Chapter 4, 13 June 1951

Title

Chapter 4, 13 June 1951

Subject

Nadia Boulanger

Creator

Igor Stravinsky

Date

13 June 1951

Source

Bibliothèque Nationale De Paris

Type

Letter

Extracted Text

Stravinsky to Boulanger
1260 North Wetherly Drive
Hollywood 46, California
Mademoiselle Nadia Boulanger
36 rue Ballu
Paris, 9th (FRANCE)
June 13, 1951
My dear Nadia,
Your letter touched me greatly; we were all affected as well by the swift and almost unexpected
death of Koussevitzky. At the request of Time magazine, I wrote these few lines included below:
“That Serge Koussevitzky was a great celebrity, everybody knows; but that many careers were
created by his generosity, very few know.
When a man passes away those wishing to pay tribute to his memory recollect his good deeds,
the things he did most ostensibly.
Let us dwell today on those things that Serge Koussevitzky did for others without telling anyone
about it. And for these secret things let him be rewarded manifestly.”
I think my homage, limited to what is true, is in this way more sincere than many of the others
that are being published right now.
What is this pessimistic news that you’re only partially sharing with me? You seem to know
more in France about the Italian premiere of The Rake than I do here. As for myself, I have a
solid contract in my pocket with the Biennale and I will be in Italy on the scheduled dates (mid-
August) to perform it. A couple of days ago I learned officially that La Scala has agreed with the
Biennale to mount the Venetian production. But I have no other details; these Italians don’t seem
to like to write. Therefore, I would like to know more about this from you if—as your letter left
me to assume—you are collecting information from various sources. Who is saying what??? In
Italy or elsewhere about my Rake??? . . . Don't leave me in the dark.
Vera and I send you our great affection,
I Str.
Stravinsky à Boulanger
1260 North Wetherly Drive
Hollywood 46, California
Mademoiselle Nadia Boulanger
36 rue Ballu
Paris 9eme (FRANCE)
13 juin 1951
Chere [sic] Nadia,
Vos lignes m’ont beaucoup touche; nous avons tous ete egalement atteints par la disparation si
rapide et presqu’inattendue [sic] de Koussevitzky. J’ai ecrit—a la demande de Time magazine,
les quelques lignes ci-dessous:
“That Serge Koussevitzky was a great celebrity, everybody knows; but that many careers were
created by his generosity, very few know.
“When a man passes away those wishing to pay tribute to his memory recollect his good deeds,
the things he did most ostensibly.
“Let us dwell today on those things that Serge Koussevitzky did for others without telling
anyone about it. And for these secret things let him be rewarded manifestly.”
Je pense que mon hommage, limite a ce qui est vrai, est ainsi plus sincere que beaucoup de ceux
qui sont publies a cette heure.
Quelles sont ces nouvelles pessimistes dont vous me transmettez seulement quelques echos?
Vous avez l’air d’en savoir en France plus que je n’en sais moi-meme ici, en ce qui concerne la
premiere italienne du Rake. Pour ma part j’ai un solide contrat dans ma poche avec la Biennale et
je me rendrai en Italie aux dates prevues (mi-Aout [sic]) pour l’executer. J’ai appris
officieusement il y a quelques jours que la Scala se serait entendue avec la Biennale pour mettre
sur pied la production venitienne. Mais je n’ai pas d’autres details; ces Italiens semblent ne pas
aimer ecrire. Aussi aimerais-je en savoir plus long par vous si—comme votre lettre me le laisse
supposer—vous recoltez des informations de sources variées. Qui dit quoi??? en Italie ou ailleurs
au sujet de mon Rake???... Ne me laissez pas dans l’incertitude.
Vera et moi vous embrassons bien affectueusement.—
- I Str.

Files

Citation

Igor Stravinsky , “Chapter 4, 13 June 1951,” Digital Exhibits, accessed June 14, 2024, https://digex.lib.uoguelph.ca/items/show/2465.

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