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The Great Arthur Rubinstein Revisited

For decades people who were fortunate enough to see and hear esteemed pianist Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982) perform left concert halls spellbound. Biographer and music historian Sachs first heard Rubinstein play in 1959, but it was not until 1986 that he seriously considered writing a biography of Rubinstein. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Godowsky - The Star Spangled Banner  (Read 280 times)
andhow04
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« on: July 25, 2017, 12:14:10 AM »

Godowsky first set part of the US national anthem in 'Requiem:1914-1918,' a short piece (he called a threnody) from Triakontameron, or Thirty Pieces in Triple Meter. He only set the last verse, coming as a surprise major-key coda to a minor-key funeral march: 'O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave...'
sometime later, not sure when, he made a complete concert version of the anthem. I'm not aware of any other composer who made such a terrific concert version of their country's, adopted or otherwise, national anthem. you can find versions of this by Rachmaninoff and Hofmann, but Godowsky by far is the most involved and personal. i love this and have played it more than three dozen times in concert - in my experience, professional pianists hate it and audiences love it. i don't care either way, because i love it!
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dogperson
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 06:10:20 AM »

Thanks so much for posting-- I'm with you; I love this version
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furtwaengler
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 05:34:52 AM »

I'm a pianist and I love it. Absolutely. In fact I've always thought of Godowsky as a pianist's pianist, so it's strange that pianists would dislike it. But again may a say this is a treasure. Godowsky is one of my favorite composers to study and it's great to discover this exists.
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themeandvariation
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 04:14:37 PM »

I think your playing is wonderful, but i don't find much innovation in Godowsky's treatment - a few interesting chords, and the deep bass (not a big leap to 'figure in').
As far as anthems go (though, perhaps not exactly nat'l) i love the Horowitz' arrangement of 'stars and stripes' - (being his offering at the advent of his citizenship)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3i1mVkqI34



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4'33"
mjames
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 04:30:05 PM »

....do americans really stand up whenever they hear someone play the national anthem? lmao

Nice playing as usual buddy
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Pianism is my religion, Bach is my God, and Chopin's my prophet.
clouseau
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 09:14:15 PM »

Very nice, big sound!

and Godowsky's harmonic tweaking is adorable! Though it is supposed to be a "serious" piece invoking patriotic feelings, i find Godowskys approach quite humorous at some points (especially the contrapuntal melodies)
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"What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune." - Rameau
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