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Topic: Some questions regarding Godowsky's Java Suite  (Read 3096 times)

Offline azbroolah

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Some questions regarding Godowsky's Java Suite
on: January 02, 2017, 01:23:21 AM
I'm looking to learn a couple of the parts of the Java Suite by Leopold Godowsky (
&) but I'm a little apprehensive as to choosing a piece to start with. I really enjoy Chattering Monkeys, Bromo Volcano, Gardens of Buitenzorg, In the Streets of Old Batavia, In the Kraton, and Court Pageant in Solo. Thus far I have only done any serious readings of No. 7, the Bromo Volcano, and balking a little bit at the difficulty (though it's pianistic enough that I think I could work through it eventually, it's quite challenging). Would any of the other parts I mentioned perhaps be a better starting point?

Offline pianoworthy

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Re: Some questions regarding Godowsky's Java Suite
Reply #1 on: January 22, 2017, 09:33:47 PM
I've learned Gamelan, Wayang-Purwa Puppet Shadow Plays, currently working on The Gardens of Buitenzorg. They honestly aren't as difficult as I expected, mainly due to Godowskys ability to write for the hands; Everything feels so natural, there's not a single overly awkward hand pattern. The biggest problem I have are interpretive difficulties, there's a lot of polyphony and it's easy for everything to get overly muddled.  Esther Budiardjo definitely makes that part sound easy in her recordings.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Some questions regarding Godowsky's Java Suite
Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 02:42:00 AM
There are quite a few difficulties with Godowsky especially in the ingenious fingering (which you won't find in many other pieces and should avoid trying to substitute) and the articulation and phrasing of all the voice layers. With his denser works it may be easy to get all the notes right but sound like a blurred mess. There is no such thing as a best starting point, if you are capable to study the Java Suite you shouldn't use them as experience to learn each other. There is a whole lot of easier works from Godowsky to get accustomed to his layering style.

I found I drew most technique from Czerny, Cramer, Chopin and Scriabin to understand Godowsky.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."

Offline indianajo

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Re: Some questions regarding Godowsky's Java Suite
Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 08:10:53 AM
Oh, wow!
Just watching that score fly by 8 bars at a time while somebody plays that music which is waay too hard for me is an experience.
Medtnaculus is to be commended for synchonizing the appearance of the sheet music while the music played.  That is an entirely new experience. 
The worst part I saw was a six against five couple of quarter notes.  Besides all the above and below the staff "ledger line" notes that require a lot of away from home positioning. 
Thanks for pointing that link out. 
I don't think I'll add this to my "in future" play list, though.  Forty more years would be too short. 
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