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Nadia Boulanger and Her World$
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Jeanice Brooks

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226750682

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226750859.001.0001

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Modern French Music: Translating Fauré in America, 1925–1945

Modern French Music: Translating Fauré in America, 1925–1945

(p.182) Modern French Music: Translating Fauré in America, 1925–1945
Nadia Boulanger and Her World

Jeanice Brooks

University of Chicago Press

As Gabriel Fauré's pupil, Nadia Boulanger conceived a deep admiration for his music. She performed in significant interwar concerts of his Requiem, and his music was a staple of her classroom and private teaching in the 1920s. But although Boulanger was a staunch supporter, in France she was among many who contributed to interwar initiatives to honour the composer. In the United States, her advocacy for Fauré was both more unusual and in many ways more effective. On her first tour of the US in 1925, Boulanger presented lectures in which Fauré figured alongside Stravinsky and Debussy as the principal representatives of "Modern French Music." As her conducting career took off in the 1930s, she added high-profile public performances of Fauré to her teaching and lecture engagements during American tours. And her wartime stay in the US 1940-46 provided new opportunities for promoting Fauré's music, culminating in a week-long Fauré festival at Harvard University in 1945. This chapter explores Boulanger's efforts in all these contexts, showing how she created a vision of Fauré as both quintessentially French and indisputably modern for her American audiences.

Keywords:   Nadia Boulanger, Gabriel Fauré, Fauré Requiem, op. 48, Aaron Copland, Rice Institute, Harvard University, modernism

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