIMES
"Draws on theories by Pierre Bourdieu and others to explore Nadia Boulanger's vital role in the promotion of Stravinsky's music in Europe...useful to scholars of both musicians as contextual reading." FRENCH HISTORY
"Deftly selected, edited and translated. The majority of these letters are appearing in English translation for the first time. They will fascinate readers interested by the emotional and professional lives of these mid-twentieth-century figures. Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys adds an important primary source to a growing body of scholarship that seeks to reassess the influential, and in many ways unique, role played by Boulanger in the history of twentieth-century classical music." ROYAL MUSICAL ASSOCIATION RESEARCH CHRONICLE
"A new springboard for further research on Boulanger and the Stravinskys, but even more importantly, illuminates the kinds of entitlements and expectations Stravinsky -- like many men of the period -- had of his supporters and the vast amounts of uncompensated emotional, intellectual, and physical labour Boulanger provided for him in their shared goals to make him the success that he became." FONTES ARTIS MUSICAE
"A model of scholarship. As a reference into the gestation and completion of works like Symphony of Psalms this book is indispensable...[Boulanger's] proof-reading notes to Stravinsky are astounding in their perception and detail....[The companion website] is a true research tool and keeps the length of the book manageable." AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"Reading it is an absorbing experience...sheds new light on an important relationship between two exceptional personalities." GRAMOPHONE
"The letters are often moving, and are undoubtedly vital for those studying either figure." BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
"The correspondence between Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinsky family circle is well worth translating into English. No amount of reporting about their interchanges can substitute for actually following the letters chronologically and absorbing their tone, where personal matters are inextricably entwined with professional ones and Boulanger's absolute admiration for the composer shines through so often. Kimberly Francis's book documents an important moment in twentieth-century music, and also an important moment in the history of women in music." Steven Huebner, McGill University

Hardcover

9781580465960

March 2018

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9781787441897

March 2018

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Title Details

348 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

15 b/w illus.

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 143

Imprint: University of Rochester Press