Nadia (1887-1979) and Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) are two of the best known women composers from the twentieth century as well as influential pioneers in the field of music. The musical works of the Boulanger sisters contain several connections and their compositional careers were closely linked during Lili’s short life. Both women were active composers of several mediums, yet many of their choral and vocal works are rather unknown. This paper presentation will begin with historical information about the lives of Nadia and Lili Boulanger, including their family and educational backgrounds. Next, I will discuss Nadia’s role as an influential teacher in the twentieth century, her impact on American composers, as well as several approaches to her teaching and contents of her classes. Finally, I will thoroughly discuss Nadia and Lili’s productivity and the compositional characteristics of their vocal works. Attente, Reflets, and Le Retour by Lili Boulanger as well as Élégie, Cantique, and Soleils Couchants by Nadia Boulanger will be analyzed (including several musical elements such as melody, harmony, dynamics, rhythm, and form) to support the previous information. I will conclude the presentation with an overview of Nadia and Lili’s reputations in the field of music and the overall importance of their vocal works and lives as women composers.
|Keywords:||Nadia Boulanger, Lili Boulanger, Vocal Works, French, Women Composers|
Adjunct Professor of Voice, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, USA
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