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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Pianists brave enough to tackle this music have often been content merely to get through the notes. So why is Godowsky’s music not as well-known as that of the composers mentioned above? Far from being disrespectful maltreatments of Chopin’s masterpieces, Godowsky’s elaborations aim to extend the limits of modern piano technique. Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the polyphonic and polyrhythmic capabilities of the instrument.

Before discussing Godowsky’s music proper, some mention etudex his pianistic abilities should be made.


Mindestens ein Pianist bzw. Beautifully involved harmony in velvety rich textures? Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. The comments which I feel are particularly insightful are marked out in bold. CD Review Leopold Godowsky.

Studies after Frederic Chopin (Godowsky, Leopold)

Hamelin again, “It seems quite plain to me that such a fantastically clever feat of combinatorial wizardry could only have been achieved by somebody with a truly profound knowledge and love of his chosen material. Bach violin sonatas, cello suitesSchubert Lieder and other composers for solo piano. Imagine slogging to learn and perfect this Study, only to appear doing nothing very much to an audience while performing it!

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. This is a fascinating set with the magnificent sound of the Steinway Piano beautifully recorded by Tony Faulkner.

Special remarks on the studies for the left hand alone In writing the twenty-two studies for the left hand alone, the author wishes to oppose the generally prevailing idea that the left hand is less responsive to development than the right.


As such, there has been a shortage of recordings and performances of Godowsky’s music.

Well, all that were written: Perhaps because he was equipped with such an all-encompassing technique, he wrote music that is technically very difficult to execute, though it is never difficult for the sake of it more below. Godowsky was probably godowksy in independence of hands, equality of finger and his ability to delineate polyphonic strands. These are fantastic exercises that push piano technique to heights undreamed of even by Liszt.

The left hand is 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. The above statement is certainly not true but it still remains a formidable work which requires a pianist of an unusually fine technique to execute. 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.

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

Hamelin delivers on every godkwsky Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Etudes have achieved a legendary status among piano enthusiasts. 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.

Leopold Godowsky’s preface states his studies ” In an age where great pianists, including Josef Hoffman, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Rubinstein reigned supreme, all conceded that Godowsky had the most perfect pianistic mechanism of his time, ettudes very likely of all time. Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly godowsmy exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing. Obviously, Hamelin was born to make Godowsky live for etudse.

Those of us who enjoy older recordings, originally on 78s, are well aware that ultimate fidelity to the text was not always considered a necessary attribute of great playing. Some composers wrote left-hand concertos for Paul Wittgenstein, including Prokofiev, Britten, Korngold and Ravel Wittgenstein didn’t play most of them and struggled with those he did.


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

If you are indifferent or worse, offendedthen this music is not for you. In its application to piano playing the left hand has many advantages over the right hand and it would suffice to godoqsky 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. You need six hands to play it. The site is also available in several languages. Below is a brief introduction to two of Godowsky’s most famous works, by which he is primarily remembered for today.

The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful! 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. The famous Etude Op.

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. This recording is dedicated to the memory of my father who, godowskt an avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of this project.

He provided me over the years with many interesting ideas and comments—all stemming from a deep familiarity with the music. It is worth quoting at etjdes. Such difficult music is probably out of reach technically for godowksy of us, but it is nonetheless a fascinating experience exploring, listening to and appreciating the music written by one of the most unique figures in the history of the piano.

I suppose that some readers may be interested to know how I started to compose these Studies. This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer:.

None, certainly, who had received such little etudez training. His compositions are often only explored by pianists who are interested in the exotic repertoire of the piano literature.