Polish Music Journal
Vol. 1, No. 1. Summer 1998. ISSN 1521 - 6039


Alexandre Tansman: Diary of a 20th-Century Composer

Compiled, Translated and Introduced by
Jill Timmons and Sylvain Frémaux



1. Brief Biography
2. Musical Legacy
3. Conclusion


Introduction: A Case For Alexandre Tansman

As the twentieth century comes to a close, it is now possible to assess with some distance the events of the past hundred years and to evaluate the achievements of those individuals who helped shape musical history. By now, the lives and music of such well-known and influential composers as Schoenberg, Ravel, Bartók, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Bernstein have been extensively researched. There are, however, many composers from this century who have fallen into relative obscurity and yet have created a wealth of exceptional music. One such composer is Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986).[1] When one comes to understand Tansman's music and his life story, it becomes evident that he was a witness to, as well as a participant in, the course of musical history throughout most of the twentieth century.

The second volume of Janusz Cegiella's groundbreaking biography of Tansman has just been published.[2] It is in Polish, however, and until a translation is made or a new study written, no comprehensive biography will be available in English. Indeed, most of the currently available information about Alexandre Tansman originates from reference sources such as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians; David Ewen's Composers Since 1900 and Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Studies devoted to Tansman and written outside Poland include the 1931 biography by Irving Schwerke[3] and two American doctoral dissertations: one by Susan Marie Tusing and the other by Lorraine Butterfield.[4] Materials that might be used to study Tansman's biography and music include primary sources such as interviews, letters and reviews reposited in the Tansman Archives in Paris as well as a large volume of periodical articles dating back to the 1920s available in Polish and French. Few sources, however, are available in English. The purpose of this essay is to fill in this gap and to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive study of Tansman's life and works, yet to be published in English, by enlarging the scope of English-language materials available for researchers.

What better source for this research than the composer himself? Fortunately, Tansman was not parsimonious about being interviewed or about writing extensively on the music and musicians of his time. This study provides the first English translation of his most important interviews. A translation of the complete interviews, however, would be beyond the scope of this essay. Instead, the authors chose those interviews that dealt with his life and his illustrious contemporaries. The selection and compilation was made from a series of live broadcasts by Radio France in 1967 and 1980.

Part I presents a brief account of Alexandre Tansman's life and his musical achievements. Part II is devoted to his own commentary on his life, career, and well-known contemporaries. In the Appendix the authors have included a selected list of Tansman's compositions, an index of names, and a bibliography.



1. Brief Biography

Alexandre Tansman's life began in Poland and his ethnic roots were to become an important element in his compositional style throughout his lifetime. Although he became a French citizen, Tansman never ceased to think of himself as a Polish composer. He even chose to give his first concert in Paris by performing his own Polish Album for piano.[5] Raymond Petit stated that much of Tansman's music is "impregnated with a particular light charm intertwined with tenderness and melancholy, characteristic of Polish expression." Petit went on to add that," [Tansman] is able to unite somehow tendencies which are apparently divergent. His language remains, of course, very Polish but is, at the same time, very universal."[6]

Tansman was born in Lódz on June 12, 1897.[7] In 1918, he completed simultaneously his musical and legal studies in Warsaw. One year later he sent several works under different pseudonyms to the Polish National Music Competition, organized by the government of Poland, which had recently reclaimed its independence. To the surprise of Warsaw music critics, as well as his fellow students, he won the first, second and third prize in this composition contest. Tansman's early works were considered, however, to be too audacious and the Polish critics were harsh.[8] As early as 1916, Tansman was already writing in polytonal and atonal styles. He even used twelve-tone serial technique while having never heard of Arnold Schoenberg. In Poland at that time, the works of Claude Debussy were scarcely known and those of Maurice Ravel even less so.[9] Disappointed by the poor response to his music, the composer left Poland for Paris in 1919. Like his fellow countryman Fryderyk Chopin some 90 years earlier, Tansman settled in the French capital. Eventually he became a French citizen.

Upon his arrival in Paris, Tansman was immediately swept into the city's cultural life. Through a mutual friend, he met Ravel, who became enthusiastic about his music. Ravel advised and encouraged his young protégé, introducing him to his own publisher. Tansman said of his mentor: [10] "Ravel helped me develop a sense of economy of means, cultivate an intimate relationship between line and means of expression, and resist empty musical prattle." During those early years in Paris, Tansman formed many strong friendships with members of Les Six, as well as other foreign composers who had settled in Paris, such as Marcel Mihalovici, Tibor Harsanyi, Bohuslav Martinu, Conrad Beck and Alexander Tcherepnin. With Tansman, the latter group became known as the École de Paris. They did not form a close-knit group per se but were simply united by a common aesthetic outlook. Each remained attached to neo-classic elements of their own native tradition from Eastern or Central Europe: Poland (Tansman), Hungary (Harsanyi), Russia (Tcherepnin), Romania (Mihalovici), the Czech Republic (Martinu) and Switzerland (Beck).

As early as 1920, Tansman's works were performed and conducted by the best artists of the day. Conductors Serge Koussevitzky and Vladimir Golschmann were first to promote his music in France and the United States. Other conductors followed, such as Tulio Serafin, Arturo Toscanini, Pierre Monteux, Leopold Stokowski, Willem Mengelberg, Jascha Horenstein and Rhené-Baton. Illustrious performers of his music were Walter Gieseking, Artur Rubinstein, José Iturbi, Henri Gil-Marcheix, Marya Freund, Andrés Segovia, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Bronislaw Huberman, Josef Szigeti and Jascha Heifetz. Tansman also became close friends with many noted composers of the day: Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Paul Hindemith, Albert Roussel, George Gershwin, Béla Bartók (to whom he dedicated his Fifth Piano Sonata), Alfredo Casella and of course, Darius Milhaud (to whom he posthumously dedicated his Élégie in memoriam for orchestra). Tansman befriended many other artists and philosophers, including Serge Diaghilev, Charlie Chaplin, Julien Duvivier, Jean Renoir, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Jankélévitch, André Breton, Joseph Kessel, Salvador de Madariaga and Albert Einstein. Due to his many friendships and collaborations, his language skills and his keen interest in aesthetics, Tansman provided numerous articles, critiques, interviews and books regarding music in the twentieth century, the most noteworthy being Igor Stravinsky (1948).[11] This was the second biography of the Russian composer; it was, one might add, considerably larger in scope than the earlier Stravinsky (1931) by André Schaeffner.[12]

Tansman toured extensively both as conductor and solo pianist in order to promote his own works. He first toured the United States in 1927, returning in 1929 when he made a number of new acquaintances. Many artists such as Gershwin and Charlie Chaplin became his close friends. In fact, Tansman dedicated his Second Piano Concerto (1927) to Chaplin. From 1932 to 1933, he traveled around the world, performing his own works and receiving triumphant success. This concert tour also provided him with an opportunity to meet a number of world leaders. He was the official guest of the Emperor of Japan, had a private audience with Pope John XXIII and was the personal guest of Mahatma Gandhi. The year-long tour included such exotic locations as: Hollywood, Honolulu, Manilla, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Java, Bali, Singapore, Bombay and Majorca. Upon his return, Tansman summarized his impressions in Le Tour du Monde en Miniature for solo piano (1933). As he began to include new harmonies in his musical language, a number of critics spoke of the "Tansman phenomenon," using such terms as "skyscraper chords" or "Tansmanian chords"[13] to describe his expanded harmonic structures. In 1931, the eminent musicologist Irving Schwerke devoted a monograph to Tansman and his works, discussing in detail his use of polychords, chords built on fourths and bitonality.[14] It is worth noting that some altered tertian chords extending beyond 11ths and 13ths can be found in Tansman's works as early as 1921. In his book, Twentieth Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice, Vincent Persichetti cited examples of "15th and 17th chords" in Tansman's music. [15]

In 1938, Tansman married French pianist Colette Cras, born in 1908, the daughter of composer Jean Cras. It was at that time that French president Albert Lebrun granted Tansman French citizenship. Alexandre and Colette collaborated as performers and ardent promoters of modern music, particularly Tansman's two-piano and four-hand repertoire. The Tansmans had two daughters, Mireille, born in 1939 and Marianne, born in 1940.

World War II forced the Tansman family into exile after their name was included on Goebbels' black list. Just two days prior to the German occupation of Paris, Tansman fled with his wife and their two infant daughters. For over a year the Tansman family was in hiding in Nice. Then, in 1941, thanks to a support committee headed by Charlie Chaplin, with the help of Stokowski, Goossens and many others, the Tansmans were provided with passage on a ship going to the United States. When Tansman arrived in New York, he received a $5,000 award from the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation. This prize was for his Fourth Sonata, a work composed in Nice. It was the foundation's annual "award for eminent services to chamber music." On October 30, 1941, he premiered his Fourth Sonata at the Founders' Day Concert in the Library of Congress. Two other compositions were premiered on the same program: Randall Thompson's First String Quartet and Benjamin Britten's String Quartet in D Major, Opus 25.[16]

From 1941 until 1946, the Tansmans lived in Hollywood. In order to make a living, Tansman turned to scoring for films and eventually became a successful film composer. He wrote the soundtracks for Flesh and Fantasy (1943, Universal), Destiny (1944, Universal), Paris Underground (1945, Bennet-United Artists) and Sister Kenny (1946, RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.).[17] He was even nominated for an Academy Award for his outstanding film score to Paris Underground. Tansman worked with such renowned directors as Julien Duvivier, with whom he had collaborated in France, Fritz Lang, David O. Selznick and Dudley Nichols. Tansman also wrote music for Selznick's Since You Went Away (1944, United Artists).[18] In addition to his work in the Hollywood film industry, Tansman continued to compose and perform chamber music, piano works and two more symphonies. The Sixth (1944) is a choral symphony, a poignant work dedicated to those who died for France during World War II.

Tansman often referred to wartime Hollywood as "a kind of Weimar."[19] In Hollywood, Tansman rejoined many other European artists and intellectuals in exile such as Milhaud, Schoenberg, Toch, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Mann. It was in Los Angeles that Tansman renewed his longtime friendship with Stravinsky, of which he said: "Being with Stravinsky helped me consider music for its own sake, as an autonomous and absolute art form, and recover a traditional aesthetics which had been overshadowed by neo-romanticism and expressionism."[20] Later, following Stravinsky's death in 1971, Tansman composed Stčle in memoriam Igor Stravinsky for orchestra (1972) as an homage to his close friend.

While in Hollywood, Tansman sorely missed his adopted city, Paris. Following the War, the Tansman's return to Paris was delayed, however, because Colette became ill and required medical attention for several months. It was not until 1946 that the Tansmans left Hollywood and returned to Paris. They went back to their Paris apartment on Rue de la Tour, which they had hastily vacated in 1940, only to find that it had been ransacked by the Germans.

Despite the harsh realities of his return to Paris, Tansman resumed his work in Europe as a composer and performer. He was now in his full creative maturity. Once again, Tansman's works were a part of the regular concert repertoire throughout the world. On the occasion of his 50th birthday, he accepted new concert tours, first to Holland and later to Belgium, Spain, Norway, Germany and Italy. In 1958, he made his first trip to the new Jewish state of Israel. Tansman was a frequent guest at leading European centers: an instructor at summer composers' institute in Santiago de Compostela, a performer at the International Festival of Contemporary Music in Venice and the Spring Festival of Poznań (Poland). In addition to his extensive travel schedule, he prepared numerous radio programs, gave interviews, and wrote about his contemporaries and musical aesthetics. Most of his large works were composed during this period: five of his six operas, several choral and symphonic works, much chamber music and numerous piano pieces.

Finding himself in postwar France, Tansman did not join the post-serialist movement, the new European avant-garde of the younger generation. Essentially, his postwar compositional style retained the elements of his works from the twenties and thirties. Tansman said in an interview, shortly before his death: "It is impossible to have been in the avant-garde 60 years ago and still be in it today."[21] Tansman continued to stress his commitment to traditional values and he adamantly avoided any association with the various "isms" in music. Noted Polish musicologist Zofia Helman explained Tansman's view on those traditional values:[22]

[Tansman] always laid stress on the role of spontaneous expression in the creative act and always strove to achieve a balance in the musical measures and to sharply define the plan of the structure. European neo-classicism of the twenties and thirties was the framework in which Tansman's creative effort developed. Even in those early years, his music was marked by excellent construction, brilliance and virtuosity as regards the craft of composition, as well as by an elegance of musical treatment. His works gained a deeper expression in the War and postwar years.

Although Tansman did not join the new European avant-garde and ceased to be a familiar composer on American concert programs, he continued to compose and promote his music. Later in his life, he received official recognition through numerous awards. In 1977, for instance, the Belgian Academy of Sciences, Literature and Fine Arts awarded him an honorable membership and the seat left vacant by the death of Dmitri Shostakovich. This prestigious award had been previously given to Ravel, de Falla and Stravinsky.

After an absence of nearly half a century from his native land, Tansman traveled to Poland in 1967 to mark his 70th birthday. In the following years he returned there three times to be welcomed as a prodigal son and receive many awards: the Gold Medal of the Order of Merit of the Polish People's Republic (1983); a Medal for Service for Polish Culture and membership in the Polish Union of Composers (1983); and a posthumous honorary doctorate from his native city of Lódz (1986). Also in 1986, France made him Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters for his lifelong contribution to culture.

Alexandre Tansman died on November 15, 1986, in his home in Paris, at the age of 89. His last composition was a three-and-a-half-minute work for viola and piano entitled Alla polacca (1985), a symbol of his lifelong attachment to the traditions of his native Poland. In the end, Tansman's story is one of artistic and human survival. In spite of the many successive aesthetic movements that conditioned musical fashion in the twentieth century, Tansman was able to forge a career that spanned some sixty years. As a composer, conductor, solo pianist, and critic, he relentlessly created opportunities wherever he found himself. Tansman often remarked that his life was "a succession of miracles."[23] One might also consider him an artist who valued the notion that there are no coincidences.

2. Musical Legacy

Tansman's musical legacy includes over 300 compositions in all genres. He first emerged onto the musical scene through to his gift for brilliant orchestral writing. Orchestral works occupied him for most of his life and include nine symphonies as well as numerous symphonic movements. In addition, his virtuoso pianism and his partnership with his pianist wife put him in the forefront with commissions and performances of half a dozen concertos. Concurrently, Tansman created a substantial body of chamber music. His meeting with Diaghilev and Kurt Jooss led him to compose a number of ballets and works for the theater, commissioned primarily for the French stage. During World War II, he succeeded in Hollywood as a composer and arranger of film scores. In postwar Paris, the Tansmans eventually settled in an apartment on Rue Florence Blumenthal (1948), just two blocks from the French Radio building. This was a time when the composer developed close ties with the O. R. T. F. (the present-day Radio France) and French opera houses, resulting in numerous state commissions over the next thirty years. The state radio's vast resources (full symphony orchestras, radio choir, rehearsal time and live broadcasts) provided Tansman with the opportunity to finally expand his repertoire in the area of larger works: three large works for choir and orchestra as well as five operas were premiered in France between 1938 and 1974.

A complete list of works would exceed the scope of this essay. The reader is referred, however, to a selected list of works in the Appendix and the excellent catalogue recently completed by Gérald Hugon.[24] The majority of Tansman's works were published by Eschig in Paris. Hugon's catalogue also lists all works and publishers other than Eschig.

As a composer, Tansman followed a number of artistic principles: logic in form, simplicity and fluidity in style, and the use of rich lyrical elements without falling prey to excessive pathos or empty sentimentality. In a manner reminiscent of Chopin, Tansman combines the lyricism of Polish folk songs with complex harmonic structures. Tansman showed considerable creative power and was at home with the most advanced compositional techniques. His music encompasses the many styles and genres of the twentieth century: jazz (Sonatine transatlantique, Suite pour Carnaval, Quatuor pour Clarinette et Cordes, Résurrection); music in a lighter vein (Musique de Table, Suite légčre); exoticism (Le Tour du Monde en Miniature, Mélodies japonaises); Jewish traditions and folklore (Rapsodie hébraďque, Isaďe le Prophčte); pre-classical sources (Suite dans le Style ancien, Suite baroque, Variations sur un Thčme de Frescobaldi); and music where the Polish influence prevails (Rapsodie polonaise, four books of Mazurkas, Suite dans le Style polonais, and Sinfonietta no. 2).

Although a perpetual traveler, often not by choice, Tansman continued to consider Paris his home. Should he be considered a French, Polish, or Jewish composer? His music reveals all three. Overall, Polish folklore prevails. Apart from his forty piano Mazurkas, his most important work representing his Polish roots is the Polish Rhapsody, dedicated in 1939 to the defenders of Warsaw. This work is comprised of three dances, Polonaise, Kujawiak and Mazurka, presented in a fresh and straightforward manner. When asked about his use of Polish folklore, Tansman responded:[25]

Polish folklore permeated my childhood and my youth. It is original in the fact that it offers specific harmonic and melodic possibilities. Polish melodies contain the famous intervallus diabolicus, the tritone. In C major there is the note F-sharp which offers considerable melodic and modulatory opportunities. Harmonically, the result is a polytonal chord on C major and F-sharp major from which I was able to develop my personal harmonic style. These harmonic implications are always capped by magnificent melodies which remain beyond analysis. In that sense, Chopin's language is the precursor. It too, emanates from Polish folklore. Polish dances became very popular, and it is astonishing that Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Verdi, for instance, in almost every one of their operas, used Polish dances for their ballroom scenes It is no coincidence that the mazurka or polonaise appears in such operas as Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, or Boris Godunov. Polish music in the Renaissance was also extremely rich. Even Bach and Handel wrote the heading alla polacca for some of their movements.

On his 80th birthday, Tansman declared: "Even my latest works contain vestiges of the Polish spirit. Not only vestiges but something very important, something that was called ‘sorrow' in Chopin. These things are very abstract, but I feel it is so and would wish it to be so." [26]

In conclusion, the following remark by Polish biographer, Janusz Cegiella, is a fitting tribute to Tansman: "Time has confirmed the position of Tansman as one of the most eminent Polish composers of the twentieth century, chronologically after Szymanowski and before Lutoslawski and Penderecki."[27]

3. Conclusion

Tansman's life spanned virtually the entire century. He was a man who spoke seven languages, traveled extensively and essentially was a citizen of the world. Born into a Jewish family in Poland, he later became a French citizen and during World War II lived in exile for several years in Hollywood, California. His compositional style includes tonality, atonality, jazz, serial technique and Polish folk idioms, and reveals his affinity for motoric rhythms, his abiding love of lyricism and an almost religious enthusiasm for neo-classicism. In 1941, while Tansman's music was being performed on a regular basis worldwide,[28] Margaret Harford wrote in the Hollywood Citizen-News:[29]

One of the leading composers of his time, he is among the first ten in the list of contemporary composers whose works are most performed on concert programs today.

Following the Tansman centenary year, it becomes vitally important to expand the scholarly material available on this very significant artist. No doubt, Tansman's fading from the vanguard can be traced, in part, to changing fashion, particularly in France. The fact that he never returned to the United States after 1946 may have also contributed to the loss of name recognition, at least in the United States. These adverse conditions in no way limited his considerable creative output or the depth of his music. For that reason, Tansman is among the important composers who shaped the twentieth century.

To date, there is only one complete Tansman biography available and it is in Polish. Apart from a brief mention in the standard music reference books, two doctoral dissertations, CD liner notes, reviews, feature stories and film archival material, there is little written in English about this prolific artist. It remains for scholars to compile, edit and translate what is available so that Tansman is once again recognized worldwide for his many contributions to the music and culture of the twentieth century. The material available for further research includes a variety of French and Polish sources: periodicals, Tansman's correspondence, newspaper feature stories, concert reviews and radio archives. It also includes data that may be available from French and American film archives.

While making use of many innovative techniques, Tansman remained faithful to his own principles about art, summarizing his beliefs as follows:[30]

Personally, I believe that in music the present will always reflect the past and all its achievements. In my opinion, it is ludicrous to deny what one owes to one's predecessors for fear that they might affect one's own personality. Some influences are blinding and all-absorbing, others are conscious and welcome. It is the latter that enable artists to find their own path without diminishing their personal traits and affinities. I do not aspire to be a modern composer, I simply wish to be a composer of this time. It means that in my attempt to pursue music's fundamental and unchangeable goal I use the means which have evolved in my own time.

Tansman in His Own Words.
Appendix: Bibliography, Names.
PMJ - Current Issue.


[1]. We wish to sincerely thank Mireille Tansman-Zanuttini and Marianne Tansman-Martinozzi, daughters of the composer, for their generous assistance in our research. They provided many documents, suggestions and personal recollections that were invaluable in presenting a complete picture of Alexandre Tansman. We extend our deep appreciation to Gérald Hugon of Éditions Max Eschig, Polish composer Piotr Moss and American film composer Herschel Gilbert, president of the Screen Composers' Association and past president of the Film Music Society (formerly the Society for Preservation of Film Music). This project could not have been possible without the generous support of Linfield College. [Back]

[2]. Cf. Janusz Cegiella: Dziecko szczescia. Aleksander Tansman i jego czasy [Child of Luck. Alexander Tansman and His Times]. Vol 1. Warsaw: Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1986; vol. 1-2, Lodz: Wydawnictwo 86 Press, 1996. For a full list of bibliographical references and a brief list of works, consult the Appendix. In this paper we use the French form of Tansman's first name, "Alexandre" rather than the original Polish form, "Aleksander," since he spent most of his adult life in France and used this form throughout that time. [Back]

[3]. Irving Schwerke: Alexandre Tansman. Compositeur Polonais. Paris: Etitions Max Eschig, 1931. [Back]

[4]. Susan Marie Tusing: Didactic Solo Piano Works by Alexandre Tansman. D.M.A. Dissertation. Luisiana State University, 1993. Lorraine Butterfield: An Investigation of rhythm in the Piano Mazurkas of Alexandre Tansman: A Guide for the Piano Instructor/Performer. Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University, 1990. [Back] [5]. See L. Butterfield, op. cit., p. 31. [Back]

[6]. Raymond Petit: "Alexandre Tansman." La Revue Musicale no. 4, Paris, 1929, p. 46-54. [Back]

[7]. Located ca. 80 miles southwest of Warsaw, Lódz has produced many renowned artists, such as pianists Artur Rubinstein or Artur Balsam (1906-1994) who was trained in Lódz before emigrating to the U.S. at the brink of World War II. [Back]

[8]. See Marianne Tansman-Martinozzi. Preface to Alexandre Tansman: Catalogue of Works. Paris, 1986. [Back]

[9]. See L. Butterfield, op. cit., p. 37. [Back]

[10]. See Marianne Tansman-Martinozzi, op. cit. [Back]

[11]. Alexandre Tansman: Igor Stravinsky. Paris: Amiot Dumont, 1948. [Back]

[12]. André Schaeffner: Stravinsky. Paris: Rieder, 1931. [Back]

[13]. Cf. Irving Schwerke, op. cit. p. 9. [Back]

[14]. Ibidem, pp. 19-26. [Back]

[15]. Vincent Persichetti: Twentieth Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice. New York: Norton, 1961, p. 87. [Back]

[16]. See the Program of the Founders' Day Concert of the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, Library of Congress, 30 October 1941. [Back] Tansman Archives, Paris, (material from the years 1923-1986).

[17]. Jay Robert Nash and Stanley Ralph Ross: The Motion Picture Guide, 1927-1983. Chicago: Cinebooks, 1986, pp. 638, 873, 874, 2343, 2932, 2947. [Back]

[18]. Tansman's score was not released, however. Max Steiner was subsequently hired to write a new score and went on to receive and Academy Award for it. See. Philip T. Hartung: "The Screen: While You Are Gone, Dear." In the Commonweal. August 1944, s. 374-375. [Back]

[19]. Tansman in interview with M.H. Pinel: op.cit. [Back]

[20] Tansman quoted by his daughter, M. Tansman Martinozzi: op.cit. [Back]

[21].Lorraine Butterfield: "Alexandre Tansman and the Golden Era of Paris." Clavier May-June 1990, p. 24. [Back]

[22]. Zofia Helman: "In Memory of Aleksander Tansman." Polish Music no. 22, 1987, s. 3, 4, 12. [Back]

[23]. See Marie-Helene Pinel: Oeuvre et Temoignage: Interview d'Alexandre Tansman. Paris: Radio-France, 1980. [Back]

[24]. G. Hugon: op. cit. This catalog is available from the composer's French publisher. [Back]

[25]. Tansman in interview with M.H. Pinel: op. cit. [Back]

[26]. Tadeusz Kaczyński: "Polish Composer in Paris. Aleksander Tansman's 80th Birthday." Polish Music no. 4, December 1977, p. 23. [Back]

[27]. J. Cegiella: op. cit. vol. 1, 1986, p. 7. [Back]

[28]. Tansman was listed in Who's Who in America, 1939-1949. Monthly Supplement III, 1939-1949, p. 234. Starting with Tansman's first tour in the U.S., his music was championned by Koussevitsky (1927), Stokowski (1931), Toscanini (1932), and others. His more recent works had been introduced in Poland during his two concert tours there (1932 and 1936). He played his own works on his tour around theworld 91933). On the detalis of many of thse performances, see Gerald Hugon: Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986): Catalogue de L'Oeuvre. Paris: Max Eschig, 1995. [Back]

[29]. See Margaret Harfod's report in Hollywood Citizen-News, 16 April 1946. [Back]

[30]. Tansman quoted by his daughter, M. Tansman-Martinozzi, op. cit. [Back]


Publisher: Polish Music Reference Center.
Editor: Maria Anna Harley.
Design: Maria Anna Harley & Marcin Depinski.
20 July - 22 September 1998.
Comments and inquiries by e-mail: polmusic@email.usc.edu