Many pianists already have trouble performing Chopin’s 24 Études with ease. Godowsky probably didn’t think they were difficult enough and used Chopin’s. 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. Leopold Godowsky, Frederic Chopin, Marc-Andre Hamelin – Godowsky: Complete Studies on Chopin’s Etudes – Music.

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Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. This recording is dedicated to the memory gododsky my father who, as an avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of this project. Those Godowsky studies listed but not published are: Der amerikanische Kritiker James Huneker, der einige der ersten Studien in Manuskriptform zu sehen bekam, erteilte anderen den weisen Rat, sich nicht zu fragen, ob Godowsky Chopin Ehrfurcht erwiesen habe.

Can you find the melodic line of the theme? Carlo Grante’s set on Altarus what I’ve heard of it is very good, and perhaps slightly better recorded than Hamelin’s, but comes on three rather than two discs, and is also harder to find. In addition to what is stated above, the left hand, commanding as it does the lower half of the keyboard, has the incontestable advantage of enabling the player to produce with less effort and more elasticity a fuller and mellower tone, etuces in quantity and godowsoy to that of the right hand.

Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the polyphonic godwosky polyrhythmic capabilities of the instrument.

The effect is like one’s first encounter with Milton’s earthly paradise.

Not only does Hamelin have the “chops” he has been including various of the studies in his recitals both programmed and as encores for years now and it shows. The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful!

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 in concert. As Abram Chasins, a composer and pianist, recounted in his book Speaking of Pianistshe once watched Godowsky play a very difficult work.

The Healing Powers Of Sound. The site etjdes also available in several languages. I have never heard such playing before. This is a fascinating set with the magnificent sound of the Steinway Piano beautifully recorded by Tony Faulkner. As ogdowsky was their first venture from New York, I offered to join them.


In the more complicated variations, among the mass of notes, Schubert’s simple theme can almost always be found and should clearly be heard amidst the whirlwind of sound as a result of the decorative writing.


Many of the studies are fairly straight transcriptions, particularly the left hand ones, but most of them either add extra subjects in counterpoint, transpose the function of the hands in the original – as in the first of all, a majestic reworking of Op. Blumenfeld’s Etude for the Left Hand spectacularly recorded by Simon Barere and Georges Cziffra’s transcription of Flight of the Bumble Bee are two of the most demanding works for the left hand Godowsky made every effort to make one hand sound like two—many of the Studies actually require two staves for their notation—and in doing so he hoped to inspire other composers to extend this principle to both hands to enrich piano-writing even more.

In case you didn’t watch the video, the Study is supposed to be played by the left hand only! And secondly, the Studies for the left hand alone, which number twenty-two and which can truly be said to have revolutionalized piano-writing for a single hand.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that the left hand is easier to develop when given an opportunity. Perhaps it was this independence of mind, unencumbered by the academic notions and traditions of Conservatoire professors, that led Godowsky to rethink certain pianistic problems without inhibition.

Introduction to Leopold Godowsky, his 53 Studies on Chopin’s Etudes, and Passacaglia

Hopefully, receptive listeners new to the Dtudes experience will welcome the kind of prismatic effect he achieved secure in the knowledge that it is produced by a friendly hand. Obviously a number of the originals feature more than once and one, Op. Well, all that were written: So what’s the fuss?

Isn’t the left-hand part from Op. Home News Contacts Copyright.

Introduction to Leopold Godowsky, his 53 Studies on Chopin’s Etudes, and Passacaglia |

Nor does Grante seem to have quite the same facility with the music; true, there is no sense that he is struggling, but he still doesn’t sound sufficiently at ease to add much interpretively. Byhowever, the advertised total had risen to The ‘density’ of the writing gradually increases and a late variation is shown in Figure 3 b. It is impossible to think of another living pianist who could have carried off this enterprise with comparable success.

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The preparatory exercises included in a number of the studies will be found helpful in developing a mechanical mastery over the pianoforte by applying them to the original Chopin studies as well as to the above-mentioned versions.

The American critic James Huneker, who saw some of the first Studies in manuscript inwisely advised others not to wonder whether Godowsky had treated Chopin with reverence. 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. As such, there has been a shortage of recordings and performances of Godowsky’s music.

Pianovers Meetup 1 Digest. The final result was the 53 Studies govowsky, which Harold Schonberg a well-known critic for The New York Times described as etuds ‘most impossibly difficult things ever written for the piano…fantastic exercises that push piano technique to heights undreamed of even by Liszt.

This was accomplished in two different ways: Special attention must be drawn to the fact that owing to innumerable contrapuntal devices, which frequently compass almost the whole range of the keyboard, the fingering and pedalling are often of a revolutionary character, particularly in the twenty-two studies for the left hand alone.

He provided me over the years with many interesting ideas and comments—all stemming from a deep familiarity with the music. It is therefore not difficult to understand why these pieces have earned the reputation of requiring Olympian feats of execution, and this helps to explain their general neglect as well as the critical abuse they have received from the time the first few were published.

I suppose this music is not for everybody; there will undoubtedly be those whose first, second and indeed last reaction will be “sacrilege! The famous Etude Op.