Chapter 3, 29 July 1941


Chapter 3, 29 July 1941


Nadia Boulanger


Igor Stravinsky


29 July 1941


Bibliothque Nationale De Paris



Extracted Text

Stravinsky to Boulanger
1260 North Wetherly Drive
Hollywood, California
July 29, 1941
Dear friend,
I received your letter of June 29 in Mexico City and am just responding to you today with a
couple of words to thank you for it. Reply quickly by return mail if you are coming here (or to
Santa Barbara where Mrs. Bliss is waiting for you) since in that case it would be simpler to look
at things concerning my symphony together and to make decisions face to face. It’s so
complicated to correspond on such subjects. I am so grateful to you for taking care of this, thank
you with all my heart! I am back from Mexico City with the two orch[estral] scores, mine and
the grey one that I want to try to correct according to my own. Can you believe those idiots at the
Associated Music Publishers sent (for some potential performances) a complete version of my
symphony to London before they had received your corrections!!!!!! So I await your response
doubly impatiently.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re in a poor state of health and beg you to give me details, if only as an
exception [to what you would usually do]. Is it your nerves, insomnia, or something bigger yet? I
am very worried.
I’ve just received a letter from Théodore who, the poor boy, was taken away by two policemen
to a concentration camp close to Toulouse where he spent four horrible days dying of hunger, a
result of measures taken by the government against all Russians without exception (Red or
White), following the break in diplomatic relations with the Soviets. If it wasn’t for the Swiss
Consul at Toulouse who acted as guarantor for my poor Théodore, he would still be imprisoned
like the others. Such noble measures are taken, probably to please Hitler, against refugees
deprived of all their rights. And [to think] Théodore offered his services to the French army at
the beginning of the war! The other day in Mexico City someone asked if I was for Pétain or,
like many French here, a “Degaullist,” I responded to them that I am “Disgueulsted.”
Very affectionately yours,
I. Stra
Stravinsky à Boulanger
1260 North Wetherly Drive
Hollywood, California
29 juillet 1941
Chere amie,
Votre lettre du 29 juin recue a Mexico et ne vous reponds qu’aujourd’hui quelques mots pour
vous en remercier. Repondez-moi vite par retour du courrier si vous venez ici (ou a Santa
Barbara ou Mme Bliss vous attend) puisque dans ce cas il serait plus simple de voir les choses
qui concernent ma symphonie ensemble et de prendre des decisions de vive voix. C’est si
complique de correspondre sur de pareils sujets. Je vous suis si reconnaissant de vous en
occuper, merci de tout cœur ! Je suis revenu de Mexico avec les deux partitions d’orch., la
mienne et la grise que je veux tachez [sic] de corriger d’apres la mienne. Immaginez-vous[sic]
que ces idiots de l’Associated Music Publishers ont expedie a Londres (pour des executions
eventuelles[sic]) un complet de ma symphonie avant qu’ils ayent [sic] recu vos corrections!!!!!!
J’attends donc avec une double impatience votre reponse.
Desole [sic] de vous savoir en mauvais etat de sante vous prie de me donner, ne serait-ce que par
exception, des details. Est-ce que c’est les nerfs, l’insomnie ou des choses plus importantes
encore ? Je suis tres inquiet.
Viens de recevoir une lettre de Theodore qui, le pauvre, etait emmene par deux gendarmes dans
un camp de concentration pres de Toulouse ou il a passe quatre affreuses journees crevant de
faim resultat de mesure prise par le gouvernement contre tous les russes sans exception (rouges
ou blancs) apres la rupture des relations diplomatiques avec les soviets . Si ce n’était le consul
suisse a Toulouse qui s’est porte garant de mon pauvre Theodore ce dernier serait toujours
emprisonne comme les autres. Nobles mesures prises, probablement pour faire plaisir a Hitler,
contre des refugiers prives de tous les droits. Et dire que Theodore a offert au debut de la guerre
ses services a l’armee francaise ! L’autre jour a Mexico quelqu’un m’avait demande si j’etais
pour Petain ou comme beaucoup de francais [sic] ici « Degaullistes », je leur ai repondu que je
suis Degueuliste.
Tres affectueusement,
I. Stra



Igor Stravinsky, “Chapter 3, 29 July 1941,” Digital Exhibits, accessed May 28, 2024,

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