P0124. LEOPOLD GODOWSKY: THE COMPLETE UK COLUMBIA RECORDINGS, 1928-30, incl. 'Les Adieux' Sonata #26 in E-flat (Beethoven); Chopin (incl. the latter’s Sonata #2 in b-flat); Schumann (incl. the latter’s CARNAVAL); Ballade in g (Grieg). (England) 2-Appian APR 7010, incl. Godowsky discography. Transfers by Bryan Crimp; Jeremy Nicholas biography. Long out-of-print, Final Copy!
“Godowsky was a giant. Listening to these records, one had forgotten how great he was. He is at his best in the later recordings. When electrical recordings came in, musicians were no longer limited to a small dynamic spectrum, and Godowsky's performances of Schumann's ‘Carnaval’, the Grieg Ballade, 12 Chopin Nocturnes and the b-flat minor Sonata are breathtaking in their color, elegance, suavity and, when needed, strength.
He was a Romantic pianist, so the emphasis in his playing is on glorious sound and leeway of rhythm, always keeping the basic meter intact. However, Godowsky does one thing that his great colleagues of the time seldom did, and that is touch up the music a bit. Thus in the Liszt ‘Liebestraum’ he adds a few notes to the cadenza, even changing the harmony. In this literal age such a practice is condemned. But Liszt himself would have been the last to complain at a feat carried off so deftly and imaginatively. He let pupils he trusted do all kinds of things to his music, as witness the piano rolls of Alfred Reisenauer and Bernhard Stavenhagen.”
Harold C. Schonberg, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 11 June, 1989
"The sound on the [above] Appian series is much closer to the sound on [Godowsky’s] 78s than the Philips is. And going back to those Appians and 78s makes me feel that I have underestimated Godowsky through the years….Of the great Golden Age pianists, Leopold Godowsky has had the least attention.”
- Harold C. Schonberg, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Sept. / Oct., 1999