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Chopin & Chopin / Arr Godowsky : Etudes
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Chopin & Chopin / Arr Godowsky : Etudes

3 April 2006 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 30 Aug. 2005
  • Release Date: 3 April 2006
  • Label: Warner Classics International
  • Copyright: 2005 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 54:23
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,470 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By T M Neville-Lee on 29 Nov. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Godowsky’s set of Studies are frequently criticised as a profanation of the Chopin originals, themselves considered by many a near perfect synthesis of pragmatism and poetry. We should not dwell on this argument here; there have been greater crimes against than these (William Orbit’s ‘Pieces in a Modern Style’ and Hans Wurman’s ‘The Moog Strikes Bach’ spring to mind). Suffice it to say that if you are indignant toward the idea of augmented transcriptions of this type, you will not enjoy this, or any, recording of Godowsky.
The more open-minded listener will find these pieces fascinating, aside from the formidable technical demands they place on the performer (tackled here with consummate ease by Berezovsky—it will leave you scratching your head and wondering how it can be possible) the compositions themselves are masterpieces of complexity; some etudes are transposed for the left hand alone, seeming to loose nothing of the harmonic texture or detail of the original; some are rendered in a different style (the Op.25 No.5 becomes a completely convincing and entertaining Mazurka); some represent an exceptional audacity by superimposing two etudes together, a concept that sounds dreadful in theory, but somehow works to wonderful effect in practice.
The unexpended gem on this collection is the inclusion of a transcription of the ‘Minute’ Waltz, presumably as an encore to this live set (you can even hear someone drop their programme half way through). It admirably sums up Godowsky’s Chopin project in microcosm, where this familiar piece builds in to a subtle overlaying of different variations on the theme, taking on an almost fugal nature.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Great recording! 20 Mar. 2006
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Another reviewer already gave so much information, actually almost anything you need to know about this pianist and this album. I am just going to add something short. This is a great recording!! Comparing with Berezovsky's previous CD of complete Chopin Etudes (which is also great!), this one is more spontaneous and dramatic (this album is recorded live, so, naturally, there is more 'risk-taking' element in it). Comparing with Hamelin's complete Godowsky transcriptions (which is very impressive, as well), Berezovsky's version, at least to me, is more musical and has wider range of color and expression.

I have been a big fan of Berezovsky since his triumph at the Tchaikovsky competition, and you know what, he only gets better!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Amazing 22 Dec. 2007
By Mauro Guzzo Decca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Godowsky's Études, though composed so long ago, are still a challenge even to the very finest pianists playing and recording out there today. It might seem odd that one's willing to buy these Études after listening to Hamelin and Carlos Granto, who kind of seemed to have given the last word on the subject. Not so. I think the best way to help you decide whether or not to buy this item is by stating a simple fact that I singled out as one of the - if not the - most important features of this review: I saw, I listened to him playing these pieces live. Twice. The guy is for real: it's not sound engineering: on the stage, in front of the audience, when music actually happens in its fullest sense, this guy delivered a superb interpretation of Godowsky's Études which left me baffled and in awe on the seat every step of the way - I was shocked - that's the world - from beginning to end. One more quality of this cd: you'll be able to hear both Chopin's originals and Godowsky's transcriptions, and then compare both. You'll find that the guy is not just a great interpreter of Godowsky's transcriptions, but also an amazing interpreter of Chopin's music: his Chopin doesn't overflow with sentimentalism and easy maneuvers to get the listener touched or moved - he's serious and approach Chopin's music both at the intellectual and at the emotional level, and show they're deeply intertwined.

His technical prowess is beyond any reasonable doubt: the piano, if you allow me to use the old lame Mcluhan metaphor, was really an extension of his body: his left-hand skills are remarkable - I think even better than Hamelin's and, if you pay attention to Hamelin's rendition of Schumann's Fantasy in C, you'll notice the blurred notes produced by Hamelin's left hand which spoil the texture of the amazing opening - and much of the rest - of that most exquisite piece - and he's not affraid of Godowsky: he clearly enjoys the music he's playing, that's something important. He sympathizes with the composer and feels at ease in the presence of those terrifying scores.

Hamelin's Godowsky is as good as it gets in terms of technique, no question. That's also true for Berezovsky, with a plus: he doesn't have Hamelin's uneven enthusiasm - which reflects on his technique - for the pieces. I'm a huge fan of Hamelin, but I noticed, by attending to his recitals, a hastiness and impatiance behind the iron man which makes for technical failures during the presentation.

Berezovsky is different: he's either a disaster from beginning to end or brilliant all the way through the piece. I saw many of his disasters - which I find exciting because I don't want to listen to what's on the cd -and many of his moments of sheer genius.

The sound quality of the cd is overall good. I do have some minor complains, though: some notes and chords, especially in the higher register, might sound to the listener as wrong notes. Indeed, they are, but it doesn't tamper with the listening or with the piece's integrity; it does, however, bothers a bit at some times because you expect a logical development of the piece and you end up frustrated: but that's rare, it's not all around the cd, don't worry. And, most importantly, keep in mind these were not due to Berezovsky's alleged technical shortcomings (he has his share of it, of course, as every other pianist I know of), but to the way his playing was recorded and engineered. The notes, however, are clear mainly because Berezovsky's articulation is really good, I'd compare it only to Hough's nowadays: he's playing is crystal clear, no matter how fast - or slow - he has to deliver a piece. His tone is pure, full, clear. That makes the cd well worth buying.

Hamelin's cd featuring the Études is still the best choice in the market by a far margin, I won't deny it. I just think, based on what I listened in recitals, that Hamelin has a wonderful technique, but his renditions tend to be uneven - you can almost point out with your finger where he starts to go astray: I think it's a blend of physical fatigue and mental or spiritual detachment, almost uninterest in certain pieces. Hamelin is the best piano player I have ever seen, no doubt: if you want to know Godowsky's works, it's NOT enough to have Berezovsky's recording: you have to put a very special place aside for Hamelin. I understand the guy: he's so talented that sometimes he tends to regard the pieces as mere obstacles he has to overcome: it's just a challenge, nothing more. This kind of approach to SOME - not all - pieces can lead to very bad results (I think he took a good deal of time to start feeling at ease with Schumann's music - his live renditions of the Fantasy are far better than that on the cd and, by now, he's managed, both in his concerts and on cd, to deliver powerful and stunning renditions of Schumann's Carnival and Phantasiestücke. Listening to him playing the latter either on cd or live brings me to tears - the poetry is just disarming.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great composers need great performers 11 Jan. 2007
By Luc Delepine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Chopin is one of the brightest composers for solo piano works. Unfortunately, only a handful of performers are able to do justice to his music, bright, deep and heroic, in contrast with an undeserved reputation of lightness. Berezovski's performance is fascinating from beginning to end. His impeccable technique is only used to enhance the brilliance of these Studies, presumably written after Chopin's encounter with Paganini and only played by virtuosos. When I start playing this CD, I have to listen till the end because this is breathtaking.
If you have an idea of what playing a piano is you will listen an unimaginable virtuoso 10 Jan. 2015
By Rodrigo Perez-Salazar B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From a technical standpoint Erezovsky proves to be unsurapasable and to also own an enormous character as performer.
Great 23 Dec. 2014
By Christopher Ammons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Immense power and deep understanding in Berezovsky's playing, highly recommended!
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