Personalities | Lili Boulanger | Modern Era | Classical
(Le-le’ Boo-lan-zha’) 1893–1918
Despite being an invalid for most of her short life, Lili Boulanger composed some outstanding works, in particular her gripping setting of Psalm 130, Du fond de l’abïme (‘Out of the Depths’, 1910–17) for soloists, choir and orchestra. Her talent was widely acknowledged, especially when, in 1913, she became the first woman to win the coveted Prix de Rome for her cantata Faust et Hélène. Lili’s music and memory were kept alive by her elder sister Nadia (1887–1979), an equally talented musician who stopped composing after Lili’s death and turned to conducting and teaching, something she once described as ‘a sacred form of life’. One of the most respected teachers of the century, Lili included among her students Copland, Philip Glass (b. 1937) and Thea Musgrave (b. 1928).
Du fond de l’abîme, Psalm 24, Faust et Hélène, etc., soloists, CBSO Chorus, BBC PO (cond) Yan Pascal Tortelier (Chandos)
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