Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Etudes have achieved a legendary status among piano enthusiasts. Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious. 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. Godowsky’s 53 studies on Chopin’s 27 studies are the ne plus ultra of romantic intricacy. Godowsky’s wily disclaimer that, far from wanting to ‘improve’ on.

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Obviously a number of the originals feature more than once and one, Op. Don’t show me this message again.

Godowsky Complete Chopin Studies

I don’t recall ever even seeing his recording. Before discussing Godowsky’s music proper, some mention of his pianistic abilities should be made. Those Godowsky studies listed but not published are: The first four measures of Chopin-Godowsky Study No. I suppose this music is not for everybody; there will undoubtedly be those whose first, second and cyopin last reaction will be “sacrilege!

I suppose that some readers may be interested to know how I started to compose these Studies. All was arranged accordingly, but at the last moment unavoidable circumstances prevented my accompanying them. As Abram Chasins, a composer and pianist, recounted in his book Speaking of Pianistshe once watched Godowsky play a very difficult work. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version chhopin update your Flash plugin.

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.


Studies after Frederic Chopin (Godowsky, Leopold)

A performance of the Passacaglia is shown in the godowwky YouTube Video below: Hier eine Nocturne, eine Polonaise, da eine Mazurka? Pianists brave enough to tackle this music have often been content merely to get through the notes.

Isn’t the left-hand part from Op.

Whatever it is, it is hard to dispute the compositional skill and ingenuity which Godowsky poured into these Studies. At least one pianist Francesco Libetta has played the complete 53 Studies in concert two recitals in Milan, and Many of the variations feature such dense contrapuntal writing. Doesn’t look too hard after all, does it?

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.

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. But for anyone who can break out of the “purist” mentality, this set contains some simply magnificent pianism and reveals Godowsky’s studies to be worthy of performance in their own right as wonderfmusic.

As it goxowsky their first venture from New York, I offered to join them. The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful! Ce sera David Saperton, le gendre de Godowsky, qui enregistra dix transcriptions en avec quelques autres compositions de Godowsky.

Many pianists from the “Golden Age” were particularly chopinn of “improving” Chopin by, for example, playing tricky passages in thirds Josef Hoffman’s s recording of the “Minute” Waltz is a good example.


Any one of these Studies may, for example, pit together two or even three strands of counterpoint, each with its own personality and demanding to be clearly differentiated.

Rarely can such a gargantuan task chppin truly a labour of Hercules – have been accomplished with such strength, grace and agility, with an ease bordering on nonchalance. Being averse to any tampering with the text of any master work when played in the original form, I would condemn any artist for taking liberties with the works of Chopin or any other great composer.

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

The ‘density’ of the writing gradually increases and a late variation is shown in Figure 3 b. 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. Jede einzelne dieser Studien kann zum Beispiel zwei oder sogar drei kontrapunktische Linien zusammen ansetzen, deren jede einen eigenen Charakter hat und godkwsky klare Differenzierung erfordern.

The fifty-three studies are to be considered in an equal degree suitable for concert purposes and private study.

Below is a brief introduction to two of Godowsky’s most famous works, by which he is primarily remembered for today.

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