Author Topic: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)  (Read 11809 times)

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Offline Maciek

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Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« on: August 29, 2007, 02:34:25 PM »


Tansman is certainly not getting the love he deserves on GMG. Though I doubt whether this thread will change that. ;D

Born in Łódź, he spent a large part of his life in France. He even became French citizen, though he referred to himself as a Polish composer all his life.

Not only was he a composer but also one of Stravinsky's first biographers (1948).

He was a prolific composer but his output is a bit uneven.

I once posted one of his ballets in the Broadcast Corner - it should be still available.

Well, I hope others will have more substantial comments to make. ::) Or maybe some recordings to recommend?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 10:13:29 AM by Maciek »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2007, 02:50:17 PM »
As you probably know, Chandos is recording all of Tansman's nine symphonies with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Oleg Caetani(so of Igor Markevitch). So far they have released nos. 4-9 although I have only heard Nos. 4-6 so far. Certainly Tansman does appear a serious and worthy composer following in the neo-classical vein of mid-period Stravinsky. I have found the music I have heard to date a little on the dry side but am not yet familiar enough to comment further.

(Incidentally, isn't it odd that Chandos should use an Australian orchestra from Melbourne to record Polish music and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra to record their series of the music of the Australian Malcolm Williamson! Who decides these things? Presumably in the case of the Tansman the interest of Caetani.)

Offline Maciek

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2007, 03:15:24 PM »
(Incidentally, isn't it odd that Chandos should use an Australian orchestra from Melbourne to record Polish music and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra to record their series of the music of the Australian Malcolm Williamson! Who decides these things? Presumably in the case of the Tansman the interest of Caetani.)

 ;D

Admittedly the music is a bit dry, yes - I sometimes have this sensation of a restrained something, not quite sure what - as if it was ready to burst but ultimately the energy remains hidden beneath the surface... But I must say that with time I started to appreciate that quality (it's a bit vexing but at least uncommon ;)) and nowadays I don't even see (hear) it as clearly as I used to. ;D Or maybe the pieces I listen to now are the better ones (as I said, he's pretty uneven but probably as good as Stravinsky when at his best).

I guess I should mention some of my favorite recordings. There's a very good Fourth with Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski at the helm (an up-and-coming young conductor) on DUX 0542.

The real highlights of the disc are the other pieces though: the lovely, serene Variations sur un theme de Frescobaldi (1937), and the Quatre danses polonaises (1931) - positively bursting with vivacious energy (like the Allegro giocoso from the 4th)! There's also a nice Bach transcription added as filler - it's part of a two part cycle though... Can't really understand why they only gave half of it (the timing of the disc is under an hour!)... ???

This disc is also excellent: PRCD085-2 (Duczmal series, vol. 2, Tansman-Meyer-Panufnik-Kilar).

It has only one Tansman piece (the Triptique a cordes) but what a performance! And the rest of the CD is great too.

The newest release in the Agnieszka Duczmal (vol. 12) series is dedicated solely to Tansman, I haven't got it (yet) though.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 05:00:01 AM by Maciek »

Offline The new erato

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2007, 09:48:29 PM »
Wasn't Tansmans String Quartets available at a time? Any idea if recordings of these are still available, and any views on them (I'm currently on a mission to expand my collection of string quartets)?

Offline Cato

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 02:36:22 AM »
Wasn't Tansmans String Quartets available at a time? Any idea if recordings of these are still available, and any views on them (I'm currently on a mission to expand my collection of string quartets)?

What a coincidence!  I was just skimming through Amazon yesterday, and they show the complete Tansman string quartets are available.


http://www.amazon.com/Alexandre-Tansman-Complete-String-Quartet/dp/B0000000RJ/ref=sr_1_3/104-8532712-1747938?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1188473714&sr=1-3

They also announce an October release date for the Symphonies 7-9.
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 02:40:43 AM »
His complete SQs were recorded by the Silesian String Quartet:

1992 ETCETERA RECORDS B.V.AMSTERDAM (KTC 2017)

I've never seen the CD itself but I have one of the quartets recorded from the radio. Don't know if there are any other recordings??
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 05:00:21 AM by Maciek »


karlhenning

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2007, 03:13:56 AM »
I knew Cato would enter the building!  :D

Offline Cato

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 08:21:25 AM »
I knew Cato would enter the building!  :D

Aye, and thanks also to Maciek for explaining the CD with the "Orchestral Works" by Tansman.  The Amazon listing for it has no details of what is on the CD!  Frustrating!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Maciek

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2007, 09:34:07 AM »
What's amazing is how these two 4ths have similar covers:



Here's a link to my radio Bric-a-brac recording:
Aleksander Tansman Bric-a-Brac. Ballet music
Sylwia Mierzejewska solo violin
Polish Radio Orchestra
Wojciech Michniewski
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 05:01:51 AM by Maciek »

Offline Brewski

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2007, 09:43:27 AM »
What's amazing is how these two 4ths have similar covers:




I have the one on the left, and it's terrific.  Thanks to Lilas Pastia :D for introducing me to this remarkable composer, and to Maciek for starting this thread.  Am reading these comments on other recordings with great interest.

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Offline Maciek

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2007, 03:40:30 AM »
While perusing this site: http://www.musimem.com/tansman_eng.htm, I discovered that Tansman had written a Concerto for alto and orchestra. Does anyone know if it has been recorded? :-*

springrite

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2007, 06:22:15 AM »
The only Tansman I know are his piano music, which I enjoy and listen to about once a year. (With the number of CDs I have, that is quite frequent!) I have never heard his orchestral or chamber music. I am willing to look out for them. He seems a composer worth exploring.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2008, 05:01:48 AM »
Bumping the thread for Harry's benefit. ;)

karlhenning

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2008, 05:03:11 AM »
All the Tansman I have heard inclines me to hear more & more.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2008, 05:08:00 AM »
I've actually now got some of the CDs I mentioned earlier as "on my wishlist" (like the SQs set). But this is turning out to be real problem:

The newest release in the Agnieszka Duczmal series is dedicated solely to Tansman, I haven't got it (yet) though.

Would you believe it if I told you I have already bought this one TWICE, and had to return it each time? :'( First time - the CD was faulty (had a blemish on the playable side). Second time - they actually sent me a different volume from the same series (and one I already had ::)) - and it turned out they couldn't exchange it for what I wanted, because they didn't have it! >:( I'm gathering courage to try one more time (the only problem: it's getting more and more difficult to find :-\). Talk about jinxed recordings... ;D
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 05:02:24 AM by Maciek »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2008, 05:18:00 AM »
Still waiting for Chandos to issue Symphonies Nos. 1-3!

Harry

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2008, 05:28:51 AM »
Bumping the thread for Harry's benefit. ;)

Thanks will read my way through it! ;D

Offline Maciek

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2008, 06:19:35 AM »


The SACD Volume 3 in the CHANDOS Tansman Symphonies series is out (since September 1st). 8) Accoring to their newsletter it will be available for download in October.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 06:26:56 AM by Maciek »

Offline Brewski

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Re: Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2008, 06:26:29 AM »
Thanks, Maciek!

--Bruce
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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY