An imperfect mahlerite: Nadia boulanger and the reception of Gustav Mahler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

As one of the chief representatives of French music in the early twentieth century, Nadia Boulanger is typically ignored in discussions of the reception of Gustav Mahler’s music, which—like most studies of reception—focus primarily on press accounts and public events. Moreover, Boulanger is usually considered in the context of a broader French aversion, in the first half of the twentieth century, to Mahler’s late-Romantic Austro-German idiom. But a range of documentary evidence concerning her attendance at the 1920 Mahler festival in Amsterdam, including previously unexamined correspondence as well as scores annotated in her hand, reveals that, motivated by a post-World War I spirit of internationalism, Boulanger contributed materially to the study and performance of Mahler. She encouraged audiences to consider his music’s emotional power and analyzed it in a way that drew attention to its orchestration and the horizontal aspects of its construction. She also introduced such figures as Aaron Copland to Mahler’s music, preparing him to approach it in a way that centered on the vocabulary of neo-classicism. Boulanger’s engagement with Mahler not only contributes to our picture of the composer’s reception, but also reveals the historiographical value of discourses that take place behind the scenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-103
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Musicology
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

Reception
Imperfect
Music
Emotion
Idioms
World War I
Neoclassicism
Composer
Amsterdam
Discourse
Internationalism
Vocabulary
Aversion
Orchestration
French Music
Documentary Evidence

Keywords

  • Aaron Copland
  • Internationalism
  • Mahler reception
  • Nadia Boulanger
  • Transatlantic
  • World War I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music

Cite this

An imperfect mahlerite : Nadia boulanger and the reception of Gustav Mahler. / Mugmon, Matthew.

In: Journal of Musicology, Vol. 35, No. 1, 01.12.2018, p. 76-103.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{9ad47ca393fd48a9a827e9af995f5614,
title = "An imperfect mahlerite: Nadia boulanger and the reception of Gustav Mahler",
abstract = "As one of the chief representatives of French music in the early twentieth century, Nadia Boulanger is typically ignored in discussions of the reception of Gustav Mahler’s music, which—like most studies of reception—focus primarily on press accounts and public events. Moreover, Boulanger is usually considered in the context of a broader French aversion, in the first half of the twentieth century, to Mahler’s late-Romantic Austro-German idiom. But a range of documentary evidence concerning her attendance at the 1920 Mahler festival in Amsterdam, including previously unexamined correspondence as well as scores annotated in her hand, reveals that, motivated by a post-World War I spirit of internationalism, Boulanger contributed materially to the study and performance of Mahler. She encouraged audiences to consider his music’s emotional power and analyzed it in a way that drew attention to its orchestration and the horizontal aspects of its construction. She also introduced such figures as Aaron Copland to Mahler’s music, preparing him to approach it in a way that centered on the vocabulary of neo-classicism. Boulanger’s engagement with Mahler not only contributes to our picture of the composer’s reception, but also reveals the historiographical value of discourses that take place behind the scenes.",
keywords = "Aaron Copland, Internationalism, Mahler reception, Nadia Boulanger, Transatlantic, World War I",
author = "Matthew Mugmon",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1525/JM.2018.35.1.76",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "76--103",
journal = "Journal of Musicology",
issn = "0277-9269",
publisher = "University of California Press",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An imperfect mahlerite

T2 - Nadia boulanger and the reception of Gustav Mahler

AU - Mugmon, Matthew

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - As one of the chief representatives of French music in the early twentieth century, Nadia Boulanger is typically ignored in discussions of the reception of Gustav Mahler’s music, which—like most studies of reception—focus primarily on press accounts and public events. Moreover, Boulanger is usually considered in the context of a broader French aversion, in the first half of the twentieth century, to Mahler’s late-Romantic Austro-German idiom. But a range of documentary evidence concerning her attendance at the 1920 Mahler festival in Amsterdam, including previously unexamined correspondence as well as scores annotated in her hand, reveals that, motivated by a post-World War I spirit of internationalism, Boulanger contributed materially to the study and performance of Mahler. She encouraged audiences to consider his music’s emotional power and analyzed it in a way that drew attention to its orchestration and the horizontal aspects of its construction. She also introduced such figures as Aaron Copland to Mahler’s music, preparing him to approach it in a way that centered on the vocabulary of neo-classicism. Boulanger’s engagement with Mahler not only contributes to our picture of the composer’s reception, but also reveals the historiographical value of discourses that take place behind the scenes.

AB - As one of the chief representatives of French music in the early twentieth century, Nadia Boulanger is typically ignored in discussions of the reception of Gustav Mahler’s music, which—like most studies of reception—focus primarily on press accounts and public events. Moreover, Boulanger is usually considered in the context of a broader French aversion, in the first half of the twentieth century, to Mahler’s late-Romantic Austro-German idiom. But a range of documentary evidence concerning her attendance at the 1920 Mahler festival in Amsterdam, including previously unexamined correspondence as well as scores annotated in her hand, reveals that, motivated by a post-World War I spirit of internationalism, Boulanger contributed materially to the study and performance of Mahler. She encouraged audiences to consider his music’s emotional power and analyzed it in a way that drew attention to its orchestration and the horizontal aspects of its construction. She also introduced such figures as Aaron Copland to Mahler’s music, preparing him to approach it in a way that centered on the vocabulary of neo-classicism. Boulanger’s engagement with Mahler not only contributes to our picture of the composer’s reception, but also reveals the historiographical value of discourses that take place behind the scenes.

KW - Aaron Copland

KW - Internationalism

KW - Mahler reception

KW - Nadia Boulanger

KW - Transatlantic

KW - World War I

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058180936&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85058180936&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1525/JM.2018.35.1.76

DO - 10.1525/JM.2018.35.1.76

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:85058180936

VL - 35

SP - 76

EP - 103

JO - Journal of Musicology

JF - Journal of Musicology

SN - 0277-9269

IS - 1

ER -