Nadia Boulanger – Icon
Nadia Boulanger
Label
Deutsche Grammophon
Catalogue No.
4841384
Barcode
00028948413843
Format
CD
About

From Monteverdi to Brahms via French Baroque rarities: the Decca Gold (US) legacy of a complete musician, newly remastered and issued complete for the first time, with fascinating liner notes by Nigel Simeone. Original Jackets, Limited Edition.

Composer, teacher, organist, pianist, harpsichordist, choir trainer, conductor, musicologist: there seemed to be no end to the talents of Nadia Boulanger though she liked to insist that her gifts paled in comparison to her tragically short-lived sister, Lili. Nadia compensated with ceaseless industry. By the time of her early twenties, having studied with Fauré and undertaken the famously rigorous Paris Conservatoire formation, she was already reviving Bach cantatas in concert. In this guise she came to the attention of the American heiress and assiduous sponsor of avant-garde culture in Paris, the Princesse de Polignac, and with her support founded a vocal consort which made valuable and often-reissued HMV recordings of Monteverdi and Brahms in the 1930s.

Boulanger’s postwar recordings for American Decca, while also made in Paris, are much less widely known, having been issued on Brunswick LPs with limited availability outside the US and on Decca Gold in the US. Having returned to Paris after her wartime exile on the American east coast, she revived her consort for concerts at the Polignac salon, drawing together the most resilient of her older colleagues, such as the tenor Hugues Cuénod, with younger vocal talents such as Nadine Sautereau and Irma Kolassi, who had already established an international career for themselves but were devoted to Boulanger and her tender tyranny in securing precise, selfless and stylish performances of a repertoire that was still largely the exclusive property of scholars rather than musicians.

As well as returning to Monteverdi, the American Decca sessions of 1952–54 venture into what was then much less familiar territory, of chansons and madrigals by the likes of Josquin, Lassus and Le Jeune, winding up with a typically flamboyant Janéquin showpiece which imitates an entire aviary. Then there are pioneering records of excerpts from music-dramas by Charpentier and Rameau, and finally a return to Brahms’s domestic vocal music, though as with Monteverdi in ‘new’ and complementary repertoire, the Neue Liebeslieder and a selection from the more introspective late vocal quartets Opp. 92 and 112. On all these records Boulanger’s affection for the music shines through, as well as her scrupulous attention to the detail of its expression.

Track Listing / Artists

CD 1

 

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI (1567–1643)

 

Madrigals: Book 5

1          No. 2: O Mirtillo, Mirtill’anima mia

2          No. 3: Era l’anima mia

 

Scherzi musicali

3          Damigella tutta bella

 

Madrigals: Book 9

4          O come vaghi

            

Madrigals: Book 4

5          Sfogava con le stelle, SV 78

            

Madrigals: Book 8

6          Dolcissimo uscignuolo

            

Madrigals: Book 7

7          Interotte speranze

            

Madrigals: Book 4

8          A un giro sol de’begl’occhi

            

Scherzi musicali, cioè arie, et madrigali in stil recitativo

9          Quel sguardo sdegnosetto

            

Madrigals: Book 8

10        Su, su pastorelli vezzosi

 

Madrigals: Book 6

11        No. 7: Qui rise, O Tirsi – five voices (Marini, 1614)

            

Flore Wend, Donna Rumsey, Geneviève Massignon, sopranos

Nancy Waugh, mezzo-soprano · Violette Journaux, contralto

Hugues Cuénod, Paul Derenne, tenors · Bernard Cottret, Doda Conrad, basses

Instrumental Ensemble

Nadia Boulanger, harpsichord / conductor

 

FIRST CD RELEASE ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

 

 

 

CD 2

 

FRENCH RENAISSANCE VOCAL MUSIC

 

JOSQUIN DES PREZ (c.1450–1521)

1          Mille regretz                                                                                                                                               

 

CLÉMENT JANEQUIN (c.1485–1558)

2          Ce moys de may                                                                                                                                        

 

CLAUDE LE JEUNE (c.1528–1600)

3          Hellas, mon Dieu ton ire s’est tournée

 

ORLANDE DE LASSUS (1532–1594)

4          Bonjour, mon Coeur (No. 1 of Quatriesme livre des chansons a 4 et 5 parties)

 

GUILLAUME COSTELEY (1530–1606)

5          Noblesse gît au Coeur

 

ORLANDE DE LASSUS (1532–1594)

6          Quand mon mari vient de dehors (No. 4 of Quatriesme livre des chansons a 4 et 5 parties)

 

Traditional

7          A déclarer mon affection

 

GUILLAUME COSTELEY (1530–1606)

8          Mignonne, allon voir si la roze

 

CLAUDIN DE SERMISY (c.1490–1562)

9          Hau, hau, hau le boys (31 Chansons musicales)

 

CLAUDE LE JEUNE (c.1528–1600)

10        Revecy venir du printemps (Le Printemps, 1513)

 

JACQUES MAUDUIT (1557–1627)

11        Vous me tuez si doucement (Chansonettes mesurées)

 

CLAUDE LE JEUNE (c.1528–1600)

12        Tu ne l’enten pas, c’est latin

 

CLAUDIN DE SERMISY (c.1490–1562)

13        Au Joly boys                                                                                                                                                

 

PIERRE BONNET (c.1600)

14        Francion vint l’autre jour                                                                                                                       

 

CLÉMENT JANEQUIN (c.1485–1558)

15        Le Chant des oiseaux                                                                                                                              

            

Flore Wend, Monda Million, Geneviève Massignon, sopranos

Nancy Waugh, mezzo-soprano

Violette Journeaux, contralto

Hugues Cuénod, Paul Derenne, tenors

Doda Conrad, Bernard Cottret, basses

Nadia Boulanger, conductor

 

FIRST CD RELEASE ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

 

 

 

CD 3

 

MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1643–1704)

 

1–21   Medée

Excerpts

 

Flore Wend, Nadine Sautereau, sopranos

Irma Kolassi, Maria Férès, mezzo-sopranos

Violette Journeaux, contralto

Paul Derenne, tenor

Bernard Demigny, bass-baritone

Doda Conrad, bass

Instrumental and Vocal Ensemble

Nadia Boulanger

 

FIRST CD RELEASE ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

 

 

 

CD 4

 

JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683–1764)

 

Excerpts from:

1–4     Dardanus                                                                                                                                                      

5          Castor et Pollux                                                                                                                                          

6          Hippolyte et Aricie                                                                                                                                    

7          Dardanus                                                                                                                                                      

8          Les Indes Galantes                                                                                                                                   

9–10   Hippolyte et Aricie                                                                                                                                    

11        Castor et Pollux                                                                                                                                          

12        Les fêtes d’Hébé

13        Acanthe et Céphise

14–15    Les fêtes d’Hébé

Flore Wend, Nadine Sautereau, sopranos

Irma Kolassi, Maria Férès, mezzo-sopranos

Paul Derenne, Jean Maciet, tenors

Bernard Demigny, bass-baritone

Doda Conrad, bass

Instrumental and Vocal Ensemble

Nadia Boulanger

 

FIRST CD RELEASE ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

 

 

 

CD 5

 

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833–1897)

 

1–15   Neue Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 65                                                                                                      

16–18 Three Quartets, Op. 64                                                                                                                           

19        O schöne Nacht, Op. 92 No. 1                                                                                                              

20        Sehnsucht, Op. 112 No. 1                                                                                                                      

21        Nächtens, Op. 112 No. 2                                                                                                                        

 

Flore Wend, soprano

Nancy Waugh, mezzo-soprano

Hugues Cuénod, tenor

Doda Conrad, bass

Nadia Boulanger, piano / conductor

Jean Françaix, piano II (Neue Liebesliederwalzer)

 

FIRST CD RELEASE ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

Recording information

CD 1

Recordings: Paris, France, August 1952
Original American Decca Release: DL 9627

 

CD 2

Recordings: Paris, France, August 1952
Original American Decca Release: DL 9629

 

CD 3

Recordings: Paris, France, 21 January 1953
Original American Decca Release: DL 9678


CD 4

Recordings: Paris, France, 21 January 1953
Original American Decca Release: DL 9683

 

CD 5

Recordings: Paris, France, 22 May 1954
Original American Decca Release: DL 9650

Reviews

“One finishes listening to this disc with renewed admiration for Monteverdi’s astonishing genius. … Nadia Boulanger’s profound understanding of his genius is without peer in the world” Alec Robertson, Gramophone, July 1954 (Monteverdi)

“It is in the French works that the group really reaches the heights. Here the light, French tone is perfectly apt, and it is gratifying to be able to report the ultimate subtlety – Mlle. Boulanger’s use of a different quality of vocal tone for each of the works, depending on the period and the subject matter.” High Fidelity, July 1953 (French Renaissance Vocal Music)

“No-one living has mastered this style, in its grave urgency, better than Mme. Boulanger, who gives it back without contaminating its archaic eloquence with archness.” High Fidelity, November 1953 (Rameau)

“This disc … displays her genius at its finest … I have enjoyed every moment of this enchanting disc, and am sure it will have an appeal far outside specialist circles.” Gramophone, June 1954 (French Renaissance Vocal Music)

“A well-balanced and quite comprehensive selection of the music of Medée … The performances offered by Mlle. Boulanger and her group leave little to be desired in the way of energy and rhythmic vitality … Sautereau offers as perfect a version of Creuse’s halting, dying words as one could wish for.” Musical Quarterly, July 1954 (Charpentier)

“Nadia Boulanger’s control of the score is wholly magnificent, a great artist at work … wonderfully vivid” Philip Hope-Wallace, Gramophone, July 1954 (Charpentier)

“Spirit and fine ensemble.” Gramophone, August 1955 (Brahms)