Alexandre Tansman

Biography

Born: June 12, 1897; Lódz, Poland   Died: November 15, 1986; Paris, France  
Alexandre Tansman is called both a French composer of Polish birth and a Polish composer who emigrated to France. However, he likely considered France his adopted homeland; except for the war years he lived in Paris from 1919 until his death in 1986, and he chose the French spelling of his given name, Aleksander. Tansman was born in Lodz, Poland, to Jewish parents. His mother was a good amateur pianist who gave him his first piano lessons. At the Read more age of 11, he enrolled at the Lodz Conservatory, where he studied composition and conducting in addition to piano. Among his teachers there was Wojciech Gawronski. In 1914, Tansman began studies at the Warsaw University, where he graduated with a degree in law in 1918. It is said that the exceptionally intelligent, well-rounded Tansman had learned to speak seven languages. He entered several works under two different names in the 1919 Polish National Music Competition and won three prizes.

Still, he felt his music was not sufficiently appreciated because of its modernisms and he departed for Paris in late 1919. In the French capital, he met the leading composers of the day, including Stravinsky and Ravel, whose music influenced his, particularly the neo-Classicism of the former. Tansman also developed a camaraderie with other European émigrés in Paris, including Tcherepnin and Martinů, and with Andrés Segovia, who inspired him to write several pieces for guitar. Tansman's successful concert debut in Paris in February 1920 opened inroads for his career as a pianist. He also composed many important works during his first decades in Paris, including the Symphony No. 2 (1926) and the first two piano concertos, 1925 and 1927, respectively. As early as 1921, Vladimir Golschmann introduced his orchestral work Impressions to Parisian audiences and with Koussevitzky, Tansman performed his piano concertos in Paris and Boston. In 1932, Tansman launched a world tour, performing in Japan, China, Singapore, Bali, Egypt, Greece, and other exotic locations. His career as pianist and composer remained quite successful throughout the 1930s and in 1938, he was given French citizenship. But trouble was on the horizon with the growing menace of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Shortly after the occupation of France in 1941, Tansman fled with his French wife, pianist Collete Cras, and two daughters. Helped by a fund established by Charlie Chaplin, they settled in Los Angeles that same year, where Tansman met other Jewish exiles, including Arnold Schoenberg and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Tansman returned to Paris in 1946, but soon found his career would never be the same. He remained true to his largely neo-Classical style, which was quickly going out of fashion in favor of serial music and other avant-garde styles. Moreover, the music establishment in Poland, which had come under communist control, was loathe to play the works of a Jewish exile living in the West. While he continued to write much music, including operas, such as Georges Dandin (1973-1974) and ballets, such as Résurrection (1961-1962), as well as orchestral and instrumental works, his reputation gradually faded. Read less
Tansman: Music for Violin & Piano / Sahatci, Koukl
Release Date: 03/10/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573127   Number of Discs: 1
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Alexandre Tansman: Piano Music, Vol. 1
Release Date: 05/12/2015   Label: Toccata Classics  
Catalog: 170   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
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Alexandre Tansman


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Ballade
Notturno
Scherzo
Tranquillo
Lento
Presto
Lento
Vivo
No. 1. Oberek: Vivo
No. 2. Moderato - Piu lento - Tempo I
No. 3. Oberek: Molto vivo
No. 4. Andante espressivo
No. 5. Modere (a Jan Smeterlin)
No. 6. Moderato
No. 7. Moderato
No. 8. Moderato
No. 9. Oberek: Molto vivace - Molto meno mosso
No. 10. Berceuse: Lento
No. 1. Lento cantabile
No. 2. Moderato
No. 3. Moderato
I. Allegro con moto
II. Aria - Largo cantabile
III. Scherzo - Molto vivace
I. Adagio - Allegro deciso - Un poco meno mosso - Tempo I - Un poco meno mosso - Tempo giusto - Un poco meno mosso
II. Adagio pour orchestre a cordes, Tranquillo
III. Allegro giocoso
Theme: Lento
Variation I: Istesso tempo
Variation II: Un poco piu mosso
Variation III: Vivo (non troppo)
Variation IV: Lento cantabile, un poco rubato
Variation V: Allegretto grazioso (quasi Mazurka)
Variation VI: Allegro con moto (Fugato)
WORKS
No. 1. Intermezzo
No. 2. Mazurka (Hommage a Chopin)
No. 3. Nocturne
No. 4. Fanfare
No. 5. Berceuse
No. 6. Danza
Ballade
Notturno
Scherzo
I. Preludio
II. Sarabande
III. Scherzino
IV. Barcarole
V. Danza Pomposa
No. 1: Andante
No. 2: Alegretto
Tranquillo
Lento
Presto
Lento
Vivo
Allegro risoluto
Andante sostenuto
Allegro scherzando
Lento
Allegro con spirito
Tres long
Prelude: Andante cantabile
Nocturne: Moderato
Valse romantique: Allegro ma non troppo
No. 1. Oberek: Vivo
No. 2. Moderato - Piu lento - Tempo I
No. 3. Oberek: Molto vivo
No. 4. Andante espressivo
No. 5. Modere (a Jan Smeterlin)
No. 6. Moderato
No. 7. Moderato
No. 8. Moderato
No. 9. Oberek: Molto vivace - Molto meno mosso
No. 10. Berceuse: Lento
I. Notturno: Lento
II. Perpetuum mobile: Presto possibile - Coda
Interlude: Lento
III. Elegia: Lento cantabile
IV. Ostinato
I. Prelude: Lento cantabile
II. Fugue: Allegro moderato
No. 1. Lento cantabile
No. 2. Moderato
No. 3. Moderato
I. Introduction et allegro
II. Aria
III. Scherzo
IV. Finale
I. Allegro assai - Uno poco piu lento - Tempo I
II. Mazurka
III. Notturno
IV. Fuga e Toccata
I. Introduzione e L'estro armonico
II. Scherzetto popolaresco
III. Adagio quasi intermezzo
IV. Finale romantico
I. Allegro con moto
II. Aria - Largo cantabile
III. Scherzo - Molto vivace
I. Dialogue
II. Scherzino
III. Aria
IV. Finale
Entree: Moderato cantabile
Gaillarde (XVIe siecle): Allegretto
Kujawiak Mazurka: Lento
Tempo de polonaise: Allegretto vivo
Kolysanka No. 1 (Berceuse d'Orient): Andante cantabile
Reverie: Lento
Alla Polacca: Allegro con moto
Kolysanka No. 2: Lento
Oberek Mazurka: Vivace giocoso
I. Introduction et Marche
II. Sarabande
III. Scherzino
IV. Melodie
V. Nocturne
V. Finale
I. Toccata
II. Elegie
III. Final: Fuga
I. Adagio - Allegro deciso - Un poco meno mosso - Tempo I - Un poco meno mosso - Tempo giusto - Un poco meno mosso
II. Adagio pour orchestre a cordes, Tranquillo
III. Allegro giocoso
I. Lento - Allegro con moto - Molto meno mosso
II. Intermezzo: Andante sostenuto
III. Scherzo: Vivo
IV. Finale: Lento - Un poco meno lento - Allegro con moto - Lento cantabile
I. Instruments a vent, percussion et piano: Andante cantabile -
II. Orchestre a cordes et quatuor a cordes (concertino): Agitato molto vivace - Lento - Vivo - Adagio, quasi pastorale -
III. Orchestre complet: Vivo agitato - Lento - Molto vivace - Meno mosso -
IV. Choeurs et orchestre: Lento - Moderato - Un poco piu vivo - Vivo - Un poco meno vivo - Piu lento - Piu lento - Lento - Piu largo
I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro con moto - Andante cantabile -
II. Andante cantabile -
III. Scherzo. Molto vivace -
IV. Final. Adagio - Allegro deciso - Meno mosso - Piu lento - Andante sostenuto - Perdendosi
I. Allegro con moto - Un poco piu lento - A tempo
II. Grave - Piu lento - Tempo I
III. Molto vivace - Perdendosi
IV. Lento - Allegro con moto, molto risoluto
Theme: Lento
Variation I: Istesso tempo
Variation II: Un poco piu mosso
Variation III: Vivo (non troppo)
Variation IV: Lento cantabile, un poco rubato
Variation V: Allegretto grazioso (quasi Mazurka)
Variation VI: Allegro con moto (Fugato)