Chapter 5, 28 September 1953


Chapter 5, 28 September 1953


Nadia Boulanger


Igor Stravinsky


28 September 1953


Bibliothèque nationale de France



Extracted Text

Stravinsky to Boulanger
1260 North Wetherly Drive
Hollywood 46, California
Mademoiselle Nadia Boulanger
36 rue Ballu
Paris, 9th (France)
September 28, 1953
Dear Nadia,
We are happy to finally have news from you. Thank you for giving me your comments on The
Rake and the Opéra Comique. I didn’t know that Beydts had died. Who will take over from him?
I had always thought the French version would be the most difficult to stage and, most certainly,
the present translation did not help to overcome these difficulties, but did quite the reverse.
Let’s hope that one day, as you imagine, we will succeed in doing better.
Soulima, back from Urbana, told me that Swarsenski (from Boosey & Hawkes, rue d’Anjou) had
organized a group to present The Rake in the provinces. Is this what you are speaking of in
mentioning Tours?
Great success in Edinburgh—I have received quite a bit of feedback from there.
As for your “request,” as nice as it seems to me, I can only—unfortunately!—respond to you in
the negative, because I am absolutely overrun with work and a surplus of commitments. After
having lost about two months this summer to an operation and getting myself back on my feet, I
have just agreed to write a ballet for Kirstein-Balanchine (New York City Center). I am in the
middle of another project, I have a two-month American tour followed by a two-and-a-half-
month European tour (Rome at Easter, Turin, Switzerland, Germany, England, Lisbon). After
that, I will just have to try to catch up on the work that will have piled up.
So, my dear Nadia, please forgive me and understand.
With an affectionate kiss,
I Str.
Stravinsky à Boulanger
1260 North Wetherly Drive
Hollywood 46, California
Mademoiselle Nadia Boulanger
36 rue Ballu
Paris, 9eme
Le 28 septembre 1953
Chere Nadia,
Nous sommes heureux d’avoir enfin de vos nouvelles. Merci de me donner vos commentaires
sur le Rake et l’Opera Comique. Je ne savais pas que Beydts etait mort. Qui va lui succeder ?
J’avais toujours pense que la version francaise serait la plus difficiles a etablir et, assurement, la
traduction presente n’a pas aide a surmonter les difficultes, au contraire.
Esperons qu’un jour, comme vous l’envisagez, on reuissira a faire mieux.
Soulima, de retour a Urbana, m’a dit qui Swarsenski (de Boosey & Hawkes, rue d’Anjou) avait
organisee une troupe pour presenter le Rake en province. Est-ce de cela que vous parlez en
mentionnant Tours ?
Gros success a Edinburgh d’où j’ai eu plusieurs echos.
Quant a votre « priere », toute sympathique qu’elle me soit, je ne peux vous repondre—helas !—
que negativement car je suis absolument deborde de travail et surcharge d’engagements. Apres
avoir perdu environ 2 mois cet été a me faire operer et a me remettre en circuit, je viens
d’accepter de faire un ballet pour Kirstein-Balanchine (New York City Center), j’ai une autre
affaire en course, j’ai 2 mois de tournee americaine suivis de 2 mois ½ environ de tournee
europeenne (Rome a Paques, Turin, Suisse, Allemagne, Angleterre, Lisbonne). Apres ca, je
n’aurai qu’a essayer de rattraper tout le retard accumule.
Alors, chere Nadia, ne m’en voulez pas, et comprenez-moi.
Je vous embrasse affectueusement,
I. Str.



Igor Stravinsky , “Chapter 5, 28 September 1953,” Digital Exhibits, accessed April 18, 2024,

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