Evidence Classics


Godowsky – The Art of Transcription


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Laurent Wagschal piano

Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938)
Transcriptions, Paraphrases and works freely transcribed and adapted for the piano on:
Transcriptions, Paraphrases et œuvres librement transcrites et adaptées pour le piano d’après:

1-4. Frédéric Chopin
Study n°5 for the left hand alone on étude Op.10 n°3

Study n°13 for the left hand alone on étude Op.10 n°6
Study n°34 on étude Op.25 n°5 (2nd version in form of a Mazurka)
Study n°45 on étude n°2 from Trois nouvelles études (1st version)

5-8. Johann Sebastian Bach – Violin Sonata in G minor BWV 1001

9-14. Franz Schubert

Moment musical D.780 n°3
Ballet Music from Rosamunde
Gute Nacht

15. Robert Schumann
Du bist wie eine Blume

16. Johann Strauss II
Symphonic Metamorphosis on themes from Wein,Weib und Gesang

17. Isaac Albeniz
Tango Op.165 n°2

18. Camille Saint-Saëns
Le Cygne (Carnaval des Animaux)

19. John Stafford Smith
The Star-Spangled Banner

Total: 76’03

  • Laurent Wagschal

    Chopin/Godowsky - Study n°5 for the left hand alone on étude Op.10 n°3

Godowsky was one of the great piano transcribers and this is a cleverly programmed bran tub which picks some of the best … there is so much to admire about Wagschal’s grasp of and complete empathy with the genre that comparisons become irrelevant. His handling of Godowsky’s multi-layered voices is masterly and the variety of tone and touch he brings to the Schumann, Albéniz, Saint-Saëns and six Schubert transcriptions is most sensitively judged. He both charms and swaggers in Wein, Weib und Gesang (uncut, unlike Cherkassky’s classic account); here and in The Star-Spangled Banner he is not afraid to unleash the full resources of his well-recorded piano. Altogether, 76 minutes of hyphenated Godowsky pass very quickly indeed in the hands of this gifted pianist.  Jeremy Nicholas / Gramophone, Oct 2016

It takes a very special pianist to bring this out … you can hear the way that he [Wagschal] looks at these pieces with a lot more insight than just a pianistic virtuosity, he really penetrates them as a musician first and a pianist second, and I think that’s what makes it successful … I loved it, he really does take us on a journey … it’s a real overview of all  Godowsky’s transcriptions rather than just concentrating on one aspect of them. Lucy Parham / BBC Radio 3 Record Review Nov 2016

Laurent Wagschal plays them with clarity and definition – which is admirable. Nicholas Kenyon / The Guardian

Laurent Wagschal a le sens de la variation. Il interprète toutes ces pièces avec un jeu très précis et un remarquable souci de clarté. Il a le mérite de défendre la cause de Godowsky (dépassant Liszt et Busoni qui s’étaient surtout consacrés au répertoire d’orgue) qui, de son temps, avait été critiqué pour avoir retravaillé souvent l’original. Sous les doigts de Laurent Wagschal : le voilà réhabilité. Edith Weber / L’Education musicale