Chapter 5, 16 May 1956


Chapter 5, 16 May 1956


Nadia Boulanger


Igor Stravinsky


16 May 1956


Bibliothèque nationale de France



Extracted Text

Stravinsky to Boulanger
May 16, 1956
My very dear Nadia,
Excuse my silence—it's the fault of the Biennale! No one knows the date of my concert; all we
know is that it will be no later than September 20. I cannot even obtain from them the smallest
details about the choruses, orchestra, soloists; correspondence has been dragging on for months!
It’s horrendous.
I just changed the entire program, because they didn’t want to make my job easier in letting Bob
Craft conduct the old Venetian masters that he certainly knows better than I. I sent a cable to tell
them that I will conduct at the Fenice, and not at St Mark’s,* the following program:
Choral und Variationen (Vom Himmel hoch) of J. S. Bach in my arrangement for choir and
orchestra. B. &. H. is in the process of printing it.
As usual we are staying at the Bauer Gruenwald Hotel. In a month we are taking the train to New
York where we will set off (Vulcania) for Athens.
I am conducting Les Noces and Bob my Bach arrangement on May 27 at Ojai.
Fond and affectionate wishes,
I Str
*Because one does not give a concert performance of a mass intended to accompany a religious
service in a church.
Stravinsky à Boulanger
16 mai 1956
Tres chere Nadia,
Excusez mon silence—a Biennale la faute! Personne ne connait la date de mon concert ; tout ce
qu’on sait c’est que cela ne sera pas plus tard que le 20 septembre. Je n’arrive meme pas a
obtenir d’eux le moindre detail sur les chœurs, orchestre, solistes ; correspondance trainant des
mois ! C’est epouventable.
Je viens de changer le programme entier, car ils ne voulaient pas me faciliter la tache en donnant
a Bob Craft la direction des vieux maitres venitiens qu’il connait certainement mieux que moi. Je
leur ai cable que je dirigerai a la Fenice et non a St. Marc* le programme suivant :
Choral und Variationen (Vom Himmel hoch) de J.S. Bach dans mon arrangement pour chœur et
orch. B. &. H. est en train de le graver.
On descend comme toujours au Bauer Gruenwald Hotel. Dans un mois on prend le train pour
NewYork [sic] ou on s’embarque (Vulcania) pour Athenes.
Je dirige le 27 mai a Ojai Les Noces et Bob—mon arrangement de Bach.
Vous embrasse affectueusement
I Str
*Car on ne donne pas dans une eglise une execution de concert d’une messe destine [sic] a
accompagner un service divin.



Igor Stravinsky , “Chapter 5, 16 May 1956,” Digital Exhibits, accessed April 22, 2024,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: