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Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion"

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Rachfan, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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.
     
  3. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    BTW David - Did you not want to post that Glazunov prelude you uploaded ? It is also a good performance.
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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.
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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.
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    Nope, it was something more banal than that.
     
  11. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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.
     
  12. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Godowsky, Poem No. 1, "Devotion:

    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
     
  13. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    David,

    Your performance of this piece is gorgeous.

    Thanks for sharing,
    -Kaila
     
  14. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  15. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  16. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  17. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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!
     
  18. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I like that! :)

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

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

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

    David
     

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