Posts Tagged ‘pronunciation’


French Composers’ Names – Nadia and Lili Boulanger

After a brief Facebook/Twitter survey, Nadia Boulanger emerged as a good candidate for this French Composers’ Names series. It felt quite natural to add her sister, Lili, to the same post.

Does Nadia Boulanger need an introduction? Aaron Copland wrote in Harpers Magazine (1960): “there are few musicians anywhere who would not concede her to be the most famous of living composition teachers.” Lili, her younger sister (by 6 years) was an accomplished composer—the first woman to ever win the Premier Grand Prix de Rome, you know the one Ravel never got—who died way too young at age 24.

Lili and Nadia Boulanger

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French Composers’ Names – Vincent d’Indy

Born in Paris from an aristocratic family, d’Indy studied with César Franck at the Conservatoire de Paris. He also hung out with Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms in Germany, and is famous for having created the Schola Cantorum de Paris in 1894. Cole Porter, among others, studied orchestration and counterpoint with d’Indy.

Vincent d’Indy

Vincent d’Indy was also on the wrong side of the Dreyfus affair

His two-syllable last name is composed of an i nasal (as in vin, pain, plein) resonating right behind one’s nose. The second syllable is just a long dee sound. Here it is:

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Link to MP3 — ICIYL – Vincent d’Indy

And as usual, here is a nice HD video of the Berlin Counterpoint chamber ensemble, Sarabande et Minuet.

Vincent d'Indy Sarabande and Minuet – Berlin Counterpoint

Was it useful? Any other composer’s/piece’s name you’d like to see featured? Find us on twitter: @icareifulisten


French Composers’ Names – Gérard Grisey

The third composer in this French composers’ names series that was part of Ensemble l’Itinéraire (along with Tristan Murail and Hugues Dufourt) is another French spectral composer: Gérard Grisey. Born in Belfort (about 34 miles west of the German border) Grisey studied at Trossingen Conservatory in Germany before moving to Paris to study at the Conservatoire with Olivier Messiaen from 1968 to 1972. Other teachers include Henri Dutilleux, György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Iannis Xenakis. Not bad on a resumé.

Gérard Grisey

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French Composers’ Names – Marc-André Dalbavie

Our next installment in our French Composers’ Names series is one of the most exciting French composers these days,  as well as a US favorite. Indeed, Marc-André Dalbavie (born in 1961) has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as by Carnegie Hall (for Emmanuel Ax) in 2004 for Axiom.

Marc-André Dalbavie

Marc-André Dalbavie

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French Composers’ Names – Pierre Boulez

Bank holiday here in the US today (Columbus Day) so you will get two MP3s for the price of one. This week’s installment in our French Composers’ Names series is Pierre Boulez. Our London contributor, Steven Berryman, recently reviewed a concert at Southbank Centre and I figured it was high time to feature Mr. Boulez on this blog. I’m sure he’s thrilled.


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