Landon, H(oward) C(handler) Robbins

views updated

Landon, H(oward) C(handler) Robbins

Landon, H(oward) C(handler) Robbins, eminent American musicologist; b. Boston, March 6, 1926. He studied music history and theory with Alfred J. Swan at Swarthmore Coll., and composition there with Harl McDonald. He also took a course in English literature with W.H. Auden (1943–45) and then studied musicology with Geiringer at Boston Univ. (B.Mus., 1947). In 1949 he founded the Haydn Soc, with a view to preparing a complete ed. of Haydn’s works. He also instituted an energetic campaign to locate music MSS that had disappeared or been removed; thus, he succeeded in finding the MS of Haydn’s Mass No. 13; also found the MS of the so-called Jena Sym., erroneously ascribed to Beethoven, and proved that it had actually been composed by Friedrich Witt. In The Symphonies of Joseph Haydn (London, 1955; suppl., 1961), he analyzes each sym. and suggests solutions for numerous problems of authenticity; in his new ed. of the syms. (12 vols., Vienna, 1965-68), he carefully establishes the version nearest to the original authentic text. He subsequently publ. his massive study Haydn: Chronicle and Works in 5 vols. (Bloomington, Ind., and London): Vol. I, Haydn: The Early Years, 1732-1765 (1980), Vol. II, Haydn at Esterhaza, 1766-1790 (1978), Vol. Ill, Haydn in England, 1791-1795 (1976), Vol. IV, Haydn: The Years of “The Creation,” 1796-1800 (1977), and Vol. V, Haydn: The Late Years, 1801-1809 (1977). In addition to numerous other Haydn studies, he also publ. The Mozart Companion (ed. with D. Mitchell; London, 1956; 2nd ed., rev., 1965), Beethoven: A Documentary Study (London, 1970; 2nd ed., rev., 1993 as Beethoven: His Life, Work, and World), Essays on the Viennese Classical Style: Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (London and N.Y, 1970), Mozart and the Masons (London, 1983), 1791: Mozart’s Last Year (London, 1988), Mozart: The Golden Years (N.Y., 1989), ed. The Mozart Compendium (N.Y., 1990), Mozart and Vienna, including Selections from Johann Pezzi’s “Sketch of Vienna” 1786-90 (N.Y., 1991), Vivaldi: Voice of the Baroque (London, 1993), and The Mozart Essays (London, 1995). He was a lecturer of distinction at various American and British colleges and universities. His wife, Christa Landon (b. Berlin, Sept. 23, 1921; d. Funchal, Madeira, Nov. 19, 1977), joined him as a research partner in the search for rare MSS in libraries, churches, and monasteries. She publ. eds. of works by Haydn, Mozart, and Bach; her ed. of Haydn’s piano sonatas (3 vols., Vienna, 1963-66) supersedes the one by Hoboken.


O. Biba and D. Jones, eds., Studies in Music History: Presented to H.C.R. L. on his Seventieth Birthday (London, 1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire