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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The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works. This selection is taken from the 53 studies on Chopin’s Etudes that Godowsky composed between andduring his Berlin and Vienna years. Hamelin delivers on every level: It was only inafter some studies were dropped, different ones substituted and additions made, that the final total of 53 was reached.

Pianists brave enough to tackle this music have often been content merely to get through the notes. This recent release from Tall Poppies is something of a genre-bender.

This was the first significant body of left-hand piano music and Ravel studied it extensively while composing his Concerto. Celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s th Year. I suppose this music is not for everybody; there will undoubtedly be those whose first, second and indeed last reaction will be “sacrilege! It was rather an undulation of the A flat major chord, here and there thrown aloft anew by the pedal.

Nonetheless, this is a great pianist and, more importantly a great mind, and odd minutes well spent. An even more amazing Godowskj-chopin is No. Yet todowsky-chopin else among pianists could rise to the challenge?


Frederic Chopin, one of two extant photos. Before discussing Godowsky’s music proper, some mention of his pianistic abilities should be made.

Godowsky Studies on Chopin Etudes |

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 godowsk-chopin. A simple experiment, though, will suffice: Certainly on the basis of his dismal Busoni set recorded for Philips some 15 years ago, I would avoid him.

In case you didn’t watch the video, the Study is supposed godowsky-cnopin be played by the left hand only! This is the third complete set to appear on record. As it was their first venture from New York, I offered to join them.

Asks the pianist to play a left hand figure of wide extension up to a thirteenth. I don’t recall ever even seeing his recording.

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

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.

A contrasting lento midsection in B major supplies only slight relief. 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.

It was composed in in Stuttgart, shortly after chopin had received tidings of the taking of Warsaw by the Russians, September 8, ” hence its nickname. Nor does Grante seem to have quite the same facility with the music; true, there is no sense that he is struggling, but he still doesn’t sound sufficiently at ease to add much interpretively.


The variety of contrapuntal and polyrhythmic devices Godowsky used is tremendous and it would probably take a book to discuss the Passacaglia in detail. There are three for left-hand alone, and of these No.

The whole repertory of piano music does not contain a ogdowsky-chopin of perpetuum mbile so full of genius and fancy as this particular one is universally acknowledged to be, except perhaps Liszt’s Feux Follets. Can you find the melodic line of the theme?

The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful! Godowsky has been accused of sacrilege for writing these Studies, i.

Leopold Godowsky

To me it can only inspire admiration. Another study in arpeggios – mostly on the right hand, with occasional intrusions on the left, especially at the end.

They remain among the most daunting challenges of the piano literature, their difficulties not always fully apparent to the listener. The prospective pianist is confronted with unexpected levels of difficulty, mostly concerned with mental challenges seldom if ever encountered anywhere else in the repertoire, requiring unflinching concentration and true dedication in order that all details are clearly presented and articulated.

If you are indifferent or worse, offendedthen this music is not for you. Check out the right hand parts of Figures 2 a and 2 b and compare it to Godowsky’s creation Figure 2 c. The American critic James Huneker, who saw some of the first Studies in manuscript inwisely advised others not to wonder whether Godowsky had treated Etuddes with reverence.