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Godowsky Edition Vol 5 - Transcriptions, Etc / Carlo Grante


Release Date: 10/24/2006 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1189   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leopold GodowskyFranz SchubertRobert SchumannAdolf Henselt,   ... 
Performer:  Carlo Grante
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



GODOWSKY ROMANTIC TRANSCRIPTIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS Carlo Grante (pn) MUSIC & ARTS 1189 (64:11)


GODOWSKY Contrapuntal Arrangement of Weber’s Invitation to the Dance. Arrangements of Chopin Waltzes: op. 18; op 64/1,3; op. 69/1; op. 70/2,3. Arrangement of Chopin’s Rondo, op. 16. WEBER-GODOWSKY Perpetuum mobile. Read more class="COMPOSER12">SCHUBERT-GODOWSKY Rosamunde: Ballet Music. Moment Musical No. 3. SCHUMANN-GODOWSKY Du bist wie eine Blume. HENSELT-GODOWSKY Si j’étais oiseau. GODARD-GODOWSKY Concerto romantique: Canzonetta


Carlo Grante is, as Adrian Corleonis aptly put it, “one of a small but amazing tribe of supra-virtuosic pianists with a penchant for keyboard arcana”—and both his stunning fingerwork and his devotion to the esoteric are evident in the latest installment (the fifth) of his ongoing Godowsky series for Music & Arts. This is exorbitant music whose intricate textures threaten to entangle the pianist’s fingers and to oversaturate the listener’s ears—but except for a few moments of strain in the most fearsome passages (especially in Godowsky’s elaboration of the Perpetuum mobile from Weber’s Sonata op. 24), Grante delivers it all with a bracing clarity that confirms his status among the virtuoso elite. And even today, when pianists like Marc-André Hamelin, Rian de Waal, Ian Hobson, Burkard Schliessmann, and Grante himself have brought Godowsky’s art almost to the fringes of the repertoire, much of the material here remains uncharted territory. Although Music & Arts makes no “first recording” claims, it seems that the transcriptions of the Henselt, the Godard, and the Chopin Rondo are new to disc (thanks to Donald Manildi of the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland for research assistance here)—and even the rest of this material remains under-represented in the current catalog. It’s particularly gratifying to have a new collection of all of Godowsky’s inventive (sometimes perversely inventive) Chopin Waltz transcriptions, especially now that Bolet’s recording and Grante’s own previous survey (not quite complete) are apparently out of print.


That said, I’ve sometimes found Grante’s playing too forthright—and that’s often the case here. There’s a lot of sly humor in this music, but it tends to get lost as Grante draws in the dynamic contrasts, hardens the rhythms (there’s not much swing here), mutes the variations in tone of voice (try the arrangement of Chopin’s op. 64/3), and, most important, stamps resolutely through passages where he ought to be savoring the harmonic twists (try, as but one example, the “un poco sostenuto e tranquillo” passage in Invitation to the Dance ). The consequence is a brusqueness that, except in the sparkling Henselt transcription, goes against the grain of the repertoire. Godowsky’s version of Chopin’s Waltz, op. 18, for instance, coaxes the original past a series of funhouse mirrors—but in Grante’s hands, there’s little sense of surprise. And even in the least Godowskian effort here, the relatively straightforward Schumann transcription, Grante sometimes fails to grasp the music’s breathing patterns, giving us notes rather than phrases. In the end, it often seems that we’re being lectured where we ought to be schmoozed.


Still, I don’t want to be too critical: if we didn’t have Hamelin as a model of how Godowsky can take wing, Grante would seem less earthbound. Besides that, the technical feats are sufficiently impressive and much of the repertoire is sufficiently rare that the interpretive flaws recede into the background. Good sound too. Reservedly recommended to Godowsky admirers.


FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
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Works on This Recording

1. Impressions (12) for Piano: no 3, Perpetuum mobile by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; USA 
2. Rosamunde, D 797/Op. 26: Ballet music by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
3. Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94: no 3 in F minor by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
4. Myrthen, Op. 25: no 24, Du bist wie eine Blume by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
5. Etudes caracteristiques (12) for Piano, Op. 2: no 6, Si oiseau j'etais by Adolf Henselt
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1837 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
6. Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 1 in D flat major "Minute Waltz" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
7. Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 3 in A flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
8. Waltzes (2) for Piano, Op. 69: no 1 in A flat major, B 95 "L'adieu" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
9. Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 2 in F minor, B 138 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
10. Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 3 in D flat major, B 40 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
11. Introduction in C minor and Rondo in E flat major for Piano, B 76/Op. 16: Rondo by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
12. Concerto for Violin, Op. 35 "Romantique": 3rd movement, Canzonetta by Benjamin Godard
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; France 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 
13. Paraphrase de Concert on Chopin's "Waltz in E flat major, Op. 18" by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1899; Germany 
14. Invitation to the Dance, in D flat major J 260/Op. 65 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Carlo Grante (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Dresden, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. 

Sound Samples

Weber - Perpetuum Mobile
Weber - Aufforderung zum Tanze (Invitation to the Dance): Moderato
Weber - Aufforderung zum Tanze (Invitation to the Dance): Allegro vivace
Schubert - Ballet music from Rosamunde
Schubert - 6 Momens musicals, Op. 94, D. 780: No 3 in F minor
Schumann - 25 Myrthen, Op. 25: No. 24. Du bist sie eine Blume (A flower to me thou seemest)
Henselt - Etude in F sharp major, Op. 2, No. 6
Chopin - Waltz No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 18, "Grande valse brillante"
Chopin - Waltz No. 6 in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1
Chopin - Waltz No. 8 in A flat major, Op. 64, No. 3
Chopin - Waltz No. 9 in A flat major, Op. 69, No. 1
Chopin - Waltz No. 12 in F minor, Op. 70, No. 2
Chopin - Waltz No. 13 in D flat major, Op. 70, No. 3
Chopin - Rondo in E flat major, Op. 16
Godard - Concerto Romantique

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