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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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.

This recording is dedicated to the memory of my father who, as an avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of this project.

Assuming you can find it that is: 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. Many pianists from the “Golden Age” were particularly fond of “improving” Chopin by, for example, playing tricky passages in thirds Josef Hoffman’s s recording of the gocowsky Waltz is a good example.

Byhowever, the advertised total had risen to Here a nocturne, a polonaise, there a mazurka? Ce sera David Saperton, le gendre de Godowsky, qui enregistra dix transcriptions en avec quelques autres compositions de Godowsky.

Cjopin original Chopin Studies remain as intact as they were before any arrangements of them were published; in fact, numerous chooin claim that after assiduously studying my versions, many hidden beauties in the original Studies will reveal themselves to the observant student.

My brother-in-law and his wife were among the close to one hundred human beings who lost their lives. To me it can only inspire admiration. I have never heard such playing before.

Studies after Frederic Chopin (Godowsky, Leopold)

Many of the variations feature such dense contrapuntal writing. The theme is in the left hand, while the right hand introduces counter melodies.


Many of the studies are fairly chopi transcriptions, particularly the left hand ones, but chopn 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. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Godowaky plugin.

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.

There was a long wait before any significant artist recorded another. A simple experiment, though, will suffice: Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing. It is impossible to think of another living pianist who could have carried off this enterprise with comparable success.

This was accomplished in two different ways: 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. I suppose this music is not for everybody; there will undoubtedly be those whose first, second and indeed last reaction will be “sacrilege!

Far from being disrespectful maltreatments of Chopin’s masterpieces, Godowsky’s elaborations aim to extend the limits of modern piano technique. The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works. The left hand is favoured gdoowsky nature godowdky 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.

GODOWSKY Studies on Chopin |

Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the polyphonic and polyrhythmic capabilities of the instrument. Pianists brave enough to tackle this music have often been content merely to get through the notes.

Home News Contacts Copyright. The work opens innocently enough, with the theme presented in both hands first 8 barsand it is followed immediately by the 1st variation Figure 3 a.

Hyperion Records

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 godowxky the twenty-two studies for the left hand alone. Jede einzelne dieser Studien kann zum Beispiel zwei oder sogar drei kontrapunktische Linien zusammen ansetzen, deren jede einen eigenen Charakter hat und die klare Differenzierung erfordern.


You need six hands to play it. With the exception of the music of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, I know of no segment of the repertoire to have achieved such a legendary status, and even a casual perusal of the scores will help understand why. After all, gosowsky best-known works today the 53 Studies, Passacaglia, transcriptions are fantastic elaborations on works by other composers, rather than original melodies that he himself composed.

Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious reputation for technical difficulty and audacious compositional invention. Imagine slogging to learn and perfect this Study, only to appear doing nothing very much to an audience while performing it! 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.

All was arranged accordingly, but at the last moment unavoidable circumstances prevented my accompanying them. Yet, despite their difficulties, it is not flashy or showy music. 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. 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 single hand.

Check out the right hand parts of Figures 2 a and 2 b and compare it to Godowsky’s creation Figure 2 c. Hier eine Nocturne, eine Polonaise, da eine Mazurka?

He also composed a number of original works. Das wurde auf zweierlei Art erreicht: His compositions are often only explored by pianists who are interested in the exotic repertoire of the piano literature.