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Leopold Godowsky

Leopold Godowsky (13 February 1870 – 21 November 1938) was a Polish-American virtuoso pianist, composer, and teacher. He was one of the most highly regarded performers of his time – known for his theories concerning the application of relaxed weight and economy of motion within pianistic technic – principles later propagated by Godowsky's pupils, such as Heinrich Neuhaus.

He was heralded among musical giants as the "Buddha of the Piano" and was probably the most astonishing instance of a self-taught performer and creator in the history of art. Ferruccio Busoni claimed that he and Godowsky were "the only composers to have added anything of significance to keyboard writing since Franz Liszt."

As a composer, Godowsky is best known for his Java Suite, Triakontameron, Passacaglia and Walzermasken, alongside his transcriptions of works by other composers: best known work in the field is 53 Studies on Chopin's Études (1894–1914).

Birth and Death Data: Born February 13th, 1870 (Žasliai), Died November 21st, 1938 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1912 - 1934

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, arranger, composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 36693 12-in. 4/10/1913 Two songs without words Leopold Godowsky Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 36694 12-in. 4/10/1913 Campanella Leopold Godowsky Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 36695 12-in. 4/10/1913 Prelude in D-flat Leopold Godowsky Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 36696 12-in. 4/10/1913 Hark! Hark! The lark Leopold Godowsky Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 36698 12-in. ca. 1913 Prelude in B-flat major Leopold Godowsky Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 36699 12-in. ca. 1913 Waltz in C-sharp minor Leopold Godowsky Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia W98650 12-in. 4/18/1929 Kunstlerleben, part 1 Gunnar Johansen Piano solo arranger  
Columbia W98651 12-in. 4/18/1929 Kunstlerleben, part 2 Gunnar Johansen Piano solo arranger  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Godowsky, Leopold," accessed June 21, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102653.

Godowsky, Leopold. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 21, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102653.

"Godowsky, Leopold." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 21 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102653

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