Chapter 4, 14 February 1948


Chapter 4, 14 February 1948


Igor Stravinsky


Nadia Boulanger


14 February 1948


Paul Sacher Stiftung



Extracted Text

Boulanger to Stravinsky
February 14, 1948
Dear Igor,
Official letter today. It has to do with assigning the Lili Boulanger award. If you agree, we could
give $250 to Paul DesMarais and $350 to Claudio Santoro, a young Brazilian, a very talented,
true musician, and great worker. In the event that you would be ready to agree to this project, the
ballot is attached here. You only have to sign it and return it.
I play Orpheus all day long. We are overwhelmed by this score where everything is in harmony
and everything seems new, now and always. I seem rather stupid, but I assure you that I have
heard and understood everything, and that I am very proud to love you so much, you whom I
admire more than I know how to say. It seems that I destroy your secrets.
And this orchestration, these relationships, these distances. This writing—the score sings in my
ears and its order is in my spirit.
You cannot help me anymore. It is entirely my fault, but I suffer for it.
To Vera and to you, all my love,
Boulanger à Stravinsky
14 February 1948
Cher Igor,
Lettre officielle aujourd’hui. Il s’agit de décerner le Lili Boulanger award. Si vous êtes d’accord
on pourrait donner $250 à Paul DesMarais et 350 à Claudio Santaro, un jeune Brésilien, très
doué, vrai musicien, grand travailleur. Dans le cas où vous soyez prêt à souscrire à ce projet, un
bulletin est joint. Vous n’aurez qu’à le signer, et le renvoyer.
Je joue Orpheus toute la journée. Nous sommes bouleversés par cette partition où tout s’accorde
où tout est nouveau et semble de toujours. J’ai l’air très bête, mais je vous assure que j’ai tout
entendu, compris, et que, je suis très fière de tant vous aimer, vous que j’admire plus que je ne
sais dire. Il me semble que je détruis vos secrets.
Et cet orchestre, ces rapports, ces distances. Cette écriture, la partition chante dans mes oreilles et
son ordre dans mon esprit.
Vous ne m’aidez plus. C’est bien de ma faute, mais, j’en ai de la peine.
A Vera, à vous, de toute ma tendresse,



Nadia Boulanger , “Chapter 4, 14 February 1948,” Digital Exhibits, accessed June 14, 2024,

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