Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Etudes have achieved a legendary status among piano enthusiasts. Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious. Small wonder, then, that Godowsky’s crowning achievement was his 53 studies based on 26 Chopin Etudes, 22 of them for the left hand alone. As Godowsky. 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.

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Home News Contacts Copyright. 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. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. This is the third complete set to appear on record.

He might have been the most unique writer of piano music after Chopin, and that’s not forgetting Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. 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.

Uniquely available on 2CDs, this will surely be the benchmark recording for all time. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 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.

I then transposed the Study to the left hand to see whether the same fingering could be applied to it: Even though many pianists nowadays have the technical chops to perform Godowsky’s music, it has been neglected in favour of music which is outwardly showy. 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.


Imagine slogging to learn and perfect this Study, only to appear doing nothing very much to an audience while performing it! Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing.

GODOWSKY Studies on Chopin

Can you find the melodic line of the theme? None, certainly, who had received such little formal training. 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.

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. An even more amazing Study is No. Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious reputation for technical difficulty and audacious compositional cchopin. Godowsky, der am 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.

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 chooin effort and more elasticity a fuller and mellower tone, superior in quantity and quality to that of the right godowsyk.

CD Review Leopold Godowsky.

Pianovers Meetup 75 Digest. The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works.

Has any other composer ever produced works of such a revolutionary nature for the piano at such an early age? 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.

The fifty-three studies are to be considered in an equal degree suitable for concert purposes and private study. This recording is dedicated to chopln memory of my father who, as an avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of this project.

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Such difficult music is probably out of reach technically for most 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. 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.

Isn’t the left-hand part from Op.

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

So what’s the fuss? Hamelin is, of cbopin, one of the very few living pianists with the technique to play this music as it should be played: Obviously, Hamelin was born to make Godowsky live for us. Those Godowsky studies godoswky but not published are: The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful!

At least chooin pianist Francesco Libetta has played the complete 53 Studies in concert two recitals in Milan, and Out of the 53 Studies, 22 are for the left hand alone and Godowsky’s comments on these Studies are worth quoting in full.

The unusual mental and physical demands made upon the performer by the above-mentioned work, chopni invariably lead to a much higher proficiency in the command of the instrument, while the composer for the piano will find a number of suggestions regarding the treatment of the instrument and its musical utterance in general. Godowsky used the opening 8 measures of Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony as the theme, composed 44 variations based on it, of course, heaping difficulty upon difficulty on succeeding variations and concluded the work with a cadenza and a fugue.

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, and very likely of all time. The metal masters of these were destroyed by RCA the metal was needed for shell-cases!

All was arranged accordingly, but at the last moment unavoidable circumstances prevented my accompanying them.