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  • Wanda Landowska

    by Ingeborg Harer
    Die Cembalistin und Pianistin Wanda Landowska.
    Wanda Landowska
    b in Warschau, Polen
    d in Lakeville, Connecticut, USA

    Nicht identisch oder verwandt mit der Musikschriftstellerin W(anda) L. Landowski (auch: Wanda Alice L. Landowski), Paris 1899 – Paris 1959, die das „L.“ (= Ladislas, den Namen ihres Vaters) in ihrem Namen verwendete, um eine Verwechslung mit der Cembalistin Wanda Landowska zu vermeiden.
    Harpsichordist, pianist, composer, harpsichord- and piano pedagogue, concert organiser, music researcher, music author, professor of harpsichord, pioneer of the Early Music movement, correspondent
    Characteristic statement:

    Numerous anecdotes in connection with Landowska's artistic surroundings have been handed down; they were frequently used in an incorrect context, such as the statement:

    "You play Bach your way and I’ll play him his way."

    Wanda Landowska, 1941

    Allegedly Landowska made this statement to her competitor, the pianist and Bach interpreter Rosalyn Turek (1913-2003); it thus served to express, to posterity, the competition amongst musicians of that time. In fact, the remark was addressed to the cellist Pablo Casals, to whom Landowska literally said, in a discussion about the execution of Bach's ornaments at a musical gathering in Banyuls-sur-Mer in June 1941, "… ne discutons pas davantage. Continuez a jouer Bach a votre façon et moi, a sa façon” (The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations, ed. Hugh Rawson, Margaret Miner, 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. p. 66). In terms of content, the statement certainly stands in contradiction to Landowska's own conception of interpretation in later years: "When I play, there is always a frame, although I do not care any longer about the rules of interpretation." (Wanda Landowska, Being an Interpreter [1950s]. In: Denise Restout (Ed.). Landowska on Music. New York: Stein and Day 1964, p. 407)


    Despite the variety of her talents and activities, Wanda Landowska preferred to regard herself as an interpreter. In resumes that she authorised, her attempts at establishing herself as a composer during her younger years were always left out. Instead, she emphasised her early enthusiasm for Early Music, and not least for Johann Sebastian Bach. The basis for this lifelong occupation and, connected with it, the interest in the then-forgotten harpsichord was already recognisable in Wanda Landowska's childhood and youth in Warsaw and Berlin. Nonetheless, there exist numerous compositions from the Berlin years and the first years in Paris that are attributable to the style and form of the late-romantic tradition. The piano pieces from this period, however, must have only been performed by Landowska herself.

    When Landowska turned away from composition in favour of performance, preferably on the harpsichord, starting in about 1903, she saw herself confronted with male and female competitors who also increasingly preferred the harpsichord to the piano. But none of these harpsichordists set themselves the goal, to the extent that Wanda Landowska did, of establishing the harpsichord as a solo instrument. With a few exceptions, most of Landowska's concert appearances are to be evaluated as solo recitals. Landowska and her harpsichord were relatively rarely represented at performances of chamber or orchestral music. From the very beginning, however, already from 1904 onwards, she was known as "the" Bach interpreter.

    In the pursuit of her aim to present the repertoire of the past to the public - which was accustomed to virtuoso music presentations - as music to be discovered anew through her special approach, Wanda Landowska was led by her artistic calling without compromise, even though she had to literally conquer her terrain and take some harsh criticism. Regarding the use of historical instruments, however, she did indeed make daring compromises - from today's standpoint - for she always worked on the "improvement" of the modern harpsichord. In 1904 and the years thereafter, Landowska played an instrument of the Pleyel firm, as was also used by other harpsichordists of that time, at least since it was presented at the Paris World's Fair in 1889 (see Elste 2010 and Battault 2011). Soon, however, this instrument no longer met Landowska's demands or corresponded to her ideal conceptions of sound. Wanda Landowska thus had the Pleyel firm construct an instrument that would, ultimately, also put an end to the criticism of the harpsichord's sound for being too soft and incapable of nuances. This "Grand Modèle de Concert" (also called Landowska model) came into use beginning in 1912 and accompanied Landowska on her concert tours and in her emigration. Despite her preference for the harpsichord, Landowska also remained faithful to piano playing, and at the end of her career included piano works of Mozart, for example, on her harpsichord recitals which were dominated by baroque works.

    Cities and countries

    Wanda Landowska's first appearances as a pianist were in Warsaw and Berlin, where also her first compositions were performed during the 1890s. Her career as a composer continued in Paris starting in 1900, but was replaced by solo performances on the harpsichord beginning in about 1903. From then on, there followed active international concertising activity on the harpsichord, taking Landowska to Germany and Austria in 1904, and to Russia in 1907 and 1909. Beginning in 1913, Berlin was the centre of her artistic life until she returned to Paris in 1920. During the ensuing decades, there was hardly a country in which Landowska did not perform; her extended concert tours also included South America and the USA. With the establishment of her "École de Musique Ancienne" in Saint-Leu-la-Forêt near Paris, there followed intensive pedagogical activities beginning in 1926 connected with the organisation of concerts, so that the premises together with the music hall became a magnet for those members of the musical world interested in Early Music. After her expulsion by the Nazi regime and flight to the USA in 1941, Landowska's concert and teaching activities were restricted to North America.


    Wanda Landowska was born in Warsaw, in those days in Russia, as the daughter of the attorney Marian Landowski (?-1916) and the translator Ewa Landowska née Lautenberg (1859-1925). The family, to which the brothers Paul (1882-1937) and André also belonged, was Catholic with Jewish-Polish roots. Wanda grew up in an environment that fostered culture and, already as a little girl, showed great talent for music. At the age of four, she was already attracting attention for her piano playing. In Warsaw, Wanda Landowska was initially a pupil of Jan Kleczyński (1837-1895), then of Aleksander Michałowski (1851-1938). Alongside the intensive occupation with Frédéric Chopin demanded by her teachers, Wanda demonstrated great interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach already at this time.

    Education in Berlin

    In late 1895 Wanda Landowska continued her musical education in Berlin. Her teachers were Heinrich Urban (1837-1901) in composition and Moritz (Maurice) Moszkowski (1854-1925) in piano. During this time, Wanda repeatedly appeared as a composer and pianist. Some of her compositions were published. Her concert programmes contained her own works, late romantic piano works as well as works of J.S. Bach.

    She was apparently advised and also supported by her mother in her ambitions to establish herself as a composer. In letters to Edvard Grieg, it was her intention to convince the latter to appraise the compositions that she sent him. After an inquiry written by Wanda Landowska to Grieg and the consignment of her "own piano pieces" dated 6 September 1897 (see Harer 2011), her mother also appealed to the composer as follows: "She [Wanda] lives as a student in Berlin, Steglitzer 58, and does not know that I have so plucked up my courage to turn to you, great master, in the hope that Peer Gynt's creator will, after all, be able to pardon a mother! I am firmly convinced that if you knew this youthful composer, pianist and singer better, you would be surprised by her profound, utterly musical soul; she has composed over 50 Lieder of which not a single one was ‘made’ but all of them ardently felt, Variations for 1 und 2 pianos, several works for string orchestra, etc. If Wanda's lucky star should bring you, her master, loved and admired since her childhood, to Berlin, then I dare to request the great joy of an audience for the young girl! Now I am certain to have done her the best service through this letter, and beseech for you, noble, courageous and everywhere admired tone poet, the very best. In the most profound homage, E.[wa] Landowska. Warsaw 14 October 1899."

    Composer, Pianist and Harpsichordist in Paris

    Wanda's mother Ewa Landowska also informed Grieg of Wanda's move to Paris one year later: "She is now living in Paris, 117 avenue de Clichy, and is now of legal age; now I shall unfortunately see her less often than before, and really don't know where she got the courage to want to make a name for herself in Paris. I am writing all this to you, benevolent master, so that Wanda, should you ever visit Paris, will dare to introduce herself to you, show you her numerous works and also play some Bach. […] Your servant [Ewa] Landowska. Warsaw, 3 November 1900."

    In Paris, Wanda had already married Henri (Henryk) Lew (1874-1919) on 10 May 1900. Whereas Wanda kept her maiden name, her husband, who supported her in her further artistic ambitions and was to direct her career, went by the name of Lew-Landowski. Various factors were conducive to the young artist's development during these first years. The special cultural climate of Paris around 1900 particularly included a network of persons in the cultural life of the city who largely shared the Jewish and Polish background of the Landowskis. Particularly worthy of mention in this connection is Gabriel Astruc (1864-1938), who had connections to the publishing house Enoch and, as the editor of the journal "Musica", continually gave space to Wanda Landowska and her musical-artistic aims in precisely this medium. The publishing house Enoch concluded a contract with Wanda Landowska as a composer already in 1901 and published several works from her first years in Paris. In 1903 Landowska was introduced in "Musica" as a highly promising "compositeur et pianiste" ("composer and pianist"). The full-page portrait photo thus designated was commented on as follows: "[…] Est-elle plus compositeur que virtuose ou plus virtuose que compositeur? L’avenir le dira: peut-être est-elle les deux avec un égal talent." (" […] is she rather a composer than a virtuoso or rather a virtuoso than a composer? This the future will show: perhaps she is both with the same talent." "Musica" 5/2. 1903, p. 73) Things were to turn out differently, however.

    Wanda Landowska was able to enjoy initial successes as a composer. In 1904, in a composition competition organised and executed by the journal "Musica" called "Tournoi Musical International 1904", she was awarded the 1st prize (ex aequo) for her composition "Feu Follet" (in the category of "Piano-concert piece, high degree of difficulty") and the 2nd prize for "Querelle" (category "Lied with piano accompaniment") ("Musica" 16/1. 1904, p. 244). Her achievements as a composer were mentioned with high praise and she was continually accredited with extraordinary talent. Furthermore, two of her piano pieces were printed in 1904 and 1909 in the "Album Musica": "Feu Follet" and "Valse" (see Catalogue of Works). In her first years in Paris, Landowska continually performed works of her own; for example, a concert review in 1902 of the daily press reads as follows: "Les artistes les plus éminents […] Wanda Landowska, qui s‘est révélée comme compositeur de grand talent dans sa ,Reverie d´automne‘ et ses ,Variations polonaises‘ jouées a deux pianos avec le pianiste Alfred Casella;" ("The most eminent artists […] Wanda Landowska, who excelled as a composer with great talent in her 'Reverie d´automne' and her 'Variations polonaises', [the latter] played on two pianos with the pianists Alfred Casella." "Le Figaro" 48/3/76. 17 March 1902, p. 5)

    Advertisements in "Musica" show, however, that Landowska gave private instruction in piano beginning in 1903, probably for financial reasons. Soon, the journal "Musica" was no longer bringing the composer, but rather the interpreter Landowska to the fore. Amongst others, an article about Wanda Landowska appeared in 1905 (see "Sources. B. Secondary Literature", Brussels 1905). She rapidly became known in Parisian music circles as a Bach interpreter, as can be gathered from numerous annotations in reviews. Thus, for example, one could read in 1904: "Mme Wanda Landowska, que le Tout-Paris musical a déjà applaudi chez Lamoureux et à la Schola Cantorum, se fera entendre demain soir, à la salle Erard, dans les œuvres de son maître préféré, Jean-Sébastien Bach, dont elle est considérée comme l‘interpète idéale." ("Madame Wanda Landowska, whom all of Paris applauded at the Lamoureux [Concerts], can be heard tomorrow with compositions by her preferred master, Johann Sebastian Bach, of whose works she is regarded as the ideal interpreter." "Le Figaro" 50/3/34 . 3 February 1904, p. 4)

    Her first performances as a harpsichordist took place in the years 1903 and 1904. At the first demonstrable concert at which the harpsichord was used, organised by the Schola Cantorum on 12 November 1903, Wanda Landowska herself primarily played the piano, performing only one work on the harpsichord (Programme facsimile in Elste 2010, p. 34). In the later years of her concert career, too, Landowska held firm to the concept of playing the piano and the harpsichord at the same recital although the piano receded into the background in favour of the harpsichord. At the same time as her increasing occupation with the harpsichord, and with writing about the interpretation of Early Music connected with it, one notes a definite decrease in the number of compositions by Landowska beginning in about 1904. In later years, the craft of composing – with few exception – was only reflected in adaptations of works for keyboard instruments and in the writing of cadenzas to piano concertos of Haydn and Mozart.

    Making the harpsichord and, in particular, the solo literature for the harpsichord more familiar to the uninformed public of the early 20th century became the leitmotif of Wanda Landowska's comprehensive cultural activity. Her aim was to perform a body of Early Music that could only come to fruition on the instrument that was adequate for the music. During the Paris years beginning in 1904, there followed numerous concert tours throughout Europe and abroad (see "Repertoire/Chronology of the Concerts"). Landowska's journeys to Russia became legendary, especially her visits to Leo Tolstoy. (For photos and newspaper articles see "Sources. A. Sources and Writings", Landowska 1908 as well as "Sources. B. Secondary Literature", Goldenring 1908.)

    Wanda Landowska was always accompanied by her husband when searching for historical instruments and original scores in European museums and private collections, as well as on concert tours. Together with him, she wrote the book "Musique Ancienne" (1909); in addition, Henri Lew-Landowski undertook the correspondence necessary to arrange important concerts, including, for example, those with the Parisian piano firm Pleyel (see Elste 2010.) On the one hand, Wanda Landowska played exclusively on instruments of this firm that she also recommended to her pupils; on the other hand, the Pleyel firm complied with the Landowskis' wishes as far as the building of harpsichords was concerned (see Battault 2011).

    From Berlin back to Paris

    The Pleyel harpsichord "Grand Modèle de Concert" (also called the Landowska model) built according to Landowska's conceptions, was presented at the Bach Festival in Breslau in 1912. For the intensification of dynamics and sound production, the "Grand Modèle de Concert" had 7 pedals, as well as one 16, two 8 and one 4-foot stop plus a lute stop. In addition, this instrument was equipped with an iron frame that made possible the numerous concert tours on which the now more robust instrument had to be transported. This instrument was intentionally propagated by the Landowskis (Elste 2010, p. 82-83). Thus a Pleyel harpsichord was recommended to the Academy of Music in Berlin, where Wanda Landowska taught a class in harpsichord set up especially for her in 1913. Because of the difficult conditions due to the First World War – the Landowskis were Russian citizens – Wanda Landowska had to end her activity as a harpsichord professor; in addition to this, she lost her husband, who was killed in a traffic accident in 1919 (according to official reports). It was never clarified whether this was a politically motivated, violently caused death or not.

    Having returned to Paris in 1920, Landowska resumed her teaching, lecturing, writing and concertising activities there. For example, she taught at the École Normale de Musique. She soon arrived at the decision to establish a refuge for her manifold artistic activities and research, set up outside Paris especially in accordance with her conceptions. The building housing her "École de Musique Ancienne" in Saint-Leu-la-Forêt, including a garden, was expanded to include a concert hall of her own, called "Temple de la musique" (Battault and Parmiani 2011, p. 155-162). In addition, the premises offered space for the ever-growing collection of musical instruments, including valuable historical keyboard instruments. In addition, there was an extensive library, also housing rare printed music and manuscripts (see Marty 2011). Landowska's courses, e.g. "On the Performance of the Masters of the 17th and 18th Centuries", and the concerts given and organised by her found lively approval by an international public and circle of pupils until the invasion of the National Socialists put an end to this productive phase. Her studio recordings of Scarlatti sonatas bear witness to the war situation in Paris in 1940 with their clearly audible bombs as background noise; at the same time, they impressively document Landowska's passionate concentration on the music.

    According to Denise Restout's accounts, Wanda Landowska had not wanted to acknowledge the growing threat of danger due to the National Socialists. The two women ultimately left Saint-Leu-la-Forêt on 10 June 1940 heading south, having to leave the entire property behind. Landowska spent some time in the south of France – without a harpsichord (see de Vries 2004, p. 208-211.). With the support of the sculptor Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), the two women ultimately spent a year in Banyuls-sur-Mer. After a Pleyel harpsichord was obtained, Landowska played concerts again in Switzerland in order to earn money for her passage to America. After Landowska indirectly found out that her home in Saint-Leu-la-Forêt had been pillaged by an action of the "Special Staff for Music" and all her possessions carted away, this sad certainty could only be followed by the definitive flight to the USA. Landowska's belongings, including the valuable collection of old instruments, collections of scores and source materials as well as the extensive library, were irretrievably lost, and Wanda Landowska did not receive any appropriate compensation after the war. Only during the 1990s were the individual objects of this unique collection intensively traced. The energetic participation of the musicologist Wolfgang Boetticher (1914-2002) become manifest whilst coming to terms with the events surrounding the pillage (see de Vries 1998, p. 316).


    On 28 November 1941, Landowska and Restout succeeded in fleeing France via Lisbon, with the help of the "Emergency Rescue Committees" under the direction of the American journalist Varian Fry (1907-1967); they arrived on 7 December 1941 in the USA, where Landowska initially settled in New York and continued her artistic work without interruption. She ultimately moved with her long-time companions Elsa Schunicke and Denise Restout (1915-2004) to Lakewood, Ct., where she continued to receive pupils and where her final recordings (1959) were made.

    On 21 February 1954 Landowska performed for the last time at the concerts in the Frick Collection. She died on 16 August 1959 in Lakeville. Her urn was interred in France, in accordance with her wishes, at Taverny cemetery near Saint-Leu-la-Forêt.


    Wanda Landowska is one of the female artistic personalities of the 20th century who not only influenced musical life, but also permanently changed it. This can especially be seen in the area of musical interpretation: Wanda Landowska is not only the main actor participating in the so-called revival of the harpsichord during the 20th century, which ultimately led to today's standardised use of this instrument in certain areas of the repertoire and to its establishment as a university subject. At the same time, Landowska, as a pioneer in this sector, caused the occupation with questions of interpretation to be generally given higher priority.

    With her consistent approach (in sound, words and writings), namely using the analysis and research of practical musical sources as the basis for the sonic realisation of a work of music, she established the method, still valid, of creating a dialogue between research and practice, as well as between the past and present, as it is still cultivated by the representatives of the Early Music movement in their approach as a matter of principle. In connection with the triumph of the harpsichord in the 20th century, Wanda Landowska's influence on harpsichord building, in particular, cannot be overlooked; it had an especially strong effect on the production and sale of harpsichords of the Pleyel piano firm in Paris (Harer 2014).

    The functioning network that Wanda Landowska knew how to use of at the beginning of her career ultimately led also to interplay, interaction and cooperation with contemporary artistic personalities such as Pablo Casals, Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Francis Poulenc, Rainer Maria Rilke, Auguste Rodin and Albert Schweitzer. We must consider Landowska's outstanding achievement, however, to be the uninterrupted endurance, quantity and intertwining of her varied activities. Alongside the influence that she generally exercised on her artistic environment, there are her concert appearances, recordings, writings and teaching activities that she pursued consistently up to a ripe old age - and all this despite dramatic, life-threatening personal circumstances.


    Pianist and Composer

    In her early years, Wanda Landowska appeared primarily as a pianist and composer, first in the musical life of Warsaw and Berlin and then also in Paris, She thoroughly enjoyed the reputation of the young, talented and ambitious composer and pianist, attempting to establish herself in both areas. Her ambitions as a composer were rewarded in 1901 when she obtained a contract from the Enoch publishing house for the publication of her works and won the first prize in the 1904 competition of the journal "Musica".


    Landowska's personal commitment to the harpsichord did not occur without contradictions. At the beginning of the 20th century, the acoustic and visual image of the harpsichord was burdened with the aura of a long-forgotten era, either in the negative or in the positive sense. In addition, the harpsichord was accused of having too little self-assertion, and its sound was felt to be whirring or resembling a sewing machine. Then there was also the connotation that the instrument represented something typical of women. The commitment to the "further development" of the harpsichord represents a rapprochement with the type of sound required in the twentieth century. Nevertheless, this development today appears as a contradiction to Landowska's studies orientated on historical models and the insights gained from them.

    Several appearances – especially in the area of Bach interpretation – meanwhile went down as legendary events in the history of interpretation of the 20th century. Amongst these was the first use of the harpsichord (instead of a piano) at a performance of the St. Matthew Passion of J.S. Bach in 1919 in Basle, at which Landowska played the continuo harpsichord. Also to be emphasised is Landowska's performance of Bach's "Goldberg Variations" in its entirety, by no means a matter of course in those days. Landowska's performance on 14 May 1933 in Saint-Leu-la-Forêt was, however, erroneously documented as being the first complete performance (Elste 2010, p. 205).

    Part of her success was also the fact that Landowska understood how to celebrate and stage her performances. This was accomplished with an appearance and an order of events at concerts that became her "trademarks", which is also to be seen from today's vantage point in the sense of a specifically "female" staging" (clothing, shoes, gestures, see also Fauser 2006). Most of her concerts must have been designed as lecture-recitals, so as not to miss the opportunity of verbally preparing the audience for the new listening experience in relation to the instrument and repertoire. She always understood how to gain numerous helpers for herself and her work, above all her assistants Denise Restout and Elsa Schunicke.

    Pupils and Posterity

    Landowska left behind a generation of pupils, including Alice Ehlers (1887-1981), Marcelle de Lacour (1896-1997), Clifford Curzon (1907-1982), Ralph Kirkpatrick (1911-1984), Rafael Puyana (1931-2013), Eta Harich Schneider (1897-1986), Isabel Nef (1898-1976), Edith Weiss-Mann (1885-1951) and Ruggero Gerlin (1899-1983). On the one hand, Landowska's characteristic playing traits and her principles of an historic approach to the music were passed on to a generation of "grandchildren" through them; on the other hand, a further development took place that was already recognisable before Landowska's death: the modernised Pleyel harpsichord had served its function and given way to instruments built according to historical models. The liberties in interpretation taken by Wanda Landowska were criticised and felt to be a contradiction to the attempt at an historical reconstruction of performance practice.

    Writings, Sound Documents, Pictures, Posterity

    Landowska's writings give us an idea of what instructions her pupils, as well as the concert-going public, received. The fact that these writings were published in various languages shows once again with what energy Landowska strove to spread her ideas. Her "Musique Ancienne", published in 1909, is considered one of the first books dedicated to the field of Early Music in the 20th century. It was reprinted in several editions and published in English in 1924.

    The recordings made by Wanda Landowska bear witness to the musician's art of playing the harpsichord and the piano. Already at the beginning of her career as a harpsichordist, record companies were interested in recordings of the "high priestess of the harpsichord". The sound documents, extending from 1905 (piano roll) and 1908 (first recording on a phonograph cylinder ever made of a harpsichord) until shortly before her death in 1959, represent the artist's concert repertoire (including the recordings on which Landowska played the piano).

    Works dedicated to and/or composed for Landowska provide evidence of her influence on the contemporary music of her time and of the appreciation shown her within her musical surroundings. Prominent painters made portraits and paintings, of which those by Valentin Serov (1907, see Restout 1964) and Leonid Pasternak the Elder (Landowska in Moscow 1907, Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow) are the best known.

    On the occasions of the jubilee years 1979 and 2009, Wanda Landowska's complete work as a musician was subject to a new, intensive analysis, reflected in several publications as well as multi-medial presentations.

    List of works


    more on Repertoire less on Repertoire



    The current state of research on Wanda Landowska's life and achievements as an interpreter is represented by the publications of Martin Elste and Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, who most recently organised congresses in honour of Landowska in 2009.

    Gender-specific aspects in the artistic career of Wanda Landowska are discussed in the research projects of Alice Hudnall Cash and Annegret Fauser. David Kjar (2011) has occupied himself with the re-evaluation of Landowska's role in the Early Music movement of the 20th century. Concerning the role of the musician in the 19th century, see Harer 2011, regarding the influence of Wanda Landowska on the Pleyel firm, see Harer 2014.

    Need for research

    The fascination with the person Wanda Landowska has continued to motivate research projects right up to the present day. Most of these were and are depictions explaining Landowska's achievements as a harpsichordist and pioneer of the Early Music movement. Landowska's youthful years have rarely been subject to closer examination. These include the years of her first piano instruction in Warsaw and composition instruction in Berlin. The question as to why Landowska originally aspired towards a career as a composer and ultimately gave up this goal has hardly been posed so far. Likewise, it has apparently not appeared appropriate, due to the priority of her role as a harpsichordist, to provide a list, as complete as possible, of the works of the composer Landowska. This attempt is being made for the first time in the present article. A complete verification of the works as regards their actual existence, as well as a comprehensive occupation with Landowska's role as a composer, remain a research desideratum.

    As far as Wanda Landowska's writings are concerned, here, too, there is little clarity concerning the exact number of contributions, their translations into other languages or contemporary reprints and any possible textual overlaps.

    The existing sources concerning Wanda Landowska as a musician are, on the other hand, extremely rich, for the artist meticulously documented her activities and left behind a large number of written testimonies (letters, printed and handwritten documents) that impressively document her artistic thinking. Since these materials are scattered in numerous libraries or archives, however, and in some cases are in private possession of the subsequent generation of pupils, it has not so far been possible to undertake a complete accessing. Since her estate was only officially passed on to the Library of Congress (Washington D.C.) in 2004, following the death of Denise Restout, this source has also remained largely unedited and has not so far been catalogued in its individual contents.

    Another gap in the research undertaken so far is the listing of pupils, connected with questions of Landowska's pedagogical influence on successive generations. Although controversial, there is a lack of attempts at tracing this influence, as regards harpsichord playing, on persons and schools of thought.


    Virtual International Authority File (VIAF): 66652279
    Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (GND): 119037890
    Library of Congress (LCCN): n83121776


    Ingeborg Harer

    Translation: David Babcock


    Redaktion: Regina Back
    Zuerst eingegeben am 10.11.2013
    Zuletzt bearbeitet am 14.03.2018

    Empfohlene Zitierweise

    Ingeborg Harer, Artikel „Wanda Landowska“ (English version, translated by David Babcock), in: MUGI. Musikvermittlung und Genderforschung: Lexikon und multimediale Präsentationen, hg. von Beatrix Borchard und Nina Noeske, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, 2003ff. Stand vom 14.3.2018
    URL: http://mugi.hfmt-hamburg.de/artikel/Wanda_Landowska