Chapter 5, 11 November 1956


Chapter 5, 11 November 1956


Théodore Stravinsky, Théodore Strawinsky


Nadia Boulanger


11 November 1956


Paul Sacher Stiftung



Extracted Text

Boulanger to Théodore Strawinsky
November 11, 1956
Dear Théodore,
Your letter overwhelms and touches me—Your confidence consoles me—seeing as how my
anxiety is so close to your own. Allow me to reassure you, however, that I was told a concert is
no longer envisioned, but—it’s not the same thing. And we suffer all the more when we listen
again to the Canticum, however poorly performed. What spiritual significance and technique in a
work so beautiful, so important and inevitably still misunderstood.
While my thoughts never leave your Father, I don’t dare write there [to Munich]—I don’t know
what to say to him—I’m scared of words. You know that I love him as much as I admire and
respect him. In the middle of the horror, of the disgrace into which we have plunged, your
Father’s illness is a terrible catastrophe.
Lovingly, and with a heart that belongs tenderly to you both,
Boulanger à Théodore Strawinsky
11 novembre 1956
Cher Théodore,
Votre lettre me bouleverse et me touche—Votre confiance m’est douce—alors que mon anxiété
est si proche de la votre [sic]. Laissez-moi un peu vous rassurer pourtant, que plus un concert ne
doit être envisagé m’a été dit, mais—ce n’est pas la même chose. Et on souffre d’autant plus
quand on réentend le Canticum, pourtant mal donné. Quelle signification spirituelle et technique
dans cette œuvre si belle, si importante et forcément encore incomprise.
N’ose écrire là-bas alors que ma pensée ne quitte pas votre Père—ne sais que lui dire—ai peur
des mots. Vous savez que je l’aime autant que je l’admire et le respecte. Au milieu de l’horreur,
de la honte dans lesquelles nous sommes plongés, la maladie de votre Père est une catastrophe
Je vous embrasse et suis avec vous deux d’un cœur tendrement.



Nadia Boulanger, “Chapter 5, 11 November 1956,” Digital Exhibits, accessed April 18, 2024,

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