Homage to Alexandre Tansman (1897–1986)


ed. by A. Granat-Janki

Wrocław 2019

Na stanie



Alexandre Tansman is one of the most outstanding Polish composers of the 20th century. He was born in Łódź in 1897. He gained his education in his home-town and Warsaw. In 1919 he decided to move to Paris, where he was extremely successful and gained international recognition. He spent the years of the World War II in Hollywood and then returned to Paris in 1946. That was when the composer achieved creative maturity.


Tansman’s music is characterised by lyricism, emotionalism, vitality (which was a heritage of his Polish-Jewish origin) and sophisticated sound and elegance (influenced by French culture). The composer was interested in different types of music – from jazz through artistic music to various kinds of folklore. For this reason it can be said that he was crossing cultural borders, although the Polish culture was always the closest to him. He left a legacy of more than 400 works, a testimony to his versatile artistic interests. It consists of symphonies, chamber music, concertos, operas, oratorios, ballets, piano music, works for violin, cello, guitar, flute, organ, harp, as well as theatre, film and radio music. His achievements are of particular importance from the point of view of European neoclassicism, although other tendencies are also present in Tansman’s creative output. The composer died in Paris in 1986.


To honour the memory of Alexandre Tansman and to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the composer’s birthday, in 2017 the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław made an effort to release a monographic publication devoted to this artist who is so important for Polish music culture. The book contains 13 texts written by theoreticians, musicologists, publicists and music editors from Poland and the United States, as well as the composer’s daughters: Mireille Tansman-Zanuttini from Italy and Marianne Tansman-Martinozzi from France. The aim of the publication was to show the composer’s work in a broad perspective of biography, history, style, aesthetics, axiology and composer’s technique. It also took into account the issue of the reception of Tansman’s music and the promotion of his achievements.


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Zofia Helman
Alexandre Tansman’s Aesthetic Thought

Irena Poniatowska
Alexandre Tansman’s Artistic Creed and Stylistic Trends in the 20th-Century Music

Anna Granat-Janki
Alexandre Tansman’s Music in the Axiological Perspective

Marianne Tansman-Martinozzi
Alexandre Tansman – Between Two Homelands

Mireille Tansman-Zanuttini
The Circle of Alexandre Tansman’s Friends in the Musical World

Maja Trochimczyk
The American Years of Alexandre Tansman (1941–1946)

Renata Skupin
Orientalism and Orientality in Alexandre Tansman’s Music

Marcin Tadeusz Łukaszewski
Six études de virtuosité for Piano by Alexandre Tansman

Anna Nowak
Tansman and Contemporary Composers of Piano Mazurkas. In Search of New Forms of Artistic Expression

Beata Michalak
Piano Compositions by Alexandre Tansman for Children and Youth

Iwona Hanna Świdnicka
Musical Epitaph for a Great Friend – Stèle in memoriam Igor Stravinsky by Alexandre Tansman

Małgorzata Gamrat
Polish Music in Alexandre Tansman’s Reflection

Andrzej Wendland
Twenty Years of the Tansman Festival: Ideas and Achievements. About Restoring the Memory of the Composer




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