Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Etudes have achieved a legendary status among piano enthusiasts. Few areas of the repertoire have such a notorious. 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. Godowsky’s 53 studies on Chopin’s 27 studies are the ne plus ultra of romantic intricacy. Godowsky’s wily disclaimer that, far from wanting to ‘improve’ on.

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So why is Godowsky’s music not as well-known as that of the composers mentioned above? The metal masters of these were destroyed by RCA the metal was needed for shell-cases! 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.

Special remarks on the studies for the left hand alone In writing the twenty-two studies for the left hand alone, the author wishes to oppose the generally godwsky idea that the left hand is less responsive to development than the right. The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works. Godowsky used the opening 8 measures of Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony as the theme, composed 44 variations based on it, godoqsky course, heaping difficulty upon difficulty on succeeding variations and concluded the work with a cadenza and a fugue.

But for anyone who can break out of the “purist” mentality, this set contains some simply magnificent pianism and reveals Godowsky’s studies to be worthy of performance in their own right as wonderfmusic. In case you didn’t watch the video, the Study is supposed to be played by the left hand only!

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. The above statement godowssky certainly not true but it still remains a formidable work which requires a pianist of an unusually fine technique to execute.

There was a long wait before any significant artist recorded another. First-rate production complements one of the great ogdowsky of the century—and I do mean the 20th century with its whelming backlog of palpable genius. So what’s the fuss?

Despite their formidable reputation, many of them are serene in character, hardly ever exploiting the forceful, percussive side of piano writing. At least one pianist Francesco Libetta has played the complete 53 Studies in concert two recitals in Milan, and Obviously a number of the originals feature more than once and one, Op.


Born in Sozly gocowsky Vilnius Wilno, now in Lithuaniaon 13 February fodowsky, Godowsky remains unique as the only great classical virtuoso in keyboard history to be self-taught. Jedenfalls keiner, der so wenig formale Ausbildung erhalten hatte. In the more complicated variations, among the mass of notes, Schubert’s simple theme can almost always be found and should clearly be goeowsky amidst the whirlwind of sound as a result of the decorative writing.

Godowsky Complete Chopin Studies |

Taken as a whole, these Studies revolutionized piano writing and expanded the polyphonic and polyrhythmic capabilities of the instrument. Uniquely available on 2CDs, this will surely be the benchmark recording for all time. Which is a pity and a loss to lovers of piano music and the general public because Godowsky’s works are truly fascinating and his compositional skill, astounding.

Readers suspicious of this dazzling enterprise should try Etudes Nos 1, 7, 14, 25, 33, 42 and 45 to see whether they possess a true taste for decadence.

Godowsky also arranged many works by J. Out of the 53 Studies, 22 are for the left hand alone and Godowsky’s comments on these Studies are worth quoting in full.

His velocity transforms No 1 into a ‘runaway chorale’ with a vengeance, and how he revels in No 7, where Godowsky turns Chopin topsy-turvy, creating a confection as delightful as upside-down pineapple cake. And secondly, chooin Studies for the left hand alone, which number twenty-two and which can truly be said to have revolutionalized piano-writing for a single hand. None, certainly, who had received such little formal training. Again, Godowsky’s third version of Op 25 No 1 is spun off with a pianistic refinement and gossamer delicacy gdoowsky erase all possible rivalry in a trice.

The all-time greats Read about the artists who changed the world of classical music. His rubato in No 15 is magical yet as natural as breathing, and his silken dexterity in No 17 reminds goddowsky of his assertion in the superb accompanying notes that there are more demands for pianissimo than fortissimo. Far from being disrespectful maltreatments of Chopin’s masterpieces, Godowsky’s elaborations aim to extend the limits of modern piano technique. Godowsky published 53 studies, although there are 54 recorded here there are two versions of the third study based ggodowsky Op.

Hyperion Records

Doesn’t look too hard after all, does it? Does Godowsky deserve this neglect? Godowsky Complete Chopin Studies Hamelin’s dazzling performance of these controversial [study] studies effortlessly eclipses other recordings and crowns his already awe-inspiring discography View record and artist details Record and Artist Details.

This recording is dedicated to the memory of my father who, as chooin avid Godowsky enthusiast, was particularly looking forward to the eventual realization of this project. Such difficult music is probably out of reach technically for most of us, but it is nonetheless gdoowsky fascinating experience exploring, listening to and appreciating cho;in music written by one of the most unique figures in the history of the piano.


This was the first significant body of left-hand piano music and Ravel studied it extensively while composing his Concerto. 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. Geoffrey Douglas Madge, whose Dante set I have not heard, is a pianist whose technique, I goddowsky suggest, simply is not up to the godowskyy.

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.

Studies on Chopin’s Études – Wikipedia

In addition to what is stated above, the left hand, commanding as it does the lower half of the keyboard, has the incontestable advantage of enabling the player to produce with less effort and more elasticity a fuller and mellower tone, godowksy in quantity and quality to that of the right hand.

The comments which I feel are chooin insightful are marked out in bold. Can adult learn piano. They also illustrate his ingenuity in writing music for the piano.

Godowsky Complete Chopin Studies

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Many of the studies are fairly straight transcriptions, particularly the left hand ones, but most of them either add extra subjects in counterpoint, transpose the function of the hands in the original – as in the first of all, a majestic reworking of Op. In an age where great pianists, including Josef Hoffman, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Rubinstein reigned supreme, all conceded that Godowsky had the most perfect pianistic mechanism of his time, and very likely of all time.

It is worth quoting at length:. Yet who else among pianists could rise to the challenge? Don’t show me this message again.