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Donald Macleod explores Lili Boulanger's larger-scale, final projects and the impact her harmonic language has had on some contemporary musicians.

Donald Macleod explores Lili Boulanger's larger-scale, final projects and the impact her harmonic language has had on some contemporary 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.

In conclusion to this week's series on Lili Boulanger, Donald Macleod follows the ailing young composer's frustrated attempts to finish writing an opera, the impact her impending death had on her musical outlook and the connection her music makes today.

Cortège
Jascha Heifetz, violin
Brooks Smith, piano

Soir sur la plaine
Amanda Pitt, soprano
Martyn Hill, tenor
Peter Johnson, baritone
The New London Chamber Choir
James Wood, conductor

D'un soir triste
D'un matin de printemps
Trio des Alpes
Mirjam Tschopp, violin
Claude Hauri, cello
Corrado Greco, piano

Pie Jesu, arr. Belmondo
Lionel Belmondo and his Ensemble

Vieille Priere Bouddhique
Julian Podger, tenor
The Monteverdi Choir
London Symphony Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Producer: Johannah Smith for BBC Wales.

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Lili Boulanger

    Cortege

    Performer: Jascha Heifetz. Performer: Brooks Smith.
    • SODRE : AOS-06-1001-1-4000-SODRE-1.
    • Alphaomegasound.
    • 9.
  • Lili Boulanger

    Soir Sur La Plaine

    Singer: Amanda Pitt. Singer: Martyn Hill. Singer: Peter Johnson. Choir: New London Chamber Choir. Conductor: James Wood.
    • HYPERION : CDA 66726.
    • HYPERION.
    • 18.
  • 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: Trio des Alpes. Performer: Mirjam Tschopp. Performer: Claude Hauri. Performer: Corrado Greco.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-9745.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 4.
  • Lili Boulanger

    Pie Jesu

    Performer: Lionel Belmondo.
    • Hymne au Soleil.
    • BFCD.
    • 5.
  • Lili Boulanger

    Vieille Priere Bouddhique

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Singer: Julian Podger. Choir: Monteverdi Choir.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON : 463-789-2.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 3.

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