Sunday, November 9, 2008

Faure's Requiem Mass, the NY Philharmonic led for the first time by a woman (who had "gotten over the initial astonishment" of being one.)

Mass for Bruno Walter in NY 17 Feb 1962
Reni Grist (sop); Don Gramm (bar); Vernon deTar (organ); The Choral
Art Society
New York Philharmonic

Nadia Boulanger, conductor

Mono recording
mp3, avg.131 kbps

Nadia Boulanger was one of Gabriel Faure's more noted students.
This is an excerpt from "Time" magazine of February 23, 1962:

"[ On a triumphal 75th birthday trip to the U.S., Nadia Boulanger, Paris' matriarch of modern music, became the first woman ever to conduct a full concert by The New York Philharmonic. Borrowing the podium of one of the few notable American composers who was never her pupil, mercurial Maestro Leonard Bernstein, the "tender tyrant" led the orchestra through psalms by her late sister, Lili, A Solemn Music by Disciple Virgil Thomson, and the Requiem Mass of Gabriel Faure with an authority that convinced the New York Times that "she could hold up her end of the baton with most of her male colleagues." Tactfully shrugging off this bit of male chauvinism, Mme. Boulanger refrained from repeating her response to a similar comment when she led the Boston Symphony in 1938: "I have been a woman for a little over 50 years and have gotten over my initial astonishment." ]"

and, incidentally, OT but further reading from that issue:

"[ Out of rural Berkshire to London's Hospital for Sick Children whooshed a police-escorted ambulance bearing the football captain and choir leader of Britain's Cheam School: His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, 13. Following a post-midnight appendectomy, the robust Charles recuperated rapidly, was expected to be sprung this week from the TV-equipped private room for which the royal family, which does not take-advantage of the National Health Service, was paying $14 a day." ]

Times the're a changing, no?

Enjoy the tunes. This recording was released commercially as part of a (to my budget and everyone I know) crazily expensive New York Philharmonic Anniversary Box Set, called
"The greatest historical release of them all!" by Robert Cowan, Gramophone. It (the whole set AND this particular bit of it) really is full of wondrous and unexpected depths of performance history galore.

The box set is still available here:


rickdog said...

You have a great music blog here! I've added you to my mp3blog list and custom search, check it out.

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Berni (Austria) said...

just thought as Help - not Correction:

- the soprano is not Reni BUT Reri Grist !

marvellous blog, b t w. !


Berni (Graz, Austria)

Guillermo said...

Please NOTE: I have removed the links because this music is currently available for purchase individually, from the orchestra itself in this case. As such, the performances are now priced within reach of most online folks and no longer constitute valid entries in this blog.