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The Pianist of Pianists
December 8, 2008 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Leopold Godowsky's technique was such that Arthur Rubinstein wrote, "It would take me 500 years to get a mechanism like [his]." Which came in handy playing his 53 Studies on Chopin's Etudes - which are often nominated as the most difficult pieces in the repertoire.
posted by Joe Beese (6 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm usually not a fan of the "big-hand" piano repertoire, but I'm rather impressed by the lightness of his touch on the recording linked here. It's hard to make these sorts of pianistic fireworks sound effortless.
posted by LMGM at 10:58 AM on December 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Big-hand" piano is easier if you cheat.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:53 AM on December 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was prepared to be all "meh". I was not all "meh". I was all "holy crap".

I have never heard anything like the hand independence in that recording of Black Keys Study. He sounds like two different people playing at once, or some kind of keyboard stegosaurus with extra brains in each of his hands.
posted by The Bellman at 12:54 PM on December 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have never heard anything like the hand independence in that recording of Black Keys Study

Poldy seems to have taken Schnabel's famous criticism of Chopin as a "right-handed genius" especially hard. :-)

Here is Canadian super-virtuoso Marc-André Hamelin - whose complete recording of the 53 Etudes, one of the few ever made, is widely considered definitive - recasting him as a left-handed genius as well.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:12 PM on December 8, 2008


Someone should digitize those old Brunswicks, removing all the needle hiss and mechanical sounds.
posted by Cranberry at 2:39 PM on December 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I played the Chopin étude op. 25 no. 1 when I was a kid, which had me reaching more than octaves throughout. But this Godowsky version is another beautiful can of worms. Thanks for the post, and the memories, Joe.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:11 PM on December 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


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