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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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.

Born in Sozly near Vilnius Wilno, now in Lithuaniaon 13 FebruaryGodowsky remains unique as the only great classical virtuoso in keyboard history to be self-taught.

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

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, superior in quantity and quality to that of the right hand. Geoffrey Douglas Madge, whose Dante set I have not heard, is a pianist whose technique, I would suggest, simply is not up to the task.

He provided me over the years with many interesting ideas and comments—all stemming from a deep familiarity with the music. And who else could do so with such consummate artistry? Godowsky published 53 studies, although there are 54 recorded here there are etueds versions of the third study based on Op.

Pianovers Meetup 1 Digest. Whether this is the case is for academics to argue over.

Hamelin delivers on every level: Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first. So why is Godowsky’s music not as well-known as that of the composers mentioned above?

Mindestens ein Pianist bzw. They also illustrate his ingenuity in writing music for the piano. This was the first significant body of left-hand piano music and Ravel studied it extensively while composing his Concerto. Below is a brief introduction to two of Godowsky’s most famous works, by which he is primarily remembered for today. Another reason why the left hand etudws more susceptible to training than the right hand is that it is more elastic owing to its being much less employed in daily use in general than the right hand.

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Few areas of the repertoire have such a bodowsky reputation for technical difficulty and audacious compositional invention. However, such writing could only have been achieved by a pianist who had an intimate knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of the instrument and piano technique.

This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer:. 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 etkdes harder to find. With the exception of the music of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, I know of no segment of the repertoire to have achieved such a legendary status, and even a casual perusal of the scores will help understand why.

Studies after Frederic Chopin (Godowsky, Leopold)

An even more amazing Study is No. The resulting music is some of the most fearsomely difficult ever to be composed for the keyboard – indeed, Godowsky also went so far as to compose a number of “warm up” studies, for the pianist to use beforehand. 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. He might have been the most unique writer of piano music after Chopin, and that’s not forgetting Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff.

These are fantastic exercises that push piano technique to heights undreamed of even by Liszt. The theme is in the left hand, while the right hand introduces counter melodies. I then transposed the Study to the left hand to see whether the same fingering could be applied to it: Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the godowskh and polyrhythmic capabilities of the instrument.

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

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.


Well, all that were written: This provides yet another explanation why these Studies have been neglected over the years: The prospective pianist is confronted with unexpected levels of difficulty, mostly concerned with mental challenges seldom godowxky ever encountered anywhere else in the repertoire, requiring unflinching concentration and true dedication in order that all details are clearly presented and articulated.

As it was their first venture from New York, I offered to join them. The more I transcribed, the more I found that the left hand was as adaptable to the mechanical and technical difficulties as the right hand. This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer: He also composed a number of original works.

The original Chopin Studies remain as intact as they were before any arrangements of them were published; in fact, numerous artists claim that after assiduously studying my versions, many hidden beauties in the original Studies will reveal themselves to the observant student.

Yet, despite their difficulties, it is not flashy or showy music. 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. Many pianists etuded the “Golden Age” were particularly fond of “improving” Chopin by, for example, playing tricky passages in thirds Josef Dtudes s recording of the “Minute” Waltz is a good example.

This recording is dedicated to the memory of my father who, as an avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of this project. Obviously a number of the originals feature more than once and one, Op. Does Godowsky deserve this neglect?

Far from being disrespectful maltreatments of Chopin’s masterpieces, Godowsky’s elaborations aim to extend the limits of modern piano technique. Before discussing Godowsky’s music proper, some mention of his pianistic abilities should be made. Here a nocturne, a polonaise, there a mazurka? And secondly, the Studies for etjdes left hand alone, which number twenty-two and which can truly be said to have revolutionalized piano-writing for a single hand.

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