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Boulanger, Nadia

Virgil Thomson once said, “In every town in the United States you find a five-and-dime and a Boulanger student," and he wasn't far off.  Nadia Boulanger taught and influenced an entire generation of musicians, from Aaron Copland and Astor Piazzolla to Philip Glass and Quincy Jones. This week we'll hear some of her own compositions, works by her talented sister, Lily, and performances of works by prolific students. Bill features Nadia conducting her close friend Igor Stravinsky’s composition Dumbarton Oaks and ends this retrospective listening to Piazzolla’s Oblivion.

Program 1

Bill starts off his exploration of the influence of Nadia Boulanger with music from Nadia as well as her sister Lili. We close with music from Aaron Copland dedicated to Boulanger.

Nadia Boulanger: Trois Pièces
 I. Modéré
 II. Sans vitesse et á l’aise
 III. Vite et nerveusement rhythmé
Belmont Trio: Maxine Neuman, vc.; Karin Scholz, gtr.; Peter Erns, gtr.
Bella Musica

Nadia Boulanger: Vers La Vie Nouvelle
Emile Naoumoff, p.
Marco Polo 8.223636

Copland: Appalachian Spring (excerpt)
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra/Dennis Russell Davies
Pro Arte 140

Program 2

Bill checks in on another of Boulanger’s more prolific students, Virgil Thomson. We hear excerpts from Thomson’s Symphony on a Hymn Tune and Sentimental Tango No. 1 before continuing with music from Robert Russell Bennett, Igor Markevitch and Douglas Moore.

Virgil Thomson: Symphony On A Hymn Tune
 1. Introduction & Allegro
 2. Andante Cantabile
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Sedares
Naxos 8.559022

Thomson: Sentimental Tango No. 1
Bennett Lerner, p.
Etcetera 1019

Igor Markevitch: Noces, I
Kolja Lessing, p.
Largo 56639

Douglas Moore: “Willow, where we met together” & “Warm as the Autumn Light” from The Ballad of Baby Doe
NYC Opera Orchestra & Chorus/Buckley; Beverly Sills, sop.; Walter Cassel, bar.
DG 465148

Sir Lennox Berkeley: Serenade For Strings
 I. Vivace
 III. Lento

English Sinfonia/John Farrer
IMP Masters 60

Program 3

We open with music from Bernard Rogers, his fairy tale piece Once Upon a Time. We hear an elegy for Ravel from the young David Diamond, a symphony from cowboy composer Roy Harris and we finish with music from Walter Piston.

Bernard Rogers: Once Upon A Time
 1. The Tinder-Box Soldier
 2. The Song Of Rapunzel
 3. The Story Of A Darning Needle
 4. Dance Of The Twelve Princesses
 5. The Ride Of Koschei The Deathless
Eastman-Rochester Orchestra/Hanson
Mercury 434319
13:08, :22

David Diamond: Elegy in Memory of Maurice Ravel
Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz
Delos 3110

Roy Harris: Symphony No. 1, III
Louisville Orchestra/Jorge Mester
Albany 012

Piston: Quintet for Pianoforte and String Quartet, I
Portland String Quartet, Leonard Hokanson, p.
Northeastern 232

Program 4

Bill opens with Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, originally conducted by Nadia Boulanger in 1936. We then hear a clip of Boulanger speaking about Stravinsky. Bill follows with Boulanger conducting music of Gabriel Fauré before transitioning into music by Boulanger students after WWII, including Easley Blackwood who joins Bill in the studio.

Igor Stravinsky: Concerto In E-flat for Chamber Orchestra, Dumbarton Oaks, I
Columbia Symphony Orchestra/Igor Stravinsky
Sony 710311
4:25, :17

Gabriel Fauré: In Paradisum fr. Requiem, Op. 48
BBC Symphony and Chorus/Nadia Boulanger
BBC Legends 4026

Karel Husa: Apotheosis Of This Earth – III. Post Script
The Louisville Orchestra, University Of Louisville Concert Choir/Husa
First Edition 0009

Easley Blackwood: Symphony No. 5, Op. 34, II
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/James DePreist
Cedille 90000016

Program 5

We hear music from Ross Lee Finney, Elliot Carter and Phillip Glass before closing the week with music from Astor Piazzolla and Aaron Copland underscores the death of Nadia Boulanger.

Ross Lee Finney: Fiddle-Doodle-Ad (excerpts)
 I. Rosin The Bow
 II. Rye Whiskey
 III. Wayfaring Stranger
Miranda Cuckson, v.; Thomas Sauer, p.
Centaur 2757

Adolphus Hailstork: Epitaph For A Man Who Dreamed
Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman
Cedille 061

Michel Legrand: “Les parapluies de Cherbourg”
Legrand, p.; Jessye Norman, sop.
Phil 456654

Astor Piazzolla: Adiós Nonino

Aaron Copland: Concerto for Clarinet, I (excerpt)
I Musici De Montreal/Yuli Turovsky
Chan 9848


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
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