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The Boulangers at rue Ballu

Donald Macleod explores Lili Boulanger's extraordinary childhood, music-making with the most influential musicians.

Donald Macleod explores Lili Boulanger's extraordinary childhood, music-making with the most influential musicians.

As the first female winner, Lili Boulanger's success in France's most prestigious composing competition, in 1913, is a significant landmark in the history of overcoming gender discrimination. Artistically it identified her as one of the most outstanding composers of her generation, with the prospect of a great future ahead. Tragically she was not to have long to fulfil that expectancy. Having struggled with ill-health from the age of 2, she died in 1918 at the age of just 24, three weeks after Debussy, a composer from whom she derived much inspiration. Yet, despite the brevity of her life, Boulanger's natural facility for composition and unwavering dedication to her craft provides us with a surprising number of predominantly vocal works.

Lili Boulanger was destined for a career in music from birth. Her father and her elder sister Nadia were accomplished professional musicians, her mother had studied voice. Living in the centre of Paris, the family household was frequented by some of the most prominent names in France's musical establishment, with regular soirees providing the perfect opportunity for young Lili to try out her compositions.

Attente
Reflets
Sonia de Beaufort, mezzo soprano
Alain Jacquon, piano

Theme and Variations for piano
Emile Naoumoff, piano

Sous-Bois
Pendant La tempête
La Source
Philharmonia Chor, Stuttgart
Emile Naoumoff, piano
Helmut Wolf, conductor

D'un soir triste
D'un matin de printemps
BBC Philharmonic
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

Le retour
Patrice Michaels, soprano
Rebecca Rollins, piano.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Lili Boulanger

    Reflets and Attente

    Performer: Alain Jacquon. Singer: Sonia de Beaufort.
    • Lili Boulanger Songs.
    • 1.
  • Lili Boulanger

    Theme and Variations for piano

    Performer: Emile Naoumoff.
    • In Memoriam Lili Boulanger.
    • Marco Polo.
    • 1.
  • Lili Boulanger

    Sous-Bois for chorus and piano

    Performer: Emile Naoumoff. Choir: Stuttgart Philharmonia Chorus. Conductor: Helmut Wolf.
    • Autour de Boulanger.
    • Saphir productions.
    • 3.
  • Lili Boulanger

    Pendant la tempete for male chorus and piano

    Performer: Emile Naoumoff. Choir: Stuttgart Philharmonia Chorus. Conductor: Helmut Wolf.
    • Autour de Boulanger.
    • Saphir productions.
    • 4.
  • Lili Boulanger

    La Source for chorus and piano

    Performer: Emile Naoumoff. Choir: Stuttgart Philharmonia Chorus. Conductor: Helmut Wolf.
    • Autour de Boulanger.
    • Saphir productions.
    • 5.
  • Lili Boulanger

    D'un Soir Triste

    Performer: Trio des Alpes. Performer: Mirjam Tschopp. Performer: Claude Hauri. Performer: Corrado Greco.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-9745.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 3.
  • Lili Boulanger

    D'un Matin de Printemps

    Performer: BBC Philharmonic. Performer: Yan Pascal Tortelier.
    • 20th Century Women Composers.
    • Dynamic.
    • 2.
  • Lili Boulanger

    Le Retour

    Performer: Rebecca Rollins. Singer: Patrice Michaels.
    • Clearings in the Sky.
    • Cedrille.
    • 6.

Broadcast

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