Top 50 Favorite/Best Classical – #37 Boulanger Nocturne and Morceaux pour le piano

Lili Boulanger was a French composer on par with Debussy, Fauré and Ravel, but she had the misfortune to get sick when she was 2 years old. The bronchial pneumonia damaged her immune system and she eventually died at age 24 of intestinal tuberculosis. It is really sad because she is literally musical royalty. Her father was a composer and teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, Ernest Boulanger. Her mother was Raissa Myshetskaya, a Russian princess! 

Lili’s musical royalty also stems from her own talents and education. Her music showed an amazing understanding of French compositional standards of the early 20th century. She won the Prix de Rome, a famous composition competition, the first woman to win the prize, for a stunning piece, Faust et Hélène, in 1913. In ten years of composing, she published an incredible, but sadly very brief, opus of gorgeous music. Most of her music is based off the piano. And she was working on an opera before she passed away. Again, so terribly sad. But in any case, I’m highlighting two pieces of hers for piano. For me, these two pieces show her terrific grasp of harmony and rich melodic work. 

One of her first pieces she composed was the Nocturne for violin and piano. It is a beautiful, passionate love song. 

The other piece is a set called Trois Morceaux pour le piano. There aren’t many recordings out there of her great music. I hope more people get to hear her music. She composed gorgeous pieces on par with what Debussy and Ravel were composing. 

#37- Boulanger Nocturne pour violon et piano

#38 – Schönberg Les Miserables

#39 – Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

#40 – Miranda Hamilton

#41 – Strauss Salomé

#42 – Britten Peter Grimes

#43 – Loewe My Fair Lady

#44 – Liszt Mephisto Waltzes

#45 – Webber Evita

#46 – Poledouris Conan The Barbarian

#47 – Bernstein Trouble in Tahiti

#48 – Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

#49 – Chaminade La Lisonjera, Op. 50

#50 – Beethoven Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

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