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. Leopold Godowsky. Studien über die Etüden von Chopin Studies on Chopin’s Études Études d’après Chopin. Zofia Chechlinska writes, “In the studies both parts. 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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Yet, despite their difficulties, it is not flashy or showy music. This nocturne is composed almost entirely of quickly rolled chords of wide span, at a rate of six per hand per measure with the hands close together, creating a harp-like effect – “as if the guitar had been dowered with a soul,” writes Huneker. The effect is like one’s first encounter with Milton’s earthly paradise. And in places the notes of the figuration create motives that counterpoint the main melody. The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful!
The fifty-three studies are to be considered in an equal degree suitable for concert purposes and private study. 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.
Not only does Hamelin have the “chops” he has been including various of the studies in his recitals both programmed and as encores for years now and it shows.
So what’s the fuss? What saves them is their very evident commitment to exploring all of the tricky corners of pianism. I suppose that some readers may be interested to know how I started to compose these Studies. Godowsky, der am The figurations of both hands include rapid skips. I then transposed the Study to the left hand to see whether the same fingering could be applied to it: Figure 3 b A late variation of the Passacaglia.
I suppose this music is not for everybody; there will undoubtedly be those whose first, second and indeed last reaction will be “sacrilege! The preparatory exercises included in a number of the studies will be found helpful in developing a mechanical mastery over the pianoforte by applying them to the original Chopin studies as well as to the above-mentioned versions. To me it can only inspire admiration.
Geoffrey Douglas Madge Dante, became the first pianist to record the entire cycle, followed by Carlo Grante Altarus, — It is impossible to think of another living pianist who could have carried off this enterprise with comparable success.
Another study in arpeggios – mostly on the right hand, with occasional intrusions on the left, especially at the end. The original Chopin Studies remain as intact godwosky-chopin they were before any arrangements of them were published; in fact, numerous artists claim that after assiduously studying etudse versions, many hidden beauties in the original Studies will reveal themselves to the observant student.
The comments which I feel are particularly insightful are marked out in bold.
Leopold Godowsky: 53 Studies on Chopin’s Études
Godowsky himself only recorded some of these Etudes on Hupfeld piano rolls, which to my knowledge have never been transferred to disc. Indeed, the Godowsky etudes have the express intention of demonstrating that the left hand could do as much as the right hand could, to the extent of transcribing entire etudes solely for the left hand.
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.
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. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.
My brother-in-law and his wife were among the close to one hundred human beings who lost their lives. It was only inafter some etudez were dropped, different ones substituted and additions made, that the final total of 53 was reached.
Obviously, Hamelin was born to make Godowsky live for us. Godowsky was probably unequalled in independence of hands, equality of finger and his ability to delineate polyphonic strands. Stanhope is obviously a pianist one would like to meet again under slightly different circumstances. This piece looks striking on the printed page, with its clusters of chords and roll-markings. Hamelin again, “It seems quite plain to me that such a fantastically clever feat of combinatorial wizardry could only have been godowsky-hcopin by somebody with a truly profound knowledge and love of his chosen material.
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.
Frederic Chopin, one of two extant photos. 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. Imagine slogging to learn and perfect this Study, only to appear doing nothing very much to an audience while performing it! Richard Wagner described Chopin as “a composer for the right hand” and Godowsky would godowksy-chopin have agreed with him.
The whole repertory of piano music does not contain a study of perpetuum mbile so full of genius and fancy as this particular one is universally acknowledged to be, except perhaps Liszt’s Feux Follets.
Introduction to Leopold Godowsky, his 53 Studies on Chopin’s Etudes, and Passacaglia
They also illustrate his ingenuity in writing music for the piano. Another reason why the left hand is more susceptible to training than the right hand is that it is more elastic owing to its being much less employed in daily use in general than the right hand. Godowsky made every effort to make one hand sound like two—many of the Studies actually require two staves for their notation—and in doing so he hoped to inspire other composers to extend this principle to both hands to enrich piano-writing even more.
On a purely musical level these pieces seem overladen and I disagree with Frank Cooper’s assessment in the sleeve-note that they are ”rare and beautiful”. Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing. Successive repetitions of the figurative curves accumulate to produce a powerful sound whose apogee is reached at the end of the piece. Bach violin sonatas, cello suitesSchubert Lieder and other composers for solo piano.
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. The result is actually strangely compelling.
So Horowitz said of the Passacaglia. Uniquely available on 2CDs, this will surely be the benchmark recording for all time. Huneker notes, “it contains a remarkable passage of consecutive fifths that set the theorists by the ears. Eventually I came to the godowsky-chkpin that the left hand is easier to develop when given an opportunity. Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Etudes have achieved a legendary status among piano enthusiasts.