Chapter 4, 18 June 1951


Chapter 4, 18 June 1951


Igor Stravinsky


Nadia Boulanger


18 June 1951


Paul Sacher Stiftung



Extracted Text

Boulanger to Stravinsky
36 rue Ballu
Paris IX
Monsieur Igor Strawinsky
1260 N. Wetherly Drive
Hollywood 46
June 18, 1951
What Happiness, Dear Friend—thank you for having responded so quickly. The rumors that run
through Rome and Paris are so varied and contradictory that one must give up trying to
understand. One day “the premiere will take place in Milan” the other “in Venice” then, “nothing
is decided, everything is to be struck and will be remounted in Paris in the spring,” then, “the 9th
in Venice,” “monstrous attempt by the Scala [to go after] the Biennale.” “American performers
have been hired.” “What, it is the Italians who are doing everything.” “Stage design by Balthus.”
“No, by Berman.” This back and forth only tormented me at first and now seems to me to be
exaggerated, so I want to try not to hear anything about it, and will wait.
How can I say what happiness it will be to see you again and to hear your opera.
Forgive me, but between competitions, lessons, [and] concerts, I’ve lost my head. But I’ve found
it again to tell you of my joy [and] my tenderness.
To Vera, to you,
[P.S.] Admirable, your message.
[P.P.S.] Ah, it’s the 18th—happy birthday!!
Boulanger à Stravinsky
36 rue Ballu
Paris IX
Monsieur Igor Strawinsky
1260 N. Wetherly Drive
Hollywood 46
18 juin 1951
Quel Bonheur, Cher Ami—merci d’avoir répondu si vite [sic]. Les bruits qui courent à Rome et à
Paris sont si variés et contradictoires qu’il faut renoncer à comprendre : Un jour « la 1ère
aura lieu
à Milan, » « l’autre à Venise. » Puis, « rien n’est décidé tout va craquer—et ce sera repris à Paris
au printemps. » Puis, « le 9 à Venise. » « Du tout, procès monstre de la Scala à la Biennale. »
« Les interprètes américains sont engagés. » « Comment, ce sont les Italiens qui font
tous. » « Les décors de Balthus. » « Non, de Berman. » Et ce jeu de douche écossaise qui m’a
d’abord tant tourmentée, me parait si exagéré, que je veux essayer de ne plus rien entendre—et
Comment dire ce qu’est le bonheur de vous revoir et d’entendre votre Opera.
Pardon—mais entre concours, leçons, concerts, je perds la tête.
Mais la retrouve pour vous dire ma joie, ma tendresse.
A Vera, à vous
[P.-S.] Admirable, votre message.
[P.P.-S] Ah, voici le 18—happy birthday !!



Nadia Boulanger , “Chapter 4, 18 June 1951,” Digital Exhibits, accessed June 14, 2024,

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