Godowski transcription

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opus23#10
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:03 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Godowski transcription

Postby opus23#10 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:22 am

This afternoon was cold, damp, and gloomy - until our classical music station played Godowski's transcription of Strauss' Artist's Life Op.316. That work was like a ray of sunshine! I was very strongly reminded of Rachmaninoff's style, especially of certain passages in the Polka de V.R. I knew there must be a connection between Rachmaninoff and Godowski, and according to G's internet biography, they were friends in New York; SVR dedicated his Polka to Godowski. *** The Godowski work is longer than SVR's polka, and more elaborate -- but Godowski's piece also has certain harmonies in common with SVR's transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud".
*** Does anyone have a recording of the Godowski work? Amazon does not have it. Knowing the pianist would probably help, but I was driving at the time and did not catch the name. :( (Calling the radio station might help, but I feel sure that some knowledgeable music lovers on the forum can help me.) At any rate, finding this piece would be very interesting for Rachmaninoff fans.
Opus23#10

opus23#10
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:03 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Godowski transcription

Postby opus23#10 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:49 am

I found the CD I was looking for. The pianist is Eduardus Halim, and the CD does include the amazing Godowsky transcription of Strauss' Kunsterleben (a work that reminds me very much of SVR's style). The CD also includes two of Rachmaninoff's transcriptions: that of Tchaikowsky's Lullaby, and also of Kreisler's Liebesleid.

Other transcriptions include those by Liszt, on works of Chopin, Gounod, and Wagner. The Wagner/Liszt transcription is one of the most passionate performances I have ever heard -- second only to Rachmaninoff's performances of his own 2nd and 3rd concertos.

The CD is by Arabesque Recordings -- a division of the Rebot Corporation.
ISBN is 26724-6615-2. I actually ordered this through Amazon, but they got the CD from another vendor. As for a rating, I would give this CD five stars. Halim is amazing! :D
Opus23#10

opus23#10
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:03 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

In defense of transcriptions (re:Godowsky)

Postby opus23#10 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:16 am

Forum browsers probably realize that Rachmaninoff went out of vogue with some conservative intellectuals for a few decades. However, another great pianist and composer who vanished from the musical consciousness until recently is Leopold Godowsky, friend of SVR. Both of these men wrote piano transcriptions, a genre considered "bad taste" by certain prim critics. Fortunately, ideas and tastes change.
After becoming fascinated by G.'s transcription of Strauss II's "Artists Life" (which Rachmaninoff performed), I did a little internet browsing. Let me recommend a remarkable internet article titled "Buddha the Obscure" by Jonathan Edward Mann (c.2005).
Mann clearly has strong feelings about his subject, and he is ready to express them in creative language. If you love music of the Romantic Era, especially those glorious confections -- piano transcriptions -- you will cheer and chuckle your way through the article.
Rachmaninoff's tribute to his friend's genius is included in the article, and a listener can detect a certain shared creative spirit; both men seem to say, "These works are so special that I want to show my own personal enjoyment of them." In some cases both composers seem to ask the listener, "Isn't this a lot of fun?"
Opus23#10

Marianne
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Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
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Re: Godowski transcription

Postby Marianne » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:53 pm

Thank you so much for this topic!

I've opened one more name for myself - David Saperton there on youtube
The best one I like is:
Chopin Godowsky Etude 13 for Left Hand Saperton Rec 1952

kurtdaniel
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:15 am

Re: Godowski transcription

Postby kurtdaniel » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:40 am

check out Godowsky's perf of Schubert's "Gute Nacht" from the Winterreise and his own "Passacaglia" which is a 20 minute epic piece inspired by Schubert's unfinished symphony. I love it!!.


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