Godowsky, Leopold - Strauss transcriptions and other waltzes - Hamelin, Marc-André (piano)

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"These Godowsky works have a reputation, well deserved, for being among the most difficult in the piano literature. Not that his has ever daunted Marc-André Hamelin (it's not even his first recording of this repertoire) and he throws off the technical complexities seemingly with delight. It's certainly a joy to hear these gorgeous and tuneful transcriptions. Both pianist and listener have a ball."

Marc-André Hamelin's programme is mostly devoted to Godowsky's works based on themes by-or directly inspired by-Johann Strauss II. It is not intended to be a comprehensive survey but is, nevertheless, fully representative of Godowsky's finest reflections on the Waltz King. In the three great Strauss transcriptions, Godowsky elevated the art of the piano paraphrase to a higher musical and pianistic plane; however their extreme technical difficulty remains a striking feature and places them out of the reach of ordinary pianists. And Marc-André Hamelin is, of course, no ordinary pianist-in fact his playing on a recent disc (see below) was compared to that of Alkan and Liszt.
Triakontameron and Walzermasken are rarely performed examples of Godowsky's original work, and continue the composer's love-affair with the waltz-they are written entirely in 3/4 time.

The last work on this dazzling disc is an oddity-indeed, a rarity. Sometime prior to 1925, Godowsky made a piano roll of his arrangement of The Last Waltz by Oscar Straus (1870-1954), the Vienna-born composer. The eponymous Waltz is heard throughout the 1920 operetta. The music of Godowsky's transcription was never published for some unknown reason-it is a uniquely appealing arrangement. In the early 1970s, Gilles Hamelin, the pianophile father of Marc-André, notated, arranged and edited The Last Waltz from Godowsky's piano roll, which was then published in 1975. Shortly afterwards, a copy of the negative of Godowsky's manuscript was sent to Gilles Hamelin. It was all but illegible, so Hamelin Snr. made a fair copy in his own hand: in almost every respect it tallied with the version he had transcribed from the piano roll.
Artikelnummer CDA67626
Streckkod 0034571176260
Utgivningsdatum 2008-07-14
Kategori Piano
Skivbolag Hyperion
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Artister Hamelin, Marc-André (piano)
Kompositörer Godowsky, Leopold
Disk: 1
Symphonic Metamorphosis on Künstlerleben after Joh
1 Symphonic Metamorphosis on Künstlerleben after Joh
2 No. 2 Pastell
3 No. 14 Französisch
4 No. 22 Wienerisch
5 No. 24 Portrait-Joh. Str.
6 Symphonic Metamorphosis on Die Fledermaus after Jo
7 No. 4 Rendezvous
8 No. 11 Alt Wien
9 No. 13 Terpsichorean Vindobona
10 No. 21 The Salon
11 No. 25 Memories
12 Symphonic Metamorphosis on Wein, Weib und Gesang a
13 The Last Waltz (Oscar Straus) OSCAR STRAUS; ideali
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