PER CHIU VUOL LEGGERE E, SOPRATTUTTO, SA L’INGLESE!
chiara: per quel poco che ho potuto capire e sottolineato Leopold Godowsky ha una biografia così curiosa da richiedere- d’obbligo- un film. E’ pena non contare nulla, vorrei dirlo a qualche regista.
Caricato da Beckmesser2 in data 07/lug/2011
(This performance of Liszt’s La Campanella was recorded in April of 1913 during Godowky’s first recording session.)
Leopold Godowsky was born on February 13 1870 in Lithuania. As a young child he was first encouraged to study the violin but even though he became proficient on that instrument, his attraction to the piano became too strong to ignore. His first composition, a minuet, was composed at age five. Godowsky writes, “The middle section was a perfect canon. This is noteworthy because up to that time I had never heard of a canon. I used this canon in another composition twenty three years later.’
At age nine, Godowsky gave his first public performance in Wilno. This was subsequently followed by his first tour as a piano wunderkind. By age 13, Godowsky’s growing fame attracted the attention of a banker who arranged for the young pianist to enter the Berlin High School of Music. After passing the entrance examinations, he studied with Ernest Rudolf. Evidently, Godowsky did not feel that the lessons he was receiving from Rudolf were important enough to keep him away from his family. After only three months , he left the Berlin High School of Music.
In November of 1884, Godowsky,his mother and a family friend, arrived in America. He made his debut in Boston on December 7th and made several appearances in New York the following year.
In 1886 at age 16, Godowsky made the acquaintance of the Saxes, a wealthy New York family. (He later married Leon Saxe’s daughter, Frieda) In July of 1886, with the patronage of Leon Saxe, Godowsky (accompanied by his benefactor), set sail for Europe with the intent of studying with Liszt at Weimar. However, Liszt died on July 31 shortly after Godowsky’s and Saxe’s arrival in France. Undeterred, Leon Saxe took his protégé to Saint-Saens who was so impressed by the playing of the young genius that he offered to hear Godowsky at his (Godowky’s) convenience. Saint-Saens had lost his two sons in 1878, both having died within six weeks of each other. According to some writers, Saint- Saens seemed to have believed that Providence had sent Godowsky to replace his own two sons. Godowsky writes,” He wished to adopt me, but with the proviso that I take his own name; this I refused to do and it made him very angry.”
For the next four years, Godowsky remained in France playing mostly for the aristocracy in their homes in Paris and London. After the death of Leo Saxe in 1890, Godowsky returned to America. April of the following year (1891) was an important month for the 21 year old pianist. On the 24th, he became one of the first pianists to give a recital in the newly opened Carnegie Hall, married Frieda Saxe on the 30th and became an American citizen on the next day.
On June 17 of 1930, Godowsky, while recording the Chopin Scherzo’s for English Columbia, suffered a stroke that ended his career as a performing pianist. However, the stroke was not so severe as to make playing the piano impossible for Godowsky. He was still able to play for friends and colleagues at home. There is a 1935 home recording of Godowsky playing “The Gardens of Buitenzorg” from his Java Suite.
Leopold Godowsky died at the age of 68 on November 21, 1938 in New York.