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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GODOWSKY Studies on Chopin

Bach violin sonatas, cello suitesSchubert Lieder and other composers godowsyk solo piano. After numerous experiments I succeeded in finding an entirely new succession of fingers which appeared to me most practical. 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.

Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Etudes have achieved a legendary status among piano enthusiasts. Choppin Meetup 75 Digest.

So what’s the fuss? The limited number of compositions which have been written for the goeowsky hand alone show a desire on the part of their composers to mostly develop the left hand in the direction of mere virtuosity. Far from being disrespectful maltreatments of Chopin’s masterpieces, Godowsky’s elaborations aim to extend the limits of modern piano technique.

Whatever it is, it is hard to dispute the compositional skill and ingenuity which Godowsky poured into these Studies. None, certainly, who had received such little formal training. This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer:. Obviously, Hamelin was born to make Godowsky live for us. Obviously a number of the originals feature more than once and one, Op. Has any other composer ever produced works of such a revolutionary nature for the piano at such an early age?

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. He also composed a number of original works. I don’t recall ever even seeing his recording.

Studies on Chopin’s Études – Wikipedia

In its application to piano playing the left hand has many advantages over the right hand and it would suffice to enumerate 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. Which is a pity and a loss to lovers of piano music and the general public because Godowsky’s works are truly fascinating and his compositional skill, astounding. This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer: 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.


Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious reputation for technical difficulty and audacious compositional invention.

Yet who else among pianists could rise to the challenge? 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 cuopin two Etudes; others are character pieces or variations based on Chopin’s originals; and twenty-two of the Studies are for the left hand alone. Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the polyphonic and polyrhythmic capabilities choppin the instrument.

Perhaps it was this independence of mind, unencumbered by the academic notions and traditions of Conservatoire professors, that led Godowsky to rethink certain pianistic problems without inhibition. Imagine slogging to learn and perfect this Study, only to appear doing nothing very much to an audience chopkn performing it! A performance of the Passacaglia is shown in the embedded YouTube Xhopin below: As Abram Chasins, a composer and pianist, recounted in his book Speaking of Pianists chipin, he once watched Godowsky play a very difficult work.

It was only inafter some studies were dropped, different ones substituted and additions made, that the final total of 53 was reached. They remain among the most daunting challenges of the piano literature, their difficulties not always fully apparent to the listener.

CD Review Leopold Godowsky. The left hand is favoured by nature in having godowksy 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. Interview with John Perry They also illustrate his ingenuity in writing music for the piano.

The left hand is favoured by nature in having the stronger part of godoweky 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. An even more amazing Study is No.


Isn’t the left-hand part from Op. Eventually I came to the conclusion that the left hand is easier to develop when given an opportunity. And who else could do so with such consummate artistry? This was the first significant body of left-hand piano music and Ravel studied it extensively chopinn composing his Concerto.

Figure 3 b A late variation of the Passacaglia. Godowsky, der am Doesn’t look too hard after all, does it? 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.

Not only does Hamelin have the “chops” he has been ggodowsky various of the studies in his recitals both programmed and as encores for years now and it shows. This provides yet another explanation why these Studies have been neglected over the years: Does Godowsky deserve this neglect? The first four measures of Chopin-Godowsky Study No.

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. I then transposed the Study to the left hand to see whether the same fingering could be applied to it: Hamelin’s may not be the only way to play these studies but, until a pianist with a similarly transcendental technique and equal musicianship records them – and that, I’d suggest, could be some considerable time – this is without doubt the set to have.

Das wurde auf zweierlei Art erreicht: He provided me over the years godowwky many interesting ideas and comments—all stemming from a deep familiarity with the music. Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing.

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 also harder to find.