Chapter 1, 25 August 1938


Chapter 1, 25 August 1938


Igor Stravinsky


Nadia Boulanger


25 August 1938


Paul Sacher Stiftung



Extracted Text

Boulanger to Stravinsky
Monsieur I. Strawinsky
25 Faubourg St. Honoré
Paris, France
May 15, 1938
Dear Friend,
I have not been able to write you, because the life I lead is an impossible problem. But I must, all
the same, tell you what a joy the concert was at the Blisses’ on the 8th. I knew, but did not know
at all, the joy I would find in performing the Concerto—and upon listening to it, I have
understood once again [things that] I wouldn’t know how to tell you. I can’t express it, but such
loneliness is a certainty in my life.
And, after all the courses dedicated to your music, I believe that I understand all the better.
The Concerto was played honestly, well, very well—and was understood, I believe. There
remain many mistakes—and a few problems—I hope that you can wait for my return before
printing it, because it seems to me that a few passages should be modified in places (insufficient
repeats, the notation, etc.) and I cannot formulate the list at this time—I work almost night and
How can I thank you? And how can I prove to you such great devotion? You have clarified
everything, not only through your works, but also by the clarity they project onto all music.
You have given us ears and a conscience! I cannot tear myself away from the Concerto—
everything has such an unexpected sound!
I think of you and your family with deep affection, and am close to you through these heavy,
anxious times. May God be with you and bring peace. This helplessness in the face of sickness is
so frightful.
[P.S.] You must know that the Blisses were deeply moved by the Concerto and are so thankful.
Boulanger à Stravinsky
Gargenville S.O.
25 Aout 1938
Cher Ami
Voici enfin mon pauvre petit chèque.
Vous savez, n’est-ce-pas, qu’il me fait honte, mais…
Vous savez aussi que je voudrais pourtant vous témoigner de cette manière matérielle autant
qu’en esprit et en affection, ma gratitude.
De tout cœur, je vous embrasse et suis votre,



Nadia Boulanger, “Chapter 1, 25 August 1938,” Digital Exhibits, accessed May 28, 2024,

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