P0150. LEOPOLD GODOWSKY: Chopin, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Grieg, Schubert-Godowsky & Verdi-Liszt Program. (Germany) 2-Philips 456 805, Gatefold Edition w.23pp brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 028945680521
“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