A fresh look at the career of Nadia Boulanger, among the most influential musical figures of the entire twentieth century.
Exploring the ideas of consensus, resistance and rupture, this book contributes an important and nuanced reflection to the current debate on modernism in music.
This is the first history of the guitar during the reign of the Stuarts, a time of great political and social upheaval in England. In this engaging and original volume, Christopher Page gathers a rich array of portraits, literary works and other, previously unpublished, archival materials in order to create a comprehensive picture of the guitar from its early appearances in Jacobean records, through its heyday at the Restoration court in Whitehall, to its decline in the first decades of the eighteenth century. The book explores the passion of Charles II himself for the guitar, and that of Samuel Pepys, who commissioned the largest repertoire of guitar-accompanied song to survive from baroque Europe. Written in Page's characteristically approachable style, this volume will appeal to general readers as well as to music historians and guitar specialists.
Pioneers in their fields and two of the best-known women in music in the twentieth century, Nadia and Lili Boulanger have previously been considered in isolation from one another. Yet, as Caroline Potter's new book demonstrates, their careers were closely linked during Lili Boulanger's short life (1893-1918) and there are several intriguing connections between their musical works. This biography also provides the first full analysis of the Boulanger sisters' musical styles, placing them within the context of French musical history. Their lives are also a case study in the issues of gender which surround music making even to the present day. Despite an unusually privileged upbringing, Nadia and Lili Boulanger exemplify the struggle women experienced when attempting to enter the professional music world. Lili became the first woman to win the Prix de Rome in 1913, and Nadia gained second place in 1908. Yet in spite of this initial success, Nadia Boulanger was to give up composing in her thirties and devoted the remainder of her long life to teaching. Her pupils included several of the great composers of the century, including Aaron Copland and Elliott Carter. This book, focusing on their musical careers, is essential reading for anyone interested in French music of the twentieth century.
Training the Composer
Author: Barrett Ashley Johnson
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
While many teachers of music composition have influenced both the aesthetic and eventual success of their students, few have equaled the contributions of Arnold Schoenberg and Nadia Boulanger in the twentieth-century. A larger volume of a more comprehensive collection including all music composition teachers of the era would serve a certain purpose. However, the unique aspect of the current text examines, in detail, and herein presented for the first time in print, many of the teaching materials and approaches of these two famed musicians. Selection of these two teachers for comparison was made owing to the musical position so famously attributed to each: Schoenberg’s predilection to the German School; Boulanger’s favoritism to the French/Stravinsky aesthetic. In making the case for both Schoenberg and Boulanger, the Author has chosen two differing philosophies of music education practice of the late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century: those of Bennett Reimer and David Elliott. The Author examines the materials and methods of each Schoenberg and Boulanger in light of each Reimer’s and Elliott’s case for music education philosophy. Among the subjects discussed: the nature of musical creativity, the process and methods of teaching creativity/music, and the teacher/student dynamic, to name a few. In closing, the Author has presented his own suggestions for teachers, or would-be teachers, of music composition in a seven-step process leading to an effective pedagogy of the subject.
Author: Kimberly A. Francis
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In 1929 Nadia Boulanger accepted Igor Stravinsky's younger son, Soulima, as her student. Within two years, Stravinsky and Boulanger merged their artistic spheres, each influencing and enhancing the cultural work of the other until the composer's death in 1971. Teaching Stravinsky tells Boulanger's story of the ever-changing nature of her fractious relationship with Stravinksy. Author Kimberly A. Francis explores how Boulanger's own professional activity during the turbulent twentieth-century intersected with her efforts on behalf of Stravinsky, and how this facilitated her own influential conversations with the composer about his works while also drawing her into close contact with his family. Through the theoretical lens of Bourdieu, and drawing upon over one thousand pages of letters and scores, many published here for the first time, Francis examines the extent to which Boulanger played a foundational role in defining, defending, and ultimately consecrating Stravinsky's canonical identity. She considers how the quotidian events in the lives of these two icons of modernism informed both their art and their professional decisions, and convincingly argues for a reevaluation of the influence of women on cultural production during the twentieth century. At once a story of one woman's vibrant friendship with an iconic modernist composer, and a case study in how gendered polemics informed professional negotiations of the artistic-political fields of the twentieth-century, Teaching Stravinsky sheds new light not only on how Boulanger taught Stravinsky, but also how, in doing so, she managed to influence the course of modernism itself.
Nadia and Lili Boulanger
Author: Caroline Potter
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Pioneers in their fields and two of the best-known women in music in the twentieth century, Nadia and Lili Boulanger have only previously been considered in isolation from one another. Yet, as Caroline Potter's new book demonstrates, their careers were closely linked during Lili's short life (1893-1918) and there are several intriguing connections between their musical works.
Beethoven the Pianist
Author: Tilman Skowroneck
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The widely held belief that Beethoven was a rough pianist, impatient with his instruments, is not altogether accurate: it is influenced by anecdotes dating from when deafness had begun to impair his playing. Presenting a detailed biography of Beethoven's formative years, this book reviews the composer's early career, outlining how he was influenced by teachers, theorists and instruments. Skowroneck describes the development and decline of Beethoven's pianism, and pays special attention to early pianos, their construction and their importance for Beethoven and the modern pianist. The book also includes discussions of legato and Beethoven's trills, and a complete annotated review of eyewitnesses' reports about his playing. Skowroneck presents a revised picture of Beethoven which traces his development from an impetuous young musician into a virtuoso in command of many musical resources.
To Play Again
Author: Carol Rosenberger
Publisher: She Writes Press
At age twenty-one, while she was working with the legendary Nadia Boulanger in France, concert pianist Carol Rosenberger was stricken with paralytic polio—a condition that knocked out the very muscles she needed in order to play. But Rosenberger refused to give up. Over the next ten years, against all medical advice, she struggled to rebuild her technique and regain her life as a musician—and went on to not only play again, but to receive critical acclaim for her performances and recordings. Beautifully written and deeply inspiring, To Play Again is Rosenberger’s chronicle of making possible the seemingly impossible: overcoming career-ending hardships to perform again.
Author: Matthew Dirst, Matthew Charles Dirst
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Matthew Dirst examines the leading role of Bach's keyboard works in the creation of his historical legacy.
In the late sixteenth century, the French royal court was mobile. To distinguish itself from the rest of society, it depended more on its cultural practices and attitudes than on the royal and aristocratic palaces it inhabited. Using courtly song-or the air de cour-as a window, Jeanice Brooks offers an unprecedented look into the culture of this itinerant institution. Brooks concentrates on a period in which the court's importance in projecting the symbolic centrality of monarchy was growing rapidly and considers the role of the air in defining patronage hierarchies at court and in enhancing courtly visions of masculine and feminine virtue. Her study illuminates the court's relationship to the world beyond its own confines, represented first by Italy, then by the countryside. In addition to the 40 editions of airs de cour printed between 1559 and 1589, Brooks draws on memoirs, literary works, and iconographic evidence to present a rounded vision of French Renaissance culture. The first book-length examination of the history of air de cour, this work also sheds important new light on a formative moment in French history.
This edited volume of case studies presents a selective history of French music and culture, but one with a dynamic difference. Eschewing a traditional chronological account, the book explores the nature of relationships between one main period, broadly the 'long' modernist era between 1860–1960, and its own historical ‘others’, referencing topics from the Romantic, classical, baroque, renaissance and medieval periods. It probes the emergent interplay, intertextualities and scope for reinterpretation across time and place. Notions of cultural meaning are paramount, especially those pertaining to French identity, national and individual. While founded on historical musicology, the approach benefits from interdisciplinary association with philosophy, political history, literature, fine art, film studies and criticism. Attention is paid to French composers’ celebrations and remakings of their predecessors. Editions of and writings about earlier music are examined, together with the cultural reception of performances of past repertoire. Organized into two parts, each of the eleven chapters characterizes a specific cultural network or temporal interplay, which may result in synthesis, disjunction, or historical misreading. The interwar years and those surrounding the Second World War prove particularly rich sources of enquiry. This volume aims to attract a wide readership of musicologists and musicians, as well as cultural historians, other humanities scholars and concert-goers.
This collection uncovers how music criticism contributed to national and transnational preoccupations and agendas.
Author: Léonie Rosenstiel
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
A detailed, authoritative portrait of a commanding figure in twentieth-century music.
New York Times Bestseller "Reads the way Mr. Glass's compositions sound at their best: propulsive, with a surreptitious emotional undertow." —Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times Philip Glass has, almost single-handedly, crafted the dominant sound of late-twentieth-century classical music. Yet in Words Without Music, his critically acclaimed memoir, he creates an entirely new and unexpected voice, that of a born storyteller and an acutely insightful chronicler, whose behind-the-scenes recollections allow readers to experience those moments of creative fusion when life so magically merged with art. From his childhood in Baltimore to his student days in Chicago and at Juilliard, to his first journey to Paris and a life-changing trip to India, Glass movingly recalls his early mentors, while reconstructing the places that helped shape his creative consciousness. Whether describing working as an unlicensed plumber in gritty 1970s New York or composing Satyagraha, Glass breaks across genres and re-creates, here in words, the thrill that results from artistic creation. Words Without Music ultimately affirms the power of music to change the world.