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Godowsky: Piano Music Vol 8 / Konstantin Scherbakov


Release Date: 03/27/2007 
Label:  Marco Polo   Catalog #: 8225274   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Leopold Godowsky's 1925 Java Suite consists of 12 piano pieces inspired by the sights and sounds he absorbed during his Indonesian concert tour. For the most part, Godowsky consciously avoided the serpentine chromaticism of his controversial Chopin Etude transcriptions, favoring a more modal, impressionistic, and open-ended harmonic language. Furthermore, the rich, loquacious sonorities of the traditional Gamelan orchestra add a new and original dimension to Godowsky's polytextural keyboard deployment. Konstantin Scherbakov offers the cycle's second complete recording; the first featured Jakartan native Esther Budiardjo on a 2000 ProPiano release that may be hard to find.

Godowsky prefaces each piece with programmatic
Read more descriptions that actually prove useful in helping performers establish mood and character, and I sense that Scherbakov takes these to heart. In the opening selection, Gamelan, Scherbakov's dry, highly articulated playing contrasts to Budiardjo's languid shimmer. He takes No. 4 (Chattering Monkeys at the Sacred Lake of Wendit) considerably faster than Budiardjo, although he sacrifices tone and line for speed. But whereas Budiardjo is literal and square in No. 5 (Borobudur in Moonlight), Scherbakov's more flexible treatment wrings more allure and mystery from the murky opening measures and truly ignites the central climax. By favoring line over mass in No. 6 (The Bromo Volcano), Scherbakov's gaunt, sparely pedaled interpretation decisively cuts through the thick textures, while in No. 8 (The Gardens of Buitenzorg) he emphasizes inner voices that the smoother interpretations of Marc-André Hamelin and Stephen Hough play down.

In Godowsky's paraphrase on Wine, Women and Song, Scherbakov admittedly gives short shrift to some of the transcriber's tempo indications, yet his sharp-edged, muscular, and supremely delineated rendition is quite a piece of workmanship. And unlike Shura Cherkassky's more charming, impish performances, Scherbakov plays the transcription without cuts. A slightly metallic hue covers the loudest, busiest passages; otherwise the close, detailed sonics are fine.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphonic metamorphosis of Johann Strauss's "Wein, Weib und Gesang" Waltzes by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Berlin, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (11/29/2005 - 11/30/2005) 
2.
Java Suite: Gamelan by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (11/29/2005 - 11/30/2005) 
3.
Java Suite: Wayang Purwa by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (11/29/2005 - 11/30/2005) 
4.
Java Suite: Hari Besaar by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
5.
Java Suite: Chattering Monkeys at the Sacred Lake of Wendit by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
6.
Java Suite: Boro Budur in Moonlight by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
7.
Java Suite: Bromo Volcano and the Sand Sea at Daybreak by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Java Suite: 3 Dances by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 11 Secs. 
9.
Java Suite: Gardens of Buitenzorg by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
10.
Java Suite: In the streets of Old Batavia by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
11.
Java Suite: In the Kraton by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
12.
Java Suite: In the Ruined Water Castle at Djokla by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
13.
Java Suite: Court Pageant in Solo by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924-1925; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Java Suite: Part I: I. Gamelan
Java Suite: Part I: II. Wayang-Purwa, Puppet Shadow Plays
Java Suite: Part I: III. Hari Besaar, The Great Day
Java Suite: Part II: IV. Chattering Monkeys at the Sacred Lake of Wendit
Java Suite: Part II: V. Boro Budur in Moonlight
Java Suite: Part II: VI. The Bromo Volcano and the Sand Sea at Daybreak
Java Suite: Part III: VII. 3 Dances
Java Suite: Part III: VIII. The Gardens of Buitenzorg
Java Suite: Part III: IX. In the Streets of Old Batavia
Java Suite: Part IV: X. In the Kraton
Java Suite: Part IV: XI. The Ruined Water Castle at Djokja
Java Suite: Part IV: XII. A Court Pageant in Solo
3 Symphonische Metamorphosen Johann Strauss'scher Themen: 3 Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Johann Strauss II: No. 3. Wine, Women and Song

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