–The Sound of One Hand

Note: The following essay first appeared in Kaleidoscope:International Journal of Disability and the Arts in 1991.

The Sound of One Hand:Paul Wittgenstein at the Piano

As a child practicing the piano, I worried about the little finger of my right hand. It needed to be stronger, I thought, and I fretted aloud over it to my mother who was my teacher. She answered that the little finger is always weaker, the fourth finger too. She said that Robert Schumann, the famous composer, had tried to exercise these fingers of his right hand with a pulley device to make them stronger, but had lost the use of them altogether–that that was why he became a composer instead of a pianist.

This story horrified me. I would sit at the piano working my fingers through the scales, and I would think of the little finger stopping its work, going limp and, for piano purposes, being entirely dead. I thought what a catastrophe that would be. If a person meant to play the piano for real, she would need all her fingers, a good reach in both hands and the ability, without thinking about it, to curve the hands as if they held an egg in their concave space, which was how my mother said the piano was properly played. What haunted me in all this was the threatened loss. As a child, I did not consider two things which were of rival importance: the implicit gain (Robert Schumann, actual composer versus Robert Schumann, potential piano virtuoso), and the quite curious business which it is to fine-tune hands so that a life is built on their idiosyncratic relationship to an instrument.

But I have thought about them now. I have thought about them because I have been searching for Paul Wittgenstein, hunting through the paper trail of libraries to discover this man whose presence glances like a shadow through the history of music in the twentieth century.

Paul Wittgenstein. His name comes up in chance conversations, at odd moments, even in an episode of the television series, M.A.S.H. Almost always, his name is a question. Wittgenstein? Paul Wittgenstein? Wasn’t he the pianist with one arm?

Well, yes he was. But although that fact has become a salient piece of identifying information about him, for the first twenty-seven years of his life, it was not the case. Born in 1887 in Vienna, Paul Wittgenstein began life with a wealth of privilege and abundant promise. As E. Fred Flindell writes in a 1971 article, the Wittgenstein family “had stood in the forefront of the cultured bourgeoisie for half a century.”1 The exceptional nature of the family is also noted by Anthony Kenny, biographer of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, Paul Wittgenstein’s younger brother: “The family was rich and artistic,” he says, “the father holding a prominent position in the Austrian iron and steel industry, and the nine children sharing a variety of talents.”2 An older relative, Josef Joachim, was a famous violinist and, as a boy, Wittgenstein was sometimes allowed to accompany him on the piano. The family, as active patrons of the arts, welcomed many famous musicians and composers to their home, among them Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler.

In spite of Wittgenstein’s intense desire to be a pianist, and in spite of this seemingly ideal climate for the production of a musical virtuoso, Wittgenstein’s career did not begin with the prodigious rush experienced by many of his predecessors or contemporaries. As he himself said, his father (who had become the “Iron King” of Austria after a youth which included a stint as a violinist with an American minstrel group), felt that the only profession which was worthwhile was “the double one of engineering and a business career.”3 As a compromise, Karl Wittgenstein pushed his son toward a banking career, but he would not concede that music was suitable as anything more than a hobby.

Although Wittgenstein’s mother was a talented pianist who played challenging four-hand arrangements with her son, she did not intervene in the conflict over careers. Wittgenstein was allowed lessons with Malvine Bree, an assistant to the great nineteenth century teacher Theodor Leschetizky, but it was not until 1909 when he had completed his compulsory military training that his father, who was dying, gave his consent for a concert career. Wittgenstein then began studying theory with the composer Joseph Labor, and piano with Leschetizky himself. Finally in 1913, when he was twenty-six, he made his first public concert appearance in Vienna. His career seemed launched. But in 1914 war broke out in Europe and, as a reserve officer in the Austrian army, Wittgenstein was called to active duty. With horrifying speed, he found himself a prisoner of the Russians in Poland, and his severely wounded right arm amputated in a primitive field hospital. Then he was sent to a prisoner of war camp in Siberia.

In later years, Wittgenstein could seem almost matter-of-fact in speaking about the excruciating situation that confronted him as a result of his lost arm. “‘I thought at first that I might become a professor of music history,” he said, “but I naturally wanted to continue the piano if I could.”4 In the same interview, however, some of the bitterness he must have felt at his loss is evident:

After being sent from one hospital to another I landed in the concentration camp at
Omsk. During this time there had been only a short interval, when I was quartered in
town when I could work at a piano. The Russian camp commander at Omsk, because
of his Germanic name, was afraid of being suspected of German sympathies, so refused
all musical instruments or diversions to German and Austrian prisoners. It was not
sheer maliciousness, as I can see now, but I cursed him at the time!5

In any case, Wittgenstein had made his decision while he was still a prisoner of war. He could not and would not give up the piano in spite of the daunting physical task he faced of playing an instrument designed for two hands when he had only one.

Although Wittgenstein’s situation was unique–there is no record of other concert pianists who have lost an arm in wartime–precedents did exist of one-armed pianists, and Wittgenstein was surely aware of them when he made his stubborn resolution to stay a pianist. There was the Hungarian Count Geza Zichy (1849-1924) who had lost an arm in a hunting accident and became obsessed with the idea of proving he was not “handicapped.” Zichy developed his own repertoire of left hand piano arrangements. He then spent six years developing his technique for concert performance and worked for five years with Liszt before starting a career that spanned more than forty years. Eduard Hanslick, the Austrian critic who was Zichy’s contemporary, said of him that he “has attained a perfection as astonishing as it is dazzling. With five fingers he is able to imitate the ordinary play of ten, with the art of arpeggios adroitly worked out, by the aid of perfectly graduated nuances from piano to forte.”6

In addition to Count Zichy, whom Wittgenstein apparently knew slightly, there was the German-born Hermann W. S. von Waltershausen who had lost his right arm and foot as a boy and who was a composer and writer on music as well as a pianist. There was a Frenchman, Charles Gros, who had played successfully as a left hand pianist in London in 1899, and also a man named Willem Coenen who performed with his left hand alone, although he had two hands. Because of these performers, Wittgenstein must have felt that, even if the goal he had set himself was an unlikely one, it was not impossible.

There was also one odd bit of fortune in Wittgenstein’s injury. He had lost his right arm, rather than the left and, though the right hand is normally the stronger hand for a pianist, as he himself said, “If a pianist has to lose either arm, then let it be the right one.”7 The reason for this is both historical and anatomical. Most pianoforte music has been written with the melody in the treble, and so a pianist playing with his left hand alone can use his thumb and index finger for the melody line rather than relying on the weaker last two fingers. It is also easier for the left hand, which is positioned naturally in front of the bass notes, to execute the leaps up the piano required for covering the keyboard when playing one-handed.

And so, after the prisoner exchange which returned him to Vienna in 1915, from the standpoint of his career Paul Wittgenstein, who had met with such great misfortune, was lucky in two ways: he had the example of musicians who had played successfully with the left hand alone, and he had his left hand. He also had had an uncanny experience which must have affirmed his decision to return to the piano, and perhaps even given it an aura of inevitability. Knowing that he would need a specialized repertoire, he had written to his mother requesting her to ask Joseph Labor, who was himself no stranger to disability since he was blind, to write a left hand concerto for him. His mother had visited Labor, and when she spoke with him she had found that he had already been at work for six weeks on just such a concerto. As Wittgenstein said, “He had anticipated my need.”8

The work of returning to concert form now began in earnest for Wittgenstein. He gave a few tentative recitals in 1916 and 1917 before returning for a year’s service at the front, but as Flindell says, “he was not at all satisfied with his playing.”9 When the war ended, he secluded himself, practicing seven hours a day and working out the intricacies of his technique, serving as his own teacher since Leschetizky had died in 1915. Many years later, he published a three volume set of exercises, etudes, and transcriptions–School for the Left Hand–which shows the ingenuity he brought to his task. He discovered, for example, that a chord with a low bass note can be struck with the upper notes held by the pedal and the low note struck pianissimo immediately afterwards “in order to achieve the impression that both are played simultaneously.”10 He, at times, used his fist or two fingers on one note for additional volume; he determined that half pedaling can overcome the intrinsic problems in difficult leaps. Building on the solid basis of his earlier standard virtuoso mastery of the etudes of Czerny, Clementi, and Chopin, Wittgenstein’s exhaustive practice with his new methods brought him to a level of extraordinary skill.

Along with the matter of technique, for Wittgenstein there was the equally challenging question of repertoire. From 1918 to 1921, he hunted for suitable works to play. As Flindell says,

He made a concerted search for piano works for the left hand, mostly in libraries,
museums  and second-hand music stores. He discovered Haydn’s instruction: ‘per la
mano sinistra
‘ in one of the piano trios. The initial theme of the second movement of
the A flat Haydn piano sonata drew his attention. The somewhat dated pieces of A.
Dreyschock composed in the 1840′s seemed to him antiquated, those of Count Zichy
poor and artificial. He, nevertheless, admired Brahms’ arrangement of Bach’s Chaconne,
and the various works for left hand by Saint-Saëns, Reger, Scriabin, and A. Hollaender.
But it was L. Godowsky’s arrangement of nineteen of Chopin’s Etudes for left hand which
fascinated the ‘new’ student. He had played several of them successfully in public in the
original. Moreover, Godowsky’s Suite for the L.H. Alone, the Fugue upon BACH, the
Intermezzoand Etude Macabre stimulated his interest in this unusual genre. Following
the nineteenth-century transcription practice of Liszt and Godowsky’s novel methods of
reducing works to the left hand, Wittgenstein began to write his own arrangements of
operas and piano works. Out of the experience of transcribing, Wittgenstein developed a
fascination for left hand genre works.11

It may seem remarkable that Wittgenstein was able to find a comparatively large amount of work for the left hand, but there are ready explanations for this. Again they are historical and anatomical. With the development of the grand piano in the nineteenth century, pianists for the first time were able to control the volume of what they played. As arts writer Naomi Graffmann points out in a discussion of performance injuries to pianists,

On earlier keyboard instruments, the volume limit was reached without exertion of any
real force. The modern piano’s sturdy iron frame, however, permitted greater string
tension with concomitantly far wider volume range possibilities. This, in turn, placed
considerably greater physical demands on the player.12

Also, since the melody of a given piece was often carried in the upper treble ranges where the piano has a thinner sound, nineteenth century pianists trying for fortissimos and a ringing melody line, particularly in the large works of Brahms, Tchaikowsky, and Rachmaninoff, often wound up with injuries to the right hand from overplaying. Saint-Saëns, Scriabin, and Clara Schumann were notable examples of pianists who suffered such injuries. Clara Schumann’s problem was temporary, and Scriabin eventually practiced his way out of a seemingly permanent disability, but concerned composers, including some like Saint-Saëns who had hand problems, wrote left hand works or made transcriptions of pieces written for two hands.

The existent repertoire was not sufficient, however, for a man of Wittgenstein’s drive and ambition. Nor was he content with the transcriptions of two hand music that he could make himself. But, fortunately, due to his wealth and connections, he had another option open to him: he could commission works from prominent and lesser known composers, and that is what he proceeded to do. He had begun with Labor. Now as he returned to his work as recitalist, interpreter of chamber music, and soloist with major orchestras, he had a growing body of left hand work written for him by composers such as Richard Strauss, Erich Korngold, Franz Schmidt, and Paul Hindemith. In the late 20′s, he had a full schedule of European concert dates; he also had original left hand material to choose from for performance.

There was one commission, however, which served more than any other to put Wittgenstein firmly in the public mind. In 1929, he sent George Kugel, his impresario, to Maurice Ravel, the French composer, to ask him for a concerto. Ravel was nearing the end of his composing life, only a handful of years away from the battles with aphasia and ataxia which effectively locked his music within him for the five years before his death.

Both as men and musicians, Ravel and Wittgenstein were a study in contrasts. Wittgenstein, who had taken readily to his military training and was very much the Austrian patriot, was solidly bourgeois and a clear heir to the nineteenth century tradition of romanticism. As a student of Leschetizky, he had been trained in the “big line, the grand effect, the tempo rubato.”13 Ravel, on the other hand, was a brilliant musical rebel, a French dandy with bohemian friends and tastes who was influenced by the work of contemporary composers like Erik Satie.

There was a further important difference between the two men. Although Ravel had seen service in the war, he was not a combatant as Wittgenstein was. He was turned down for military duty for medical reasons, and when he did find war-related work it was as an orderly among the wounded and finally as a truck driver at the front near Verdun. But though Ravel did not actually fight and was not wounded as Wittgenstein was, the war exacted a toll from him as well. Hospitalized for dysentery, he experienced a kind of breakdown and a permanent weakening of his health.

In some ways, the situation seemed bizarre. Here were two men who had opposed each other in war, who had both suffered war’s lasting effects because of their countries’ hostilities, and who were ready now to make common musical cause. But Maurice Ravel, always independent, had shown himself to be a musical peacemaker at heart, ready to balance the contrasting views of older and younger French musicians and refusing, even during the war, to take a nationalistic approach to music. In essence Ravel–a composer who made “sport of difficulties”14–was not only challenged and moved by Wittgenstein’s request but, in deciding to write for him, was making a characteristic personal effort at reconcilement.

Yet there were still two large musical egos at work, and the result was not only music but controversy. When Ravel completed the concerto Wittgenstein had asked for and played it for him at his country home near Paris (using both hands and including the orchestral parts), he got a cool reception. As Wittgenstein said,

He was not an outstanding pianist, and I wasn’t overwhelmed by the composition. It
always takes me a while to grow into a difficult work. I suppose Ravel was disappointed,
and I was sorry, but I had never learned to pretend. Only much later, after I’d studied
the concerto for months, did I become fascinated by it and realize what a great work it

Because of Wittgenstein’s reaction, the planned Paris premiere of the concerto with Ravel conducting was cancelled, and Wittgenstein played the work for the first time in public in Vienna in 1931. Having been schooled in the nineteenth century doctrine that the work of composer and performer is collaborative, Wittgenstein did not hesitate to make modifications in the score. Ravel, as a modernist with a firm belief in the integrity of the original work, was outraged and the dispute reverberated throughout musical circles. Even the New York Times took notice, reporting on April 7, 1932 that “it is thought probable that the incident will be brought into court.”16

At the time, and even later, it was suggested that Wittgenstein had taken liberties with the score because he found it too difficult. But in a letter written to the Ravel biographer Madeleine Goss in 1947, he categorically denies this: “I never complained about the Concerto being too difficult (as a matter of fact, of all the Concertos written for me, Ravel’s is the least difficult of all).”15 From Wittgenstein’s point of view, the problem did not concern difficulty but the balance between piano and orchestra. He wrote to Ravel about his concerns, but eventually yielded to Ravel’s insistence that the concerto was effective only as written. The quarrel was ended, and in 1933 the concerto received great acclaim at its Paris debut, with Wittgenstein at the piano and Ravel conducting.

A few years before his death in 1961, Wittgenstein was to write that he valued the works written for him by Strauss, Schmidt and Labor more than the Ravel, but this undoubtedly says more about Wittgenstein than it does about Ravel’s Concerto in D Major, which is known universally as the Concerto for the Left Hand. Wittgenstein’s musical heart lay firmly in the nineteenth century, in its romantic tradition, and if he could have altered the laws of nature, the works he commissioned would have been from dead men, people like Brahms. The composers of his own day wrote a new kind of music that he was not always comfortable with and, in fact, he never performed the concerto written for him by Sergei Prokofiev because he said he could not comprehend its inner logic.

It is something of an irony, then, that Wittgenstein’s name will always be linked with Ravel’s. But it is a fortuitous irony, for the Concerto for the Left Hand brought Wittgenstein international acclaim as a pianist. He toured the United States in 1934, playing the work with major orchestras, and incorporating it as a permanent part of his concert repertoire.

For Ravel, the concerto represented a kind of apotheosis for him as a composer. As his biographer Rollo H. Myers suggests,

Although the dandyism and aloofness of the supreme craftsman are elsewhere in his
ouevre most in evidence, could it not be that they served to some extent as a mask to
conceal a hypersensitive nature determined at all costs to avoid anything in the nature
of self-revelation? The stratagem worked in nearly every instance, but in the D major
one cannot help feeling that for once the barriers are down. And the result?–
one of the great masterpieces of twentieth-century music.17

Clearly Ravel had reached deep into his experience as a man and composer to write the Left Hand Concerto. Another Ravel biographer, Arbie Orenstein, has this to say:

The Piano Concerto for the Left Hand has given rise to a number of psychological
interpretations, among them the composer’s premonition of his oncoming mental
affliction or a commentary on the tragedy and uselessness of World War I. It seems
to me to be rather a culmination of Ravel’s longstanding preoccupation, one might
say obsession, with the notion of death…Whether or not one accepts these psych-
ological interpretations, it is evident that the concerto marks one of Ravel’s crowning

By any standard, the concerto is a fascinating and powerful piece of work. Written in one movement, it has three essential parts–an early somewhat traditional section, then a jazz episode (which was clearly influenced by Ravel’s trip to New York in 1929 and his interest in the music of Harlem), and a final reprise.

The orchestra opens with a low, growing rumble in the background that develops menacingly with the slow addition of wind instruments and violins. Horns play a kind of military call to war. Drums march. The piano enters finally as a powerful solo player with firmness and virtuosity. There is a cadenza, an introduction of music that is lyrically French, that sounds finally like the musical waterfalls of Debussy and Fauré.

Then the orchestra returns with a steady onslaught that is broken by a frenzy of horns. When they die away, the piano enters anew with a theme of great beauty and sadness. It has a bell-like clarity in the treble and, if one remembers that only a single hand is at work, it seems that the pedal has somehow helped to create the illusion of two, that it has come in as a partner.

The music builds. It grows more and more intense as it moves into the episode that is jazz-like. A lighter passage is framed by the sounds of marching, and an English horn enters plaintively, a lonely sound evocative of Ravel’s roots in the hills of the Basque countryside. Then even the violins march until the piano, playing lightly, is introduced by a harp. The discordance builds to a growing cacophony: horns, violins, piano, jazzy sliding trombones. The piano is relentless with its flying arpeggios, octaves, and jumps.

The concerto grows quiet. There is a restatement of the early, dark theme and an elaboration of the sweetly sad one at a quicker tempo. Briefly, the first theme returns again in all its menace before a charge of arpeggios, drums marching, and a crashing, final descent down the keyboard.

In a word, then, there is the full gamut of emotion, of life and death in this work.

And surely there is war written into its very fiber–the lure of the trumpet, the tromping marches, the chaos, the aching moments of loss. Ravel has written himself into the piece, the man who would lose music; and he has written in Wittgenstein, too, the man who, but for his determination, would have had had music torn brutally away from him.

There are the memorabilia of a concert career–the programs, the articles and reviews. As any virtuoso, Wittgenstein was both acclaimed and criticized. In 1921, the Munchener Zeitung said, “Wittgenstein’s playing is brilliant and full of temperament, but it is his warmth of feeling that raises his playing into the sphere of pure art.”19 Flindell quotes from the New York Herald Tribune’s review of Wittgenstein’s New York debut with the Boston Symphony: “‘One found oneself engrossed by the sensitiveness of the artist’s phrasing, the extent to which his incredible technique was subordinated to the delivery of the musical thought.”20 At times, though, Wittgenstein was accused of being too percussive a player. The Grove’s Dictionary entry about him in the 1954 edition has this to say: “His interpretations are distinguished by great clarity and sense of polyphony. At the same time it seems inevitable that a certain hardness should manifest itself in his touch.”21 No doubt, this is the writer’s way of saying that Wittgenstein had not been able to make up entirely for his missing arm. But it is interesting and important to note that even as a two-armed player, Wittgenstein had been called Saitenknicker–”the great key smasher”22–by his teacher Leschetizky. Flindell suggests that this aspect of his playing came from a certain “nervous intensity” caused by “the success demanded of everyone in (his) illustrious all-too famous family.”23

It is perhaps, though, the chronology of his performances which is finally most revealing of the life of Paul Wittgenstein. For despite the success of his American tour in 1934, his list of concert appearances afterwards is a thin one. It is true that his playing, which he himself said required twice as much work as it would have had he played with two hands, may have grown somewhat rough over the years. The British conductor Trevor Harvey, who met Wittgenstein in 1937 and remembered him for his great kindness, his aristocratic lifestyle, and his love of playing duets, writes that, in private, Wittgenstein played at times “insensitively and loudly and not always with great accuracy.”24

But there was a more pressing reason for the lack of concert appearances. Though Wittgenstein’s later biography seems a tidy affair–he performed, spent summers in his last years at his Austrian country home while living in New York the rest of the year, taught students at his Riverside Drive studio, and recorded the Ravel when he was over seventy–there is a silence in the things written about him, and even in interviews with him, that is as great as the quiet of a missing hand at the piano. Harvey’s reminiscence of Wittgenstein, for example, does not go beyond 1937. He does not mention that Wittgenstein, who was Jewish, immigrated to America in 1938, the year of the Anschluss. Nor do other writers go past the official neatness of the New York Times obituary when it talks about Wittgenstein’s later career: “He was a former Professor of Music at the Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart.”25

They do not remember him there. Manhattanville has moved to Purchase, New York, and its director of music, the most senior of its music faculty, knows only that Wittgenstein was a teacher at the college some time before the move in 1952.26 The former director of music, retired now to the Kenwood Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany, New York, does remember Wittgenstein’s arrival, that he was one of many refugees and that her superior worried over what to do with him before deciding that he could give some lectures, that they felt sorry for him, that she, as a young nun, was told to be nice to him, that he was a dear man but aloof, hard to know, that he had played for them, possibly the Ravel, that playing, he was a little man in a great big auditorium, that it was a secretive time and the refugees could not say much about themselves, that one day he was gone.28

It is possible to fill in the blanks. Another war. Another loss. A country that could receive and give citizenship to the gifted and brilliant but could hardly manage to replace each career, though it could grant a feature article of the human interest sort in Coronet magazine in 1957, a Times obituary in 1961: “Surviving are his widow, Hilde; two daughters, Mrs. Joan Thomsen and Elizabeth Wittgenstein, and a son, Paul Ludwig Wittgenstein,”28 and an occasional question in a musical journal: “What is the Outlook for a One-Armed Pianist?”29 We can conclude, finally, that one war devastated Paul Wittgenstein with a bullet and another with an ideology, but that he still commanded an extraordinary life for himself and, at the end, a dignified one.

But what then, is his legacy? We have the model of his determination and his passionate commitment to music, of course, but perhaps Gary Graffman, a contemporary pianist who, like Leon Fleisher, turned to the left hand repertoire after developing a disability of the right hand, suggests the real legacy in a 1984 interview. After indicating that he had recently played the Ravel concerto, he says this:

I am now looking into the rest of the left-hand repertoire. I’ve started to play the
Prokofiev Concerto, which is quite a marvel. Did you know there are also two works
for left hand by Richard Strauss? And there’s a very beautiful piece by Benjamin Britten
called Diversions. There are also five works by Franz Schmidt that I know of–three
chamber works and two works for piano and orchestra, one being a concerto and the
other a set of variations on a theme by Beethoven…And a few months back there was a
great surprise–out of the blue, two works by Korngold were sent to me, a concerto and
a chamber work, and I think the concerto is going to be a terrific piece.30

All of these works exist because they were commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein.

And so because of Paul Wittgenstein, there is a place for a Leon Fleisher, in physical and emotional transition from a career as a pianist to one as a teacher and conductor, a chance for dozens of gifted two-handed pianists, from Robert Casadesus on, to record the Ravel using only the left hand. Perhaps more importantly, because of Wittgenstein, there was an opportunity and occasion for fine composers to think about the piano in a new way, to challenge themselves musically, and even, in Ravel’s case, to write what may have been the work of a lifetime.

That is what I think about when I think of Paul Wittgenstein. I do not imagine the quiet security of his later years, his final concert tour in Europe and Israel two years before his death. Nor do I think of him growing up in a household where the family acted like nobility or see him as a young officer horribly wounded in battle or as a determined pianist fashioning a comeback.

Instead I see him at Manhattanville. He is slight, dignified, overwhelmed in spite of the great fires that have stirred within him in his lifetime. He is waiting in the wings before his performance begins, his thoughts, as he listens in his head to the concerto he is about to play, more in Harlem than Manhattan. He is waiting–unknown, unrecognized, made distant by pity he has not wanted or needed.

Yet when he walks on stage, when he seats himself at the piano for the orchestra to start and when at last he raises his only arm above the keyboard, he carries with him, Paul Wittgenstein, an extraordinary and singular knowledge of one of the masterworks of the music of the twentieth century


1. E. Fred Flindell, “Paul Wittgenstein (1887-1961): Patron and Pianist,” Music Review, xxxii (1971), 107.
2. Anthony Kenny, Wittgenstein (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1973), p. 1.
3. Flindell, p. 111.
4. “One-Armed Pianist Undaunted by Lot,” The New York Times, November 11, 1934, Section 9, p. 7.
5. Ibid.
6. Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963), p. 252.
7. “MUSIC: Boston Symphony Stars One-Armed Pianist in New York,” Newsweek, IV (November 24, 1934), 26.
8. “One Armed Pianist Undaunted,” op. cit.
9. Flindell, p. 114.
10. Paul Wittgenstein, School for the Left Hand (London: Universal Edition, 1957), preface.
11. Flindell, p. 114.
12. Naomi Graffmann, “Leon Fleisher’s Long Journey Back to the Keyboard,” The New York Times Magazine, September 12, 1982, p. 91.
13. Schonberg, p. 274.
14. Flindell, p. 123.
15. Joseph Wechsberg, “His Hand Touched Our Hearts,” Coronet, XLVI (June, 1959), 28.
16. “Ravel and Wittgenstein, The New York Times, April 17, 1932, Section 8, p. 4.
17. Rollo H. Myers, Ravel: Life and Work (London: Gerald Duckworth and Co. Ltd., 1960), p. 179.
18. Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975), p. 203.
19. Flindell, p. 117.
20. Ibid.
21. Ronald Kinloch Anderson, “Paul Wittgenstein,” Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, p. 468.
22. Flindell, p. 111.
23. Ibid.
24. Trevor Harvey, “A Personal Reminiscence: Paul Wittgenstein,” Gramophone, xxxix (June, 1961), 2.
25. “Wittgenstein, Paul. Dies, 73,” The New York Times, March 4, 1961, Section 23, p. 4.
26. Anthony LaMagra, telephone interview, January 22, 1991.
27. Mother Josephine Morgan, telephone interview, January 22, 1991.
28. “Wittgenstein, Paul Dies,” op. cit.
29. Stephen West, “What Is the Outlook for a One-Armed Pianist? A Conference with Paul Wittgenstein,” Etude, LXVI (September, 1946), 504.
30. David Dubal, Reflections from the Keyboard: The World of the Concert Pianist (New York: Summit Books, 1984), p. 189.


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