A student of Gabriel Fauré and Louis Verne at the Paris Conservatoire, Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) owes her aura to an exceptional teaching career spanning nearly 75 years, during which she trained the most illustrious musicians, from Copland to Glass not to forget Bernstein or Gardiner. In the past few years, her creative work, long considered negligible, has finally been escaping from oblivion thanks to the untiring work of the Centre Nadia et Lili Boulanger, directed by Alexandra Laederich.
It is at her instigation that the publication of Nadia Boulanger's songs has continued in chronological order: after a first collection (HA 9725) devoted to the youthful works brought out during her lifetime by the publisher Hamelle, the second volume, presented here, exclusively features unpublished works. First of all, it contains three Romantic mélodies in German on poems by Heine – a surprising choice given that the composer felt more attracted by Symbolist poetry. This is attested to by the other songs in the collection, on verses by Paul Verlaine, Maurice Maeterlinck and Georges Delaquys, three poets who were part of the literary pantheon of Nadia and her sister Lili. One will discover treasures of refinement and sensitivity in their musical settings.