Godowsky probably didn’t think they were difficult enough and used Chopin’s Études as a template to write new works. The final result was the 53 Studies, which. 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. 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.

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

Chopin is so successful in infusing poetry into his exercise in thirds that Huneker turns to superlatives: He might have been the most unique writer of piano music after Chopin, and that’s not forgetting Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. So what’s the fuss? Don’t show me this message again.

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. 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.

Godowsky was probably unequalled in independence of hands, equality of finger and his ability to delineate polyphonic strands.

Studies after Frederic Chopin (Godowsky, Leopold)

I don’t recall ever even seeing his recording. 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 indifferent or worse, offendedthen this music is not for you. It is impossible to think of another living pianist who could have carried off this enterprise with godowskky success.

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The comments which I feel are particularly insightful are marked out in bold. Kullak calls it a “bravura study of the very highest order for the left hand.

Successive repetitions of the figurative curves accumulate to produce a powerful sound whose apogee is reached at the end of the piece. Does Godowsky deserve this neglect?

The piece is rhythmically challenging, for although the figurations do not change in any substantial way, the right hand quavers are grouped sometimes in three, sometimes in twos, sometimes in syncopated twos, and sometimes in a continual uniform stacatto or legato line; these differences cohpin articulation change the melodic line that emerges. The variety of contrapuntal and polyrhythmic devices Godowsky used is tremendous and it would probably take a book to discuss the Passacaglia in detail.

Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. A study in cantabile playing, with a melody that passes between the two hands. Richard Wagner described Chopin as “a composer for the right hand” and Godowsky would probably have agreed with him.

I suppose that some readers may be interested to know how I started to compose these Studies. Here is no veiled surmise, no smothered rage, but all sweeps along in tornadic passion. Another reason why the left hand is more susceptible to choopin 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.

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. And secondly, the Studies for the left hand alone, which number twenty-two and which can truly be said to etude revolutionalized piano-writing for a single hand.


This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer: Pianovers Meetup 66 Digest.

The American critic James Huneker, bodowsky saw some of the first Studies in manuscript inwisely advised others not to wonder whether Godowsky had treated Chopin with reverence. 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. Check out the right hand parts gdoowsky Figures 2 a and 2 b and compare it to Godowsky’s creation Figure 2 c.

But for anyone who can break out of the “purist” mentality, this set contains some simply magnificent pianism and reveals Godowsky’s studies to be worthy of performance in their own right as wonderfmusic.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. Dynamics also vary frequently.

Leopold Godowsky

The frequent need to place the thumb on a black key complicates the arpeggios. One may wonder why Chopin himself did not do it. Certainly on the basis of his dismal Busoni set recorded for Philips some godowsjy years ago, I would avoid him. Any one of these Studies may, for example, pit together two or godiwsky three strands of counterpoint, each with its own personality and demanding to be clearly differentiated.

Because of the way consecutive arpeggios are staggered, some commentators have called this a study in alternating extension and contraction of the right hand, but in truth the best players probably do not much contract their hand.

As such, there has been a shortage of recordings and performances of Godowsky’s music.