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 Post subject: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:58 am 
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Here is a most fervent late romantic piece by Leopold Godowsky titled Poem No. 1, “Devotion” and marked andante cantabile, although I choose to play it more con passione. He composed this piece at Evanston, Illinois on June 29, 1927 and it was published the same year by Carl Fischer, Inc. I believe this music suggests passion in the moment, not a distant nostalgia. There are three other Poems in this group: No. 2, “Avowal”; No. 3, “Adoration”; and No. 4, “Yearning”. Nos. 2 and 3 were also composed in 1927, but No. 4 was added in 1931. The writing for “Devotion” is very lush and for me the best of the set. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing it.

Godowsky - Four Poems - No.1: Devotion (1:50)

David

Comments welcome.

Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6’3”) with lid fully open
Recorder: Roland R-44
Mics: Matched pair of Earthworks TC-20 small diaphragm, omni-directional condenser mics in A-B configuration

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Last edited by Rachfan on Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:39 pm 
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Well done David. This is the sort of music you are good at. No quibbles except that between bars 3-4 and between bars 7-8, the D# in RH should be tied over. Maybe there are more such things, but this one caught my eye while following with score. My Godowsky experience being limited to Triakontameron and the Java Suite, I do not know this piece at all. I'll put it on the site later.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Hi Chris,

I'm glad you liked this piece. On those two ties I reminded myself 100 times, but in the heat of playing it, sometimes my fingers took the notes again! At least they're the right notes and sound OK in those places. It felt good adding another composer to my repertoire list. Nos. 2, 3 and 4 in the set don't appeal to me, but No. 1 is a true gem.

Thanks for putting the recording up later.

You had good courage venturing into the Java Suite. I've thought about it, but haven't ventured there.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:43 am 
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BTW David - Did you not want to post that Glazunov prelude you uploaded ? It is also a good performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Hi Chris,

The Glazunov appears under Various composers, and it also appears on my artist page. I clicked on both and they play OK. So I think we're all set there. I believe that I'm the only one who has played Glazunov here, so far at least.

Thanks for questioning that though, as the outcome might have been different.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Strange, I got a notification of this being a new upload (at the same time as the Godowsky) from my script running on the server - and I did not remember that we had the piece on the site already. So I assumed you had attached it to a message and then not posted the message. Of you did not re-upload the piece I guess my script must have wonked.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:01 am 
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Hi Chris,

I went back to look for when we put the Glazunov prelude on the site: September 1, 2011. I can't believe how time flies! :lol: I don't recall doing anything different from the usual upload routine. Looks too like people started posting to it within a few hours. The good news is that it still works. Thanks for checking into it.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:26 am 
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Yes indeed, the file listing on the site shows that date too. It definitely wasn't changed or re-uploaded. Yet, my script picked it up as being new. Strange. There must be a real subtle little bug in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:42 am 
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Hi Chris,

I hope the subtle bug is not what knocked the site "off the air" for several days. :lol: I'm just glad it's up and running again.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:54 am 
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Nope, it was something more banal than that.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:17 am 
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David,

I had a listen to your piece during a break and really enjoyed it. Godowsky can really write some fascinating stuff. This sounds a lot different in style than his Trikantameron. Thanks for sharing.

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Riley Tucker


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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:38 am 
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Hi Riley,

Thanks for listening to this piece! As you know, I'm constantly searching for piano literature that has great intrinsic beauty. I considered this poem of Godowsky to be very high potential in that regard, and I'm glad I learned and recorded it--it's a true gem! I prefer to play it con passione, and that approach has been well received by listeners. I agree with you that this is a very different sound from many of his other works. Godowsky isn't heard very often, as his pieces tend to be difficult if not forbidding. He reminds me a little of Medtner in that respect. It helps to develop one's piano technique though.

I'm glad you enjoyed this music, Riley.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:59 pm 
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David,

Your performance of this piece is gorgeous.

Thanks for sharing,
-Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:52 am 
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Hi Kaila,

Thanks for listening! I had never played a Godowsky piece before, but found this one to be irresistible. I'm glad you like it.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:14 pm 
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I listened to it and immediately wanted to listen to it again. A charming and interesting piece which you bring out beautifully, the different and overlapping long lines come completely naturally and blend perfectly. Thanks for posting!

Joachim


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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:56 am 
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Hi Joachim,

For me, this is an ultra-romantic work. I always look high and low in the Late Romantic period to find pieces that will inspire me, no matter the difficulties, and this poem certainly did so. It gets tricky in a few places, but I was able to iron them out. Unlike Rachmaninoff, Godowsky wrote out fingerings in many of his pieces. I used some, but not all of them. Overall, I think the recording came out well as a full take. (I don't edit.) And I was glad to post it here, as there is very little of Godowsky's music in the archive.

Thanks for listening, and I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:47 pm 
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Hi again, David :)
I really like Godowsky. I was recently listening to some of his Triakontameron and they are each so different from one another, but very pleasing to listen to. I've never ventured out of the Triakontameron before, though, so your recording was very interesting to me. I think you played this piece very well too!

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:46 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Where you're already familiar with Triakontameron, I'm glad that your curiosity led you to this other wonderful piece by Godowsky. I was happy that I could play it, as many of his other works, like the Java Suite, are so enticing, but so difficult too. It's as if there is a sign out in front of his scores saying Do Not Enter. I think I have another Godowsky score here titled "Meditation" but it doesn't move me at all. Well, I at least found one, "Devotion", that I could play! Thanks for listening and you kind words. :)

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:33 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
It's as if there is a sign out in front of his scores saying Do Not Enter

I like that! :)

p.s. check your pm's. :wink: :)

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:55 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Yup, found the PM and replied. Thanks. :)

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:08 am 
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Hey David,

I just got back to PS and was thankfully welcomed by this beautiful recording of a beautiful piece. I just found it on IMSLP. I'm not particularly familiar with Godowsky's works, but this does ring my chimes. I love the "ultra-romantic", as you call it, piano works (I sometimes want to say "hyper-romantic"). There were a few moments that I felt that the piece was about to go into Rachmaninov (2nd Piano Concerto, I believe, but don't quote me on that). Have you ever done the Dohnanyi second rhapsody? I love that also.

Your interpretation "con passione" is fitting regardless of his instructions. Of course pianists of that time often said "composer's instructions be damned, I vill play it as I feel it." To be honest, there were a couple of spots where I thought that you could have gone even further with the passion (I think that it was around mm 8 - 12, particularly the second time). this area just seems to say "let it ALL out". That aside, I loved it.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:03 am 
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Hi Scott,

Glad to see you back here at Piano Society!

I'm glad you enjoyed hearing the Godowsky poem. Yes, the con passione approach made all the sense in the world to me. And all the listeners really liked hearing it that way too. Philosophically, I believe that making those decisions is an essential part of interpretation--as long as the approach is still stylistically in good taste. In that way both the composer and the pianist co-create the sound of the music. Anyway, for me the Late Romantic style provides endless enjoyment in practicing and recording its music.

I believe that I have the score for Dohnanyi's 2nd Rhapsody but have never played it. I can say that I've played his Rhapsody, Op. 11, No. 3 in C which is probably the best known in the set of four. I played that one back in 1963! The piece, in the middle part, has some difficult scalar figurations in double notes as I recall. Also probably my chosen tempo at the time wasn't up to par. Probably I wouldn't want to tangle with that one again ha-ha!. Those rhapsodies are quite virtuosic and demanding.

Yes, I probably should have played that spot you mention in the repeat with even more passion. Plus it would have provided more differentiation from the playing in the first appearance.

Thanks for listening and commenting. And again, welcome back!

David

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