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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This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer: James Huneker asked, “Were ever Beauty and Duty so mated in double harness? 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.

The figurations of both hands include rapid skips. Whether this is the godowskyy-chopin is for academics to argue over.

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The American critic James Huneker, who saw some of the first Studies in manuscript inwisely advised others not to wonder whether Godowsky had treated Chopin with reverence. I found that concentration on his hands, the letterbox style of presenting it, and the silly and unmotivated criss-crossing from left-end views of his hands to right-end views of his hands both unnecessary and, in a certain sense, disrespectful of him as an artist.

This was accomplished in two different ways: The left hand is favoured by nature in 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.

And in places the notes of the figuration create motives that counterpoint the main melody.

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. It is impossible to think of another living pianist who could have carried off this enterprise with comparable success. 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, etuds majestic reworking of Op.

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

The more I transcribed, the more Etuves found that gkdowsky-chopin left hand was as adaptable to the mechanical and technical difficulties as the right hand. Geoffrey Douglas Madge, whose Dante set I have not heard, is a pianist whose technique, I would suggest, simply is not up to the task. The first four measures of Chopin-Godowsky Study No. James Huneker writes, “The melody is morbid, almost irritating, and yet not without certain accents of grandeur.


Doesn’t look too hard after all, does it? Jede godowskh-chopin dieser Studien kann zum Beispiel zwei oder sogar drei kontrapunktische Linien zusammen ansetzen, deren jede einen eigenen Charakter hat und die klare Differenzierung erfordern. It is worth quoting at length:. The result is actually strangely compelling. 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.

The right hand stacatto part is syncopated; odd-numbered beats are represented only by a single left-hand bass note, whereas even-numbered beats are filled with chords and frequently accented. The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful! In a middle section, a bass melodic line must be traced by the fifth finger of the left hand, with aid from the pedal.

At least one pianist Francesco Libetta has played the complete 53 Studies in concert two recitals in Milan, and Simon Finlow writes, “if still further evidence were needed of his exceptional pianistic insight, Chopin provides it at the end: One of two of them, and I think specifically here of the tenth etude A flat majorare pretty trite.

So why is Godowsky’s music not as well-known as that of the composers mentioned above? This amounts to a transformation of harmonic figuration into an effect of dynamic power and energy. The comments which I feel are particularly insightful are marked out in bold.

Classical Net Review – Godowsky – Studies on Chopin’s Études

Beautifully involved harmony in velvety rich textures? Pianovers Meetup 26 Digest.

The whole repertory of piano music does not contain a study of perpetuum mbile so full of genius and fancy as this godowsky-choipn one is universally acknowledged to be, except perhaps Liszt’s Feux Follets. This piece looks striking on the printed page, with its clusters of chords and roll-markings.

So Horowitz said of the Passacaglia. I am almost tempted to say that what Stanhope says is more important than what he playsexcept that godkwsky-chopin is an evident symbiotic relationship between the two that means it is impossible to speak of one without the other.


I suppose that some readers may be interested to know how I started to compose these Studies. 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.

As it was their first venture from New York, I offered to join them. On a purely musical level these pieces seem overladen godowsk-chopin I disagree with Frank Cooper’s assessment in the sleeve-note that they are ”rare and beautiful”.

It is well known that Chopin was very fond of the violoncello and that in his piano compositions he imitated the style of passages peculiar etuxes that instrument. Frederic Chopin, one of two extant photos. I suppose this music is not for everybody; there will undoubtedly be those whose first, second and indeed last reaction etudss be “sacrilege!

Niecks writes, “The composer seems fuming with rage; the left hand rushes impetuously along and the right hand strikes in with passionate ejaculations. In the E major midsection, the arpeggiated right hand part changes rhythm from duplets to triplets to quadruplets, and the two hands share a melodic inner voice while the left hand plays bass and the right hand plays rapid figurations; this passage has prompted comparisons with Sigismond Thalberg’s favorite compositional trick, the clever simulation of three-handed playing.

With the exception of the music of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, I know godowskyy-chopin no segment of the repertoire to have achieved such a legendary status, and even a casual perusal of the scores will help understand why. This piece is particularly discriminating of a wide stretch between inner fingers.

The left hand is favoured by nature in 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. If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information. Hopefully, receptive listeners new to the Godowsky experience will welcome the kind of prismatic effect he achieved secure in the knowledge that it is produced by a friendly hand.

Requires the right hand to play stacatto notes in the thumb and index finger and legato notes in the remaining fingers simultaneously.