Wanda Landowska


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Landowska, Wanda

 

Born July 5, 1877, in Warsaw; died Aug. 16, 1959, in Lakeville, Conn., USA. Polish harpsichordist, pianist, teacher, and musicologist.

Landowska studied in Poland with A. Michałowski (piano) and in Berlin with M. Moszkowski and G. Urban (composition). She moved to Paris in 1900, where she performed as a pianist and from 1903, as a harpsichordist. In 1906 she began touring Europe, including Russia in 1907, 1909, and 1913. She also gave lectures. She taught harpsichord in Berlin, Basel, and Paris and founded a school for the study of old music in Saint-Leu-la-Forêt, near Paris. She settled in the USA in 1941.

Landowska became world famous with her numerous concert tours and recordings. She was responsible for the revival of the harpsichord and harpsichord music on the contemporary concert stage. De Falla (1926) and Poulenc (1929) wrote harpsichord concerti for her. Landowska composed orchestral and piano pieces, choral songs, and cadenzas to concerti by Haydn and Mozart. She published a number of studies on J. S. Bach and on harpsichord music, including Music of the Past (1909).

REFERENCE

Gavoty, B., and R. Hauert. Wanda Landowska. Geneva, 1957.

A. B. SHNITKE

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References in periodicals archive ?
This difference was symbolized by the sonic and visual contrasts between the grand piano and the harpsichord--or, when transferred to the two Parisian female Bach performers (as implied by the rhetoric of the article), between Blanche Selva and Wanda Landowska. (103)
(1.) See the PBS production Uncommon Visionary: A Documentary on the Life and Art of Wanda Landowska (1997), by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, and Diane Pontius (Video Artists International DVD 4246).
(6.) "[E]lle nous apparait comme une fille musicale de ce Jean-Sebastien Bach" (Robert Brussel, "Wanda Landowska ou la renaissance du clavecin," Musica 4 [1905]: 7-8, 8).
(9.) Wanda Landowska, diaries, cited in Uncommon Visionary.
See also Max Riviere, "Nos musiciennes et le Prix de Rome," Femina, April 15, 1902, 115-16: "Mme Wanda Landowska est une physionomie curieuse et seduisante qu'ont pu apprecier les spectatrices du concert de Femina le 14 mars demier" (116).
(40.) "Mme Wanda Landowska qui n'a fait que depuis peu de temps, si je ne me trompe, son apparition en France, est une compatriote de Chopin, pianiste et compositeur elle aussi" (review signed P.L., in Le Courrier Musical, December 15, 1902, 299).
Vladimir Dyck, la Pologne par Mme Wanda Landowska, la Roumanie par M.
Mme Wanda Landowska s'est assuree un joli succes aupres d'une assistance sympathique; elle a joue avec une certaine elegance le charmant concerto pour piano en mi bemol de Mozart" (Alice Hudnall Cash, "Wanda Landowska and the Revival of the Harpsichord: A Reassessment," Ph.D.
(45.) Wanda Landowska, "Une lecon de piano," Femina, February 15, 1904, 54.
"En France, nous voyons a la tete du mouvement tous les plus grands musiciens: Saint-Saens, D'Indy, Debussy, Dukas, et cet infatigable Bordes, auquel nous devons tant" (Wanda Landowska, avec la collaboration de M.
Mme Wanda Landowska nous a fait entendre un tres beau choix de pieces de clavecin, les unes un peu freles, de Chambonnieres, d'autres, au contraire, d'une beaute singulierement hardie et expressive, comme la "Passacaille" de Francois Couperin.
Mme Wanda Landowska s'est montree excellente interprete des oeuvres de Sebastien Bach dans un recital qu'elle a donne mercredi dernier, salle Erard.