Aug 12 2019

Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Etudes have achieved a legendary status among piano enthusiasts. Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious. Few, however, went anything like as far as Leopold Godowsky () whose 53 Studies on the Études of Chopin have received a fair amount of bad press. Godowsky’s 53 studies on Chopin’s 27 studies are the ne plus ultra of romantic intricacy. Godowsky’s wily disclaimer that, far from wanting to ‘improve’ on.

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There was a long wait before any significant artist recorded another. For others, Godowsky’s ingenuity, his ear-tickling wit and elegance, create edifices, indeed ‘miracles of rare device’.

Classical Net Review – Godowsky – Studies on Chopin’s Études

Yet who else among pianists could rise to the challenge? Godowsky’s 53 studies on Chopin’s 27 studies are the ne plus ultra of romantic intricacy. Godowsky, der am I don’t recall ever even seeing his recording. In its application to piano playing, the left hand has many advantages over the right hand and it would suffice to enumerate but a few of these to convince the student that it is a fallacy to deem the left hand less adaptable to training than the right hand. Having made Chicago his home fromfor the next decade he combined a struggling concert career with that of a successful teacher.

GODOWSKY Studies on Chopin

Many of the variations feature such dense contrapuntal writing. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. Here a nocturne, a polonaise, there a mazurka? Godowsky also arranged many works by J.

Perhaps the task of learning and mastering such a work is too unrewarding, which may be why the Passacaglia is not heard frequently in the concert hall today.


Even twenty years ago, few of the studies had ever been recorded; it was rare indeed to find a pianist brave enough to include any chopun concert.

The limited number of compositions which have been written for the left hand alone show a desire on the part of their composers to mostly develop the left hand in the direction of mere virtuosity. An even more amazing Study is No.

The first four measures of Chopin-Godowsky Study No. Far from being disrespectful maltreatments of Chopin’s masterpieces, Godowsky’s elaborations aim to extend the limits of modern piano technique. The comments which I godkwsky are particularly insightful are marked out in bold.

Given that much of the music Godowsky wrote is “derived” from other composers, should we speak of him as a composer gocowsky as a great writer of piano music? This provides yet another explanation why these Studies have been neglected over the years: The effect is like one’s first encounter with Milton’s earthly paradise. The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful! The left hand goodwsky favoured by nature in having the stronger part of the hand for the upper voice of all double notes and chords and also by generally having the strongest fingers for the strongest parts of a melody.

Jedenfalls keiner, der so wenig formale Ausbildung erhalten hatte.

Studies after Frederic Chopin (Godowsky, Leopold)

godowskh Assuming you can find it that is: Rarely can such a gargantuan task – truly a labour of Hercules – have been accomplished with such strength, grace and agility, with an ease bordering on nonchalance. It is worth quoting at length:. Das wurde auf zweierlei Art erreicht: Imagine slogging to learn and perfect this Study, only to appear doing nothing very much to an audience while performing it!


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Godowsky published 53 studies, although there are 54 recorded here there are two versions of the third study based on Op. It was only inafter some studies were dropped, different ones substituted and additions made, that the final total of 53 was reached.

He also composed a number of original works. This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer:. First-rate production complements one of the great recordings of the century—and I do mean the 20th century with its whelming backlog of palpable genius. Hier eine Nocturne, eine Polonaise, da godoweky Mazurka?

He might have been the most unique writer of piano music after Chopin, and that’s not forgetting Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. They also illustrate his ingenuity in writing music for the piano. The final result was the 53 Studieswhich Harold Schonberg a well-known critic for The New York Times described as the ‘most impossibly difficult things ever written for the piano…fantastic exercises that push piano technique to heights undreamed of even by Liszt.

Whether this is the case is for academics to argue over. Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing. Bach violin sonatas, cello suitesSchubert Lieder and other composers for solo piano.