This Pick of the Week celebrates the legacy of Wanda Landowska—keyboardist, composer, and teacher best known for revitalizing harpsichord performance in the 20th century. The Music Division holds the Wanda Landowska and Denise Restout papers, an impressive collection of 41,000 items, including annotated music, correspondence, business papers, writings, photographs, programs, and biographical materials that document the life and performing career of Landowska. Also in the collection are materials relating to her pupil, secretary and caretaker, Denise Restout, with whom she lived after their migration to the United States in 1941. We hope this edition sparks your curiosity and desire to learn more about the legendary Wanda Landowska.
Mahan Esfahani plays Wanda Landowska's Pleyel harpsichord, featuring pieces from her 1927 concert at the Library of Congress. Lauded for his “daring” concerts, Mahan Esfahani reveals “impressive technique… soulful flair and a sense of spontaneity” (The New York Times). His talents have been heard in solo recitals around the world, as well as in orchestral appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, The English Concert, Academy of Ancient Music and the Hamburger Symphoniker.
Harpsichordist Skip Sempé performs on Wanda Landowska's unique Pleyel instrument and on her clavichord, speaking about her Bach performances and the Library's substantial Landowska archives.