℗ © 2013 Countdown Media GmbH
Elisabeth Brasseur Choir
Lamoureux Concerts Orchestra
Igor Markevitch, conductor
It had been the great Nadia Boulanger's lifelong ambition to have her younger sister’s compositions recorded. Though Lili Boulanger died in 1918 at the age of twenty-four, hers was a creative life of more than mere promise; it was a life, at least, of partial fulfillment. Always frail and often very ill, she still managed to compose music of great beauty, strength and originality. Beyond the tragedy of her life and early death is the greater tragedy that her music has not had wider exposure in concert performance and, until now, practically no exposure at all on records. Everest feels proud and privileged to offer these world premiere recordings of five of her important works.
Nadia Boulanger was especially helpful in personally supervising the performance and recording of her sister’s music. For a remarkable woman who has been called “the god-mother of composers,” this was a labor of love. Lili was one of her first pupils – first of a long and imposing list of composers that reads like a Who’s Who in Music. Outstanding among her students have been Jean Francaix, Walter Piston, Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Herbert Elwell, Virgil Thomson, Douglas Moore and Igor Markevitch.
Conductor, organist, pianist, teacher, lecturer and scholar, Mlle. Boulanger has led a busy and most productive life. The first woman ever to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London and, in its regular winter season, the New York Philharmonic, she has been an enthusiastic exponent of early and modern music, especially that of Monteverdi, Stravinsky and, of course, Lili Boulanger.
In a tribute to her in the New York Herald-Tribune in February, 1939, the late Lawrence Gilman called Nadia Boulanger “one who is an inexhaustible and quickening source of inspiration for all who are privileged to come within the radius of her incandescent mind and spirit.”