New York: Stein and Day, 1964. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's drab yellow cloth, spine stamped in black and gilt, upper board gilt, cornflower yellow endpapers, top edge stained cornflower yellow, original photo-illustrated dust jacket.
"You play Bach your way, and I’ll play him 'his' way." First edition of the first collection of Wanda Landowska’s writings on music, including the complete text of "Musique Ancienne," retranslated and revised; sections from her personal notebooks, published here for the first time in any language; and her many writings in French, much of it translated here for the first time. Landowska is best known for helping to initiate the 20th-century revival of interest in the harpsichord, a keyboard instrument which had been enormously popular in Europe throughout the baroque era, before it was essentially replaced by the piano by the early 19th century. Born and raised in Warsaw, where she was a child prodigy at the piano, Landowska moved to Paris in 1900 where, influenced by her husband Henry Lew, a scholar of folklore, she began to research historical instruments. In the 1920s she established the Ecole de Musique Ancienne in Paris and frequented the salon of Natalie Clifford Barney, before fleeing for the US upon Germany’s invasion. "Musique Ancienne," Landowska’s study of 17th- and 18th-century harpsichord music written together with her husband, was published in 1909, and in 1941 she became the first person to perform Bach’s "Goldberg Variations" on the harpsichord in New York’s Town Hall. The book is edited and translated by Denise Restout, an expert on German and French Baroque performance and Landowska’s protegee, assistant and companion. The present copy is inscribed to the front endpaper by Restout and her assistant, Robert Hawkins, to the American music critic and classical music scholar Herbert Kupberferg and his wife, "in memory of Wanda Landowska / December 4, 1964." Illustrated with numerous black-and-white photos and reproductions, as well as a frontispiece portrait drawing of Landowska. Spine-ends and corners lightly worn; moderate rubbing and some chipping to unclipped dust jacket. Very good. Item #3363