Andante Tempo Chaos as Tempo Lacks Resolution. I enjoy reading books on music. Landowska on Music is such a book. Wanda Aleksandra Landowska (5 July 1879 – 16 August 1959) was a Polish–French harpsichordist whose performances, teaching, recordings and writings played a large role in reviving the popularity of the harpsichord in the early 20th century. She was the first person to record Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Goldberg Variations on the harpsichord (1933). She became a naturalized French citizen in 1938.
Wanda Landowska in 1937
Her chapter 10 is entitled “Of Movement and Measure.” I was enthralled by her method of defining the word “andante”. I felt it was necessary to share it with my readers. The differing descriptions of this term can leave a person confused. You might ask, is there even a real answer? She also compares the descriptions of Andante with Andantino. Musicians, read the quotes and decide for yourselves.
Musical Dictionary Andante Tempo Chaos
- Le Dictionnaire de l’Academie Française states: Andante- moderate movement.
- Littré: Andante- not too fast or too slow. Andantino- slower than Andante.
- L’Encyclopédie: “Andante” slow movement. Andantino – faster than Andante (an obvious contradiction with #2).
- L’Encyclopédie des Gens du Monde: “Andantino”- faster than andante. However, under the word “Movement” we find”Andantino” is slower than andante!
- L’Encyclopédie Moderne: “Andantino” means a slower measure and a certain regularity in movement, more in keeping with stiffness than with gravity.
- Larousse: “Andante”- moderate movement with a tendency towards slowness. “Andantino” -word indicating a modification of movement (whatever that means).
- I’ve saved what I think is the best quote for last: Le Nouveau Larousse- Andantino- more animated. All musicians agree on this subject!
Well, what source are you going to believe? Perhaps the performer factors into the andante-andantino equation. A most beautiful description of Andante came from the incomparable lady, George Sand. She was Chopin’s companion and lover. “Autumn is a melancholy and gracious andante which admirably prepares the solemn adagio . Please share this with friends. Perhaps this blog illustrates why most can’t seem to agree on anything- even andante.
George Sand by Charles Louis Gratia (c. 1835)