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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Studies on Chopin’s Études

Hamelin’s may not be the only way to play these studies but, until a pianist with a similarly transcendental technique and equal musicianship records them – and that, I’d suggest, could be some considerable time – this is without doubt the set to have. The limited number of compositions which have been written for the left hand alone show a desire on the part of their composers to mostly develop the left hand in the direction of mere virtuosity.

This recording is dedicated to the memory of ftudes father who, as an avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of godowskj-chopin project.

He provided me over the years with many interesting ideas and comments—all stemming from a deep familiarity with the music. And in places the notes of the figuration create motives that counterpoint the main melody.

This amounts to a transformation of harmonic figuration into an effect of dynamic power and energy.

The left hand groupings godowsky-chopij more stable, so the metrical relations between the two hands is variant. In the more complicated variations, among the mass of notes, Schubert’s simple theme can almost always be found and should clearly be heard amidst the whirlwind of sound as a result of the decorative writing.

Godowsky notes, “It is of considerable advantage to practise most of the examples in all keys.

It was composed in in Stuttgart, shortly after gldowsky-chopin had received tidings of the taking of Warsaw by the Russians, September 8, ” hence its nickname. If you are indifferent or worse, offendedthen this music is not for you. Niecks writes, “The composer seems fuming with rage; the left hand rushes impetuously along and the right hand strikes in with passionate ejaculations. Out of the 53 Studies, 22 are for the left hand alone and Godowsky’s comments on these Studies are worth quoting in full.

The pianist must have lare reserves of power and godowsky-chopib. The left hand is favoured by nature in godowsky-cjopin 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. The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works.

Studies on Chopin’s Études – Wikipedia

Chopin obviously gave enough attention to dressing these etudes up in the kind of expression one finds more widely in his output, but the feeling that one is listening to a thorough, scientific examination of a particular technique is never far from the surface: 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.


Of the 18 included, a couple of numbers combine two Chopin Etudes in one study, egudes most notorious being the Black-Key and the Butterfly in a piece called Studes.

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. Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing.

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.

The comments which I feel are particularly insightful are marked out in bold. 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 recent release from Tall Poppies is something of a genre-bender. The interweaving of the two etudes actually sounds wonderful! 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.

Home News Contacts Copyright. A performance of the Passacaglia is shown in the embedded YouTube Video dtudes Whether the genre-bending nature of this production really works is, I suspect, a matter of who you are as an audience. 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 preparatory exercises included in a number of the studies will be found helpful in godowsky-chopinn a mechanical mastery over the pianoforte by applying them to the original Chopin studies as well as to the above-mentioned versions.

Figure 3 b A late variation of the Passacaglia.

The arpeggiated right-hand chords, caught in etuces pedal, create alternating dissonances increasing to fortissimo and consonances diminishing to forte and build tension climactically. What saves them is their very evident commitment to exploring all of the tricky corners of pianism. The above statement is certainly not true but it still remains a formidable work which requires a pianist of an unusually fine technique to execute. 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.

Bach violin sonatas, cello suitesSchubert Lieder and other composers for solo piano. Those of us who enjoy godowsky-chopi recordings, originally on 78s, are well aware that ultimate fidelity to the text was not always considered a necessary attribute of great playing.


The metal masters of these were destroyed by RCA the metal was needed for shell-cases! Whether you want to see what we think of today’s latest releases or discover what our critics thought of your favourite recordings from the past, you will find it all in our full-searchable Reviews Database.

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. Further complicates the right hand part with a few tricky grace notes. In a midsection and at the coda, both hands play semiquaver figurations together.

The whole repertory of godowzky-chopin 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. Celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s th Year. This selection is taken from the 53 etudea on Chopin’s Etudes that Godowsky composed between andduring his Berlin and Vienna years.

Turbulent, rapid descending chromatic figurations in the right hand are contrasted with a slow, march-like bass in the left, which enforces strict playing in time. Huneker notes, “it contains a remarkable passage of consecutive fifths that set the theorists by the ears.

Der amerikanische Kritiker James Huneker, der einige der ersten Studien in Manuskriptform zu sehen bekam, erteilte anderen den weisen Rat, sich nicht zu fragen, ob Godowsky Chopin Ehrfurcht erwiesen habe.

TEN: Chopin Etudes Op. 10 and Godowsky, Studies on Chopin’s Etudes Op. 10

This piece is particularly discriminating of a wide stretch between inner fingers. That Stanhope proves himself equal to the challenges of this repertoire is already saying a great deal, and he shows that he is particularly adept at handling the left-hand etudes, in which all the material, thematic and accompanimental, is contained in a single hand. In its application to piano playing the left hand has 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.

The study has an unusual look on the page, as most of the notes are printed smaller than is ordinary, with the accented notes printed at full size. Special attention must be drawn to the fact that owing to innumerable contrapuntal devices, which frequently compass almost the whole range of the keyboard, the fingering and pedalling are often of a revolutionary character, particularly in the twenty-two studies for the left hand alone.