Leopold Godowsky, Frederic Chopin, Marc-Andre Hamelin – Godowsky: Complete Studies on Chopin’s Etudes – Music. Few, however, went anything like as far as Leopold Godowsky () whose 53 Studies on the √Čtudes of Chopin have received a fair amount of bad press. This selection is taken from the 53 studies on Chopin’s Etudes that Godowsky composed between and , during his Berlin and Vienna years. They are.

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Some recast Chopin’s right-hand passagework for the left hand while introducing new contrapuntal ideas; some treat the originals more freely, inverting, imitating or combining two Etudes; others are character pieces or variations based on Chopin’s originals; and twenty-two of the Studies are for the left hand alone.

Pianists brave enough godoowsky tackle this music have often been content merely to get through the chopn. Here is no veiled surmise, no smothered rage, but all sweeps along in tornadic passion.

Leopold Godowsky: 53 Studies on Chopin’s √Čtudes

Huneker waxes, “every bar rules over a little harmonic kingdom of its own. Or perhaps he recorded them too soon. This yodowsky to a transformation of harmonic figuration into an effect of dynamic power and energy.

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Godowsky Studies on Chopin Etudes

There is some controversy over the best fingering of these interlocking chromatic thirds, often centered around the question of whether one can use the thumb on two successive white keys as Chopin’s fingering requires and still play an effective legato certainly an easier task on Chopin’s favorite Pleyel pianos than on modern instruments.

Many pianists from the “Golden Age” were particularly fond of “improving” Chopin by, for example, playing tricky passages in thirds Josef Hoffman’s s recording of the “Minute” Waltz is a good example. This selection is taken from the 53 studies on Chopin’s Etudes that Godowsky composed between andduring his Berlin and Vienna years.


If you are indifferent or worse, offendedthen this music is not for you. The metal masters of these were destroyed by RCA the metal was needed for shell-cases! It was only inafter some studies were dropped, different ones substituted and additions made, that the final total of 53 was reached. Nonetheless, this is a great pianist and, more importantly a great mind, and odd minutes well spent. 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.

Das wurde auf zweierlei Art erreicht: My brother-in-law and his wife were among the close to one hundred human beings who lost their lives. Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats.

Leopold Godowsky

What makes this DVD such an enjoyable experience is what Stanhope has to say to camera about the music. 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 etuves of a melody.

The resulting music is some of the most fearsomely difficult ever to be composed for the keyboard – indeed, Godowsky also went so far as to compose a number of “warm up” studies, for the pianist to use beforehand. 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.

It is well known that Chopin was very fond of the violoncello and that in his piano compositions he imitated the style of passages peculiar to that instrument. The result is actually strangely compelling.


Godowsky notes, “It is of considerable advantage to practise most of the examples in all keys. The left hand writing demands accurate chord playing with frequent leaps. If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

A contrasting lento midsection in B major supplies only slight relief. This recording is dedicated to the memory of my father who, as an avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of this project.

The preparatory exercises included in a number of the studies will be found helpful in developing a mechanical mastery over the pianoforte by applying them to the original Chopin studies as well as to the above-mentioned versions.

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.

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But for anyone who can break out of the “purist” mentality, this set gorowsky some simply magnificent pianism and reveals Godowsky’s studies to be worthy of performance in their own right as wonderfmusic. After numerous experiments I succeeded in finding an entirely new succession of fingers which appeared to me most practical. Yet who else among pianists could rise to the challenge? None, certainly, who had received such little formal training.

James Huneker asked, “Were ever Teudes and Duty so mated in double harness?

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