D'un Matin de Printemps (tr Hontz)

From Wind Repertory Project
Lili Boulanger

Lili Boulanger (trans. Jack Hontz)

Subtitle: Of a Spring Morning

General Info

Year: 1918 / 2021
Duration: c. 5:55
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Violin, cello and piano
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $200.00   |   Score Only (print) - $35.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

First set for violin and piano and then re-scored for full orchestra, D’un matin de printemps evokes a wealth of different characters. The music alternates between feelings of liveliness, joy, mystery, curiosity, contemplativeness, pain, and nuances in between. Above all, the work exudes a vibrant energy that hides the fact that its composer was mere months away from her death.

D’un matin de printemps also clearly showcases Lili Boulanger’s immense talent. The impact of the French symbolists is palpable, particularly given the usage of parallel harmonies and colorful orchestration one might expect from Debussy or Ravel. Also present are biting dissonances and bitonality that hint towards the coming shift away from tonal harmony. Boulanger’s ability to combine these traditional and progressive techniques, mingled with her talent to convey vivid colors, leave us all wanting more and pondering that fateful question, “what if…”.

- Program Note by Jack Hontz, edited by Caroline Hand

It was in her final winter days, in 1917-1918, that Lili Boulanger imagined a piece, brimming with life, for violin, cello and piano. This bouncy morning reminder, contemplating soft spring sunshine, was performed for the first time in February 1919 at the Societe Nationale de Musique. This posthumous act was sister Nadia’s initiative (1887-1979) who herself played the piano part. The little sister of the “Boulangerie” would live decades perpetuating her sister’s memory via the transmission of legacies of this older sibling who died much too soon, and worked throughout her lifetime scrupulously on the publication of different versions of D'un Matin de Printemps.

The piece presents a traditional A-B-A format with an obstinate rhythm, using energetic theme notes as gay and light, followed by a mysterious episode in which we see the sun piercing through, blazing and happy, then concluding with a triumphal return of the first episode. Looking with a close eye shows a great deal of subtleties and rich harmonies in this miniature, astounding for the work of a young 24-year-old woman. Her older sister Nadia championed this work and eventually worked an orchestration for symphonic orchestra in the final days of Lili’s short life. However, this orchestral version was not published until 1993.

- Program Note by Jeff Girard, Midwest Sheet Music


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Symphony Band (David Thornton, conductor) - 24 March 2023
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 18 October 2022
  • Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo) Wind Symphony (Scott Boerma, conductor) - 17 October 2022
  • West Chester (Penn.) University Wind Ensemble (Chris DeVona, conductor) - 2 October 2022
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Scott Boerma, conductor) - 2 March 2022 (87th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • Texas State University (San Marcos) Wind Symphony (Caroline Beatty, conductor) - 26 February 2022
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor) – 5 February 2022
  • University of Miami (Coral Gables) Frost Wind Ensemble (Jack Hontz, conductor) – 14 November 2021 *Transcription Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer