Godowsky’s Complete Piano Works, Vol. 15

‘This project to record Leopold Godowsky’s complete piano works began in 1997 and has taken me 26 years to complete. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is one of the largest and most important recording projects of the piano repertoire, through which many works have received their premiere recordings.

This final volume of the series, which is the second volume of the Chopin-Godowsky Studies, is perhaps one of the finest discs of the whole set. Interestingly, its release this year in 2023 also coincides with my 60th birthday and the 40th anniversary of my becoming a performing artist. It is a happy coincidence that all these significant dates fit together with the release of the most important project I have ever done for the Naxos and Marco Polo labels.’

Konstantin Scherbakov

Leopold Godowsky began composing his 53 Studies on the Chopin Études in 1894 when he was only 23, finishing two decades later. His fertile musical imagination and exceptional virtuosity ensure that the studies sound vastly more complex and daringly inventive than Chopin’s original material. Late Romanticism informed Godowsky’s conception and his use of the left hand, for example, reinforces the many demands that he considered necessary for contemporary virtuosity, with music that is fearsomely challenging and boundlessly inventive. This release completes the full set of Études that began with Volume 1 (Marco Polo 8.225372).

Listen to an excerpt from 53 Studies on the Chopin Études:
No. 8 in C Major
(2nd version after Chopin's Op. 10, No. 5, on the white keys)
About the Artist

Swiss-Russian pianist Konstantin Scherbakov is one of today’s most active and frequently recorded pianists. The range of his repertory is vast and demanding, both technically and interpretively. His discography comprises some 50 recordings, including the complete works for solo piano by Godowsky, Shostakovich and Respighi, and the complete piano/orchestral works of Medtner, Tchaikovsky, Respighi and Scriabin. His contribution to the Naxos Franz Liszt piano music series includes critically acclaimed performances of Liszt’s transcriptions of Beethoven’s symphonies, of which the Ninth Symphony (8.557366) was awarded the 2005 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. His recording of Godowsky’s Sonata in E minor (8.223899) was also awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in December 2001, and his recording of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 (8.554745-46) received a 2001 Cannes Classical Award.

Selected releases in the Godowsky Complete Piano Works edition
‘Sherbakov’s keyboard facility, his pinpoint articulation, his unerring sense of rhythmic drive and security, his weaving together of the many layers and voices and his sense of colour and phrasing are all a joy to listen to.’
‘The sonata has had to wait until now, 90 years after its publication, for a recorded performance that does it justice ... The more I listen to the first movement in Scherbakov's revelatory account, the more my respect and affection for the work grows.’
International Record Review
‘As always, Scherbakov is in complete command, technically and musically.’
‘Hats off to Mr Scherbakov—this recording is a magnificent feat of pianism, full of jaw dropping virtuosity and some lovely colouring throughout. He has done an utterly amazing job in recording all of the sometimes nightmarishly difficult pieces on this disc in such an absorbing and interesting way.’
MusicWeb International
For Konstantin Scherbakov’s full discography on Naxos, follow this link.

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