Melodies by Nadia & Lili Boulanger

SUNDAY, JUNE 18 - 15.30

Lucile Richardot, mezzo-soprano
Anne de Fornel, piano

“I understand that I will never feel that I have done what I would like to do, what I must do”, wrote Lili Boulanger in 1916. At the end of her life, seriously ill – she died at the age of twenty-four in 1918 – she who had already written many melodies, psalms for choir and orchestra, and started writing an opera, still composed relentlessly, dictating to her sister the notes she could no longer write. Nadia Boulanger, deeply affected by the loss of her sister, gave up composing shortly afterwards, leaving behind several cycles of melodies, chamber music and symphonic works. The Boulanger sisters’ melodies, composed on texts by Verlaine, Verhaeren or Maeterlinck, are part of the rich tradition of French melodies of the beginning of the century. Performed by Lucile Richardot and Anne de Fornel, who also recorded it (their album Les Heures Claires was released in 2023), this programme is a tribute to these two exceptional artists.


Soleils couchants



Melodies by Nadia & Lili Boulanger


NADIA BOULANGER (1887 – 1979)
“Mon âme”
“Le Couteau”
“Soir d’hiver”

GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845 – 1924)
“Les berceaux”, op. 23 n°1

LILI BOULANGER (1893 – 1918)
“Le Retour”

NADIA BOULANGER (1887 – 1979)
Les Heures Claires
No. 1 “ Le Ciel en nuit s’est déplié”
No. 3 “ Vous m’avez dit ”
“J’ai frappé”
“Soleils couchants”
“Un grand sommeil noir”
“Mon coeur”


LUCILE RICHARDOT, mezzo-soprano


It was thanks to France Musique that mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot and pianist Anne de Fornel met in 2019. This piano-voice duo, one of the most complicit and enchanting on the French scene, has recently been invited to perform at the Philharmonie de Paris, L’Abbaye de Royaumont, La Passerelle in St Brieuc, Les Estivales du Haut Calavon, the Concertgebouw in Bruges and deSingel in Antwerp. Critically acclaimed, their first recording for harmonia mundi, Les Heures claires, is devoted to the complete melodies of Nadia and Lili Boulanger (3 CDs) with the participation of Stéphane Degout, Raquel Camarinha, Emmanuelle Bertrand and Sarah Nemtanu. Committed to the promotion of women’s musical heritage, the duo has produced several videos for La Boîte à pépites – Elles Women Composers. During the 2023/24 season, they will perform at the Wigmore Hall (London/BBC), the ElbPhilharmonie (Hamburg) and the Philharmonie de Paris in a programme dedicated to English women composers.

Lucile Richardot


Lucile Richardot has made a name for herself on the baroque, classical and contemporary music scenes with her exceptional voice. She sings regularly with the Correspondances, Pygmalion, Les Arts Florissants ensembles and has performed with a large number of other ensembles including Collegium 1704 (Vaclav Luks), Monteverdi choir & English Baroque Soloists (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), Le Poème Harmonique, Les Paladins, Les Siècles (François-Xavier Roth), Ensemble Intercontemporain, Tafelmusik in Toronto, and in festivals and venues such as the Boston Early Music Festival, Opéra de Rouen, Opéra-Comique and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. She has also been invited by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, made her debut at the Festival d’Aix in 2018, at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan the following year. His first solo disc for the harmonia mundi label, Perpetual Night, was a critical and public success (Diapason d’Or, Choc de l’Année, Diamant, German Critics’ Prize and Caecilia Prize) and was followed by Berio To Sing with Les Cris de Paris (Geoffroy Jourdain).

Anne de Fornel


French-American Anne de Fornel combines a brilliant career as a concert pianist and musicologist. She is a graduate of the CNSMD in Lyon (Master’s degree in piano) where she studied with Florent Boffard, of the University of Paris-Sorbonne – Paris IV (Doctorate in Music and Musicology) and of HEC Paris (Master’s degree in “Media, Art and Creation”). She is currently Director of Research at the CNSMD of Lyon. In 2019, she published a book on John Cage (Fayard Editions). In 2021 and 2023, she was invited to perform Pierre Wissmer’s Concertos No. 1 and 2 with the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra. Her recordings (labels Paraty, Klarthe and Éditions Hortus) have been unanimously acclaimed by the critics: Cage Meets Satie: Works for Two Pianos with Jay Gottlieb, Tramages with the Mesostics Ensemble (Martin Matalon, Philippe Hurel, Bernard Cavanna), Vers la Vie Nouvelle (pieces from the Great War), Crossing the Line with the Empreinte Trio (Mel Bonis, Lili Boulanger, Ida Gotkovsky, Graciane Finzi), Nuit Transfigurée (Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and Johannes Boris Borowski), and Un Long Voyage (Pierre Wissmer) with the Steuermann Trio. Her repertoire also includes the premiere of several works by Andrea Agostini, William Bolcom, Johannes Boris Borowski, Fabrice Grégorutti and Robert Lemay that have been dedicated to her.


Address: Fondation Royaumont, F-95270 Asnières sur Oise


From the train station in Luzarches (line H), shuttles allow to reach the Abbaye in 8 minutes, which means the ride from the Gare du Nord is less than an hour long.

More about the shuttles on the Abbaye de Royaumont website :



Take the A3A1 and N104 to D316 in Mareil-en-France. Take the exit no. 94b and then leave the N104. Continue on D316. Take the D922 to the D909E in Asnières-sur-Oise. 


Royaumont has received the certification « Accueil vélo ».

This certification states that a space reserved for bicycle parking has been set up in the parking lot, that there is a drinking water point for cyclists, sanitary facilities, a repair kit for minor damage (flat tire, derailment) and even a charging spot for electrically assisted bicycles…

The ride from the train station in Viarmes takes about 10 minutes.




Grace Williams

Nadia Boulanger
Mon coeur
Lucile Richardot, mezzo-soprano
Anne de Fornel, piano