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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You need six hands to play it. Uniquely available on 2CDs, this will surely be the benchmark recording for all time.

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

So what’s the fuss? If you are indifferent or worse, offendedthen this music is not for you. Godowskh might have been the most unique writer of piano music after Chopin, and that’s not forgetting Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. The first four measures of Chopin-Godowsky Study No. The arpeggiated right-hand chords, caught in the pedal, create alternating dissonances increasing godowksy fortissimo and consonances diminishing to forte and build tension climactically.

Those of vodowsky who enjoy older recordings, originally on 78s, are well aware that ultimate fidelity to the text was not always considered a necessary attribute of great playing.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. It was rather an undulation of the A flat major chord, here and there thrown aloft anew by the pedal. Requires the right hand to play stacatto notes in the thumb and index finger cohpin legato notes in the remaining fingers simultaneously.

The left hand takes some perilous leaps to delineate its two voices, especially near the end. The effect is like one’s first encounter with Milton’s earthly paradise.

Godowsmy it was their first venture from New York, I offered hodowsky join them. 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. A performance of the Passacaglia is shown in the embedded YouTube Video below: At least one pianist Francesco Libetta has played the complete 53 Studies in concert two recitals in Milan, and Hamelin delivers on every level: 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.


Below is a brief introduction to two of Godowsky’s most famous works, by which he is primarily remembered for today. Don’t show me this message again. The frequent need to place the thumb on a hcopin key complicates the arpeggios.

Perhaps it was this independence of mind, unencumbered by the academic notions and traditions of Conservatoire professors, that led Godowsky to rethink certain pianistic problems without inhibition.

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 was accomplished in two different ways: It is worth quoting at length:.

The dynamic properties of the figuration are determined by the tonal space employed, by the rapidity of motion and by the density, which is intensified by the dissonances between the figurative lines. The character of the piece is comic, light, and very fast. Doesn’t look too hard after all, does it? The more I transcribed, the more I found that the left hand was as adaptable to the mechanical and technical difficulties as the right hand.

Another study in arpeggios – mostly on the right hand, with occasional intrusions on the left, especially at the end. Can you find the melodic line of the theme? 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.


Special attention must be drawn to the choin 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. They remain among the most daunting challenges of the piano literature, their difficulties not always fully apparent to the listener.

The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works. Assuming you can find it that is: Ce sera David Saperton, le gendre de Godowsky, qui enregistra dix transcriptions en avec quelques autres compositions de Godowsky. He probably wrote an unpublished left-hand adaptation, teudes was lost when Godowsky fled Vienna at the onset of World War I. The metal masters of these were destroyed by RCA the metal was needed for shell-cases!

Perhaps the task of learning and mastering such a work is too unrewarding, which may be why the Passacaglia is not heard frequently in the concert hall today. Richard Wagner described Chopin as “a composer for the right hand” and Godowsky would probably have agreed with him.

Bach violin sonatas, cello suitesSchubert Lieder and other composers for solo piano.

Studies on Chopin’s Études

To me it can only inspire admiration. The left hand plays a cantabile melody, including a few rapid scales. James Huneker asked, “Were ever Beauty and Duty so mated in double harness? The theme is in the left hand, while the right hand introduces counter melodies. This provides yet another explanation why these Studies have been neglected over the years: A study in cantabile playing, with a melody that passes between the two hands.

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