An excellent way of discovering Lili Boulanger
moussig | 08/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must confess I bought this CD for the psalms and the orchestral music, being convinced that nobody, not even a genius, could compose a piece of quality under the tough rules of the Prix de Rome. I was wrong: the cantata which allowed Lili Boulanger to become the first woman ever to win the Prix de Rome is magnificent in spite of the stupid lyrics she had to deal with. Splendidly orchestrated, offering every possible mood from anger to melancholy and from poetry to despair, this long piece manages to impress from beginning to the end. Nearer to Debussy than any other music by Boulanger, it's not the composer greatest music, but a magnificent example of what a genius can do whatever the circumstances. The other pieces heard on the CD are better known. I was a bit annoyed by the performance of the choir, in my opinion average, but the beautiful and powerful colours of the orchestra help us to rediscover the perfection of the psalms or of the purely orchestral music. Any lover of Lili Boulanger will enjoy this CD, which can help other listeners to discover some of her best music in a good to very good performance."
An Award Winning Recording of Lili Boulanger's Music
D. A Wend | Buffalo Grove, IL USA | 01/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It may be an overused word today but Lili Boulanger was a genius. She showed a remarkable ability to lean music theory and began auditing classes at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 5. Lili won the coveted Prix de Rome at the age of 19 with Faust et Helene, a cantata that is recorded on this disc. She won the prize with 31 votes out of 36. Before her death in March 1918 at the age of 24, Lili wrote some very powerful music. Knowing that she had a fatal disease (Crohn's disease) spurred her on to write music against the short amount of time she had. This recording by Yan Pascal Tortelier won the Choral Gramophone Award for 2000. It is a representative collection of the music of Lili Boulanger from the glittering Psaume 24 to the dark and haunting D'un soir triste. D'un matin du printemps is charming orchestral work descriptive of a sunny spring morning. Psaume 130 is a very dramatic work for orchestra, organ, chorus and soloists that shows Lili expertly handling such large forces. Written in 1917 the content is indicted by the subject of the psalm: Out of the depths of the abyss. One is struck by the maturity of Lili Boulanger's music. If one had to guess who wrote these pieces the name of Faure, Debussy or Massenet might come up. If you like choral music in general this disc will be a revelation. If you are curious about Lili Boulanger the works collected here give a good idea of her of her musical language. The performances are well recorded and expertly played."
Another Mozart or Beethoven Taken Too Soon.
Donald M Shapiro MD | Edwardsville, PA United States | 01/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderfully recorded album of choral and other works by Lili Boulanger. The fidelity of the recording is outstanding. My favorite is Psaume 24. This is an excellent addition to the choral library of any one liking choral music. After listening to her music, one can only wonder about the achievements she might have reached had she not have died at the young age of 24."