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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Obviously, Hamelin was born to make Godowsky live for us. At least one pianist Francesco Libetta has played the complete 53 Studies in concert two recitals in Milan, and All was arranged accordingly, but at the last moment unavoidable circumstances prevented my accompanying them.

The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works. 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.

Hier eine Nocturne, eine Polonaise, da eine 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. This is the third complete set to appear on record. 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.

Niecks writes, “The composer seems fuming with rage; the left hand rushes impetuously along and the right hand strikes in with passionate ejaculations.

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. Perhaps the task of learning and mastering such a work is too unrewarding, which may be why the Passacaglia yodowsky not heard frequently in the concert hall today. A performance of the Passacaglia yodowsky shown in the embedded YouTube Video below: Pianists brave enough to tackle this music have often been content merely to get through the notes.

Whatever it is, it is hard to dispute the compositional skill and ingenuity which Godowsky poured into these Studies. I suppose that some readers may teudes interested to know how I started to compose these Studies.


If you are indifferent or worse, offendedthen this music is not for you. The top notes form a melodic line.

The chief technical difficulty is that the long fingers must cross over each other without aid from the thumb to play the scales. Richard Wagner described Chopin as “a composer for the right hand” and Godowsky would probably have agreed with him. And in places the notes of chhopin figuration create motives that counterpoint the main melody. It was composed in in Stuttgart, gocowsky after chopin had received tidings of the taking of Warsaw by the Russians, September 8, ” hence its nickname.

Whether this is the case is for academics to argue over.

This was accomplished in two different ways: Chopin provides no pedal markings, but careful use of pedal is essential. This piece is particularly discriminating of a wide stretch between inner fingers.

Leopold Godowsky: 53 Studies on Chopin’s Études

Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious reputation for technical difficulty and audacious compositional invention. Having made Chicago his home fromfor the next decade he combined a struggling concert career with that of a successful teacher. The left hand groupings are more stable, so the metrical relations between the two hands is variant.

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 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 of articulation change the melodic line that emerges.

Further complicates the right hand part with a few tricky grace notes. Theodor Kullak writes, “The whole piece is a song, or, better still, an aria, in which two principal voices are to be brought out; the upper one is in imitation of a human voice, while the lower one must bear the character throughout of an obligato violoncello.

Occasionally, the thumb is asked to play both a black grace note and the white key that follows it; it is difficult to suppress wrong accents.

Studies on Chopin’s Études

After numerous experiments I succeeded in finding an entirely new succession of fingers which appeared to me most practical. James Huneker writes, “The melody is morbid, almost irritating, and yet not without certain accents of grandeur.

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Jedenfalls keiner, der so wenig formale Ausbildung etude hatte. But it would be an error to think that Chopin permitted every one of the small notes to be distinctly heard. Born in Sozly near Vilnius Wilno, now in Lithuaniaon 13 FebruaryGodowsky remains unique as the only great classical virtuoso in keyboard history to be self-taught. He provided me over the years with many interesting ideas and comments—all stemming from a deep familiarity with the music.

In a midsection and at the coda, both hands play semiquaver figurations together. Chopon Total duration: The eleven exercises Godowsky supplies include scales and runs for the weak three fingers.

In these repetitions, however, changes of accentuation, fresh modulations, and piquant antitheses, serve to make the composition extremely vivacious and effective. 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.

Even twenty years ago, few of the studies had ever been recorded; it was rare indeed to find a pianist etuddes enough to include any in concert. Given that much of the music Godowsky wrote is “derived” from other composers, should we speak of him as a composer or as a great writer of piano music?

Uniquely available on 2CDs, this will surely be the benchmark recording for all time. As such, ggodowsky has been a shortage of recordings and performances of Godowsky’s music. 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.

The left hand takes some perilous leaps to delineate its two voices, especially near the end. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Isn’t the left-hand part from Op. 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.