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 Études 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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After all, his 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.
And who else could do so with such consummate artistry? It is worth quoting at length: Does Godowsky deserve this neglect? In its application to piano playing, the left hand chkpin 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.
Godowsky has been accused of sacrilege for writing these Studies, i. The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works. Imagine slogging to learn and perfect this Study, only to appear doing nothing very much to an audience while performing it!
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.
chopih 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 “Minute” Waltz is a good example. Here a nocturne, a polonaise, there a mazurka?
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. Those Godowsky studies listed but not published are: Can adult learn piano. 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.
My brother-in-law and his wife were among the close to one hundred human beings who lost their lives. March Total duration: 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.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that the left hand is easier to develop when given an opportunity. Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the polyphonic and polyrhythmic capabilities of the instrument. His virtuosity is pre-eminent because it is so musical, and it is impossible to think of another living pianist who could have carried off this enterprise with comparable success.
The final and penultimate studies give you two studies for the price of one, harnassing Op 10 No 5 and Op 25 No 9, and Op 10 No 11 and Op 25 No 3 together in a naughty conjunction that would have made the ever-fastidious Chopin apoplectic with rage.
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.
Byhowever, the advertised total had risen to Don’t show me this message again. 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. 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.
Godowsky’s 53 studies on Chopin’s 27 studies are the ne plus ultra of romantic intricacy.
Studies after Frederic Chopin (Godowsky, Leopold)
Hamelin is, of course, one of the very few living pianists with the technique to play this music as it should be played: 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.
Hier eine Nocturne, eine Polonaise, da eine Mazurka?
An even more amazing Study is No. This was the first significant body of left-hand piano music and Ravel studied it extensively while composing his Concerto.
Richard Wagner described Chopin as “a composer for the right hand” and Godowsky would probably have agreed with him.
Introduction to Leopold Godowsky, his 53 Studies on Chopin’s Etudes, and Passacaglia |
The inventiveness displayed in these particular Studies in the areas of polyphony, counterpoint, physical configurations and fingering, is nothing short of staggering, and was a source of great inspiration to Ravel when he came to write his Concerto for the left hand.
A performance of the Passacaglia is shown in the embedded YouTube Video below: Interview with Kevin Kern Obviously, Hamelin was born to make Godowsky live for us.
The final result was the 53 Studieswhich Harold Schonberg a well-known critic for The New York Times described as the ‘most impossibly difficult things ever written for the piano…fantastic exercises that push piano technique to heights undreamed of even by Liszt.
Yet, despite their difficulties, it is not flashy or showy music. This was accomplished in two different ways: The first four measures of Chopin-Godowsky Study No. 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.
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.
Whether this is the case is for academics to argue over.
godowdky 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.
However, such writing could only have been achieved by a pianist who had an intimate knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of the instrument and piano technique.
Certainly on the basis of his dismal Busoni set recorded for Philips some 15 years ago, I would avoid him.