Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Polish family of musicians.

(1) Jan Wański

(2) Roch Wański

(3) Jan Nepomucen [Jean Nepomucene] Wański



(1) Jan Wański

(b Wielkopolska, ?1760–62; d ?1830). Violinist and composer. He was professionally active for 30 years, first in Poznań and later in other places in Wielkopolska, such as Sarnowa (near Rawicz), Święciechowa, Wschowa and Gostyń. His works, based on elementary forms and in a Classical style, were enriched by elements of Polish folk music, which are present even in his Latin masses.


Ops: Pasterz nad Wisłą [The Shepherd on the Vistula], c1786, lost; Kmiotek [The Peasant], 1786–7, Radomicko, nr Poznań, collab. J. Wybicki, lib pubd (Poznań, 1788), music lost; Powstanie [Insurrection], c1820, lost

Sacred: Requiem, D, 1788, PL-GNd; Missa pastoralis, C, c1800, Pa; Missa solemnis, F, c1817, Pa; Salve regina, 1821, CZp; Vespers, G, before 1830, Pa; 2 masses, D, Pa; 2 Vespers, D, GNd; Regina caeli, D, Pa; 2 Salve regina, Pa; Litaniae Laurentanae, 2 Veni creator, other masses, vespers: all lost

Syms.: D, before 1786, GNd, ed. in Symfonie polskie, xi (Kraków, 1988); D (‘Pasterz nad Wisłą’), G (‘Kmiotek’), 1786–8, GNd, ed. in ZHMP, v (1962, 2/1988), ‘Pasterz nad Wisłą’ also ed. in The Symphony 1720–1840, ser. F, vii (New York, 1982) [based on ovs. to his ops]; D, 1790, GNd, ed. in Muzyka staropolska (Kraków, 1966)

Other works (all lost): songs; vn duets; polonaises, mazurkas, marches, pf


(2) Roch Wański

(b Wielkopolska, c1780; d 1810). Cellist, son of (1) Jan Wański. A valued chamber music player, he was a member of the string quartet maintained by Count Feliks Polanowski at Moszków (near Lwów). Through his influence, from 1800 to 1808 his nephew Karol Kurpiński was employed as a second violinist at the court.


(3) Jan Nepomucen [Jean Nepomucene] Wański

(b Wielkopolska, 1782; d Aix-en-Provence, 1840). Violinist and composer, son of (1) Jan Wański. He studied in Kalisz and in Warsaw. After the November Uprising of 1830–31 he emigrated to Paris and there continued his studies with F. Baillot. He performed in Warsaw (1834–5) and Florence (1836) and in other cities in Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In 1838 he was elected a member of the Accademia di S Cecilia in Rome, and in 1839 settled at Aix-en-Provence. He composed violin works and published a number of instrumental tutors: Méthode de violon, Méthode complète d’alto and Gymnastique des doigts et de l’archet (all n.p., n.d.); he also wrote the textbook L’harmonie ou la science des accords (n.p., n.d.). His daughter, Anna, was a concert pianist and piano teacher.


(selective list)

all lost

Vn, pf/str qt/orch: Concertino, Fantaisie sur Norma

Vn, pf/str qt: Air national anglais, Air polonais varié, 6 grands caprices de concert

Vn, pf: Carnaval de Varsovie, Variations de bravoure, 4 paraphrases on themes from operas [incl. Rossini’s Guillaume Tell and Bellini’s I puritani]



H. Opieński: ‘Symphonie A. Dankowskiego i J. Wańskiego’, Kwartalnik muzyczny, xvi (1932), 685–92

T. Strumiłło: ‘Do dziejów symfonii polskiej’ [On the history of the Polish symphony], Muzyka, iv/5–6 (1953), 26–45

G. Abraham: ‘Some Eighteenth-Century Polish Symphonies’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music: a Tribute to Karl Geiringer, ed. H.C.R. Landon and R.E. Chapman (New York and London, 1970), 13–22, esp. 20

Wanskura [Wansura], Arnošt [Ernest].

See Vančura, Arnošt.

Wan Tongshu

(b ?Shanghai, ?1925–30). Chinese musicologist of Uighur music. A close colleague of the Uighur musician Turdi Axon, though of Han Chinese ethnicity, Wan Tongshu devoted his life to the Uighur muqam. As a young graduate of the Shanghai Conservatory, Wan was sent to distant Xinjiang in the months immediately following the Communist revolution of 1949 to lead a collection project in response to the recently decreed ‘policy of safeguarding the minority arts’. From 1950 to 1955 Wan recorded versions of the 12 muqam as performed by Turdi Axon, who had won a competition for the greatest exponents of the genre, and six others. From 1954 to 1959, in a major project commissioned by the Bureau of Culture of the Autonomous Province of Xinjiang, Wan led a team transcribing dozens of hours of recordings. Published in 1960, the work consists of 577 pages of musical transcription, with an important bilingual introduction in Chinese and Uighur. In 1964 a Uighur edition of annotated texts was prepared by Wan and his team, but due to the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution it was never published.

Since the end of the Cultural Revolution Wan Tongshu has written several articles which pursue the themes of the introduction to the book, as well as a book on Uighur instruments based on his fieldwork in the 1950s. Today, in discreet retirement from the Urumqi Bureau of Culture, he is a delightful character who is forthcoming with an interlocutor whom he trusts.

See also China, §IV, 5(ii).


ed.: On ikki muqam/Shi’er mukamu [The 12 muqam] (Beijing, 1960)

Weiwuerzu yueqi [Musical instruments of the Uighurs] (Urumqi, 1985) [with cassette]


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