Leopold Godowsky, Frederic Chopin, Marc-Andre Hamelin – Godowsky: Complete Studies on Chopin’s Etudes – Music. Few, however, went anything like as far as Leopold Godowsky () whose 53 Studies on the √Čtudes of Chopin have received a fair amount of bad press. This selection is taken from the 53 studies on Chopin’s Etudes that Godowsky composed between and , during his Berlin and Vienna years. They are.

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Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing. 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. The pianist must have lare reserves of power and endurance.

Chopin obviously gave enough attention to dressing these etudes up in the kind of expression one finds more widely in his output, but the feeling that one is listening to a thorough, scientific examination of a particular technique is never far from the surface: The piece is rhythmically challenging, for although the figurations do not change in any substantial way, the right hand quavers are grouped sometimes in three, sometimes in twos, sometimes in syncopated twos, and sometimes in a continual uniform stacatto or legato line; these differences of articulation change the melodic line that emerges.

There are three for left-hand alone, and of these No. Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the polyphonic and polyrhythmic capabilities of the instrument.

And who else could do so with such consummate artistry? Richard Wagner described Chopin as “a composer for the right hand” and Godowsky would probably have agreed with him. 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. They wrote me from Niagara Falls, where they had stopped overnight, of their enthusiastic appreciation of one of the wonders of the world, and continued to Chicago.


Obviously a number of the originals feature more than once and one, Op. Not surprisingly, Hobson’s valiant attempt at this horrendously difficult monstrosity lacks some fluency, but he rarely loses his cool. The result is actually strangely compelling.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. Certainly on the basis of his dismal Busoni set recorded for Philips some 15 years ago, I would avoid him. 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.

Another technical difficulty is the occasional need to play two notes on the left hand for every three on the right. Requires the right hand to play stacatto notes in the thumb and index finger and legato notes in the remaining fingers simultaneously.

Godowsky Studies on Chopin Etudes

Skip to main content. Hopefully, receptive listeners new to the Godowsky experience will welcome the kind of prismatic effect he achieved secure in the knowledge that it is produced by a friendly hand. Here a nocturne, a polonaise, there a mazurka? The top notes form a melodic line.

Studies on Chopin’s √Čtudes – Wikipedia

Having made Chicago his home fromfor the next decade he combined a etides concert career with that of a successful teacher. Whether the genre-bending nature of this production really works is, I suspect, a matter of who you are as an audience. The left hand takes some perilous leaps to delineate its two voices, especially near the end.

One of two of them, and I think specifically here of the tenth etude A flat majorare pretty trite.

That Stanhope proves himself equal to the challenges of this repertoire is already saying a great deal, and he shows that he is particularly adept at handling the left-hand etudes, in which all the material, thematic and accompanimental, is contained in a single hand.


He probably wrote an unpublished left-hand adaptation, which was lost when Godowsky fled Vienna at the onset of World War I. 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. Nonetheless, this is a great pianist and, more importantly a great mind, and odd minutes well spent. A ftudes lento midsection etudse B major supplies only slight relief.

As it was etuses first venture from New York, I offered to join them.

Leopold Godowsky

The character of the piece is comic, light, and very fast. It was rather an undulation of the A flat major chord, here and there thrown aloft anew by the pedal.

Some recast Chopin’s right-hand passagework for the left hand while introducing new contrapuntal ideas; some treat the originals more freely, inverting, imitating or combining two Etudes; others are character pieces or variations based on Chopin’s originals; and etudew of the Studies are for the left hand alone. 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 godowsyk hand.

And in places the notes of the figuration create motives that counterpoint the main melody. David Stanhope pianist and commentator Category: Chopin is so successful in infusing poetry into his exercise in thirds that Huneker turns to superlatives: The sleeve-note states that many are recorded for the first time, though it is not true that the left-hand version of the Revolutionary has never appeared before:

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