Leopold Godowsky

Sonata in E minor

Leopold Godowsky, the legendary pianist, composer and pedagogue, can assuredly be dubbed The Undiscovered Gem of Lithuania. Although Godowsky is most often mentioned as a Russian, American or Polish musician, this phenomenal Jewish pianist was born in Žasliai, Lithuania. He occupies a special place in the history of piano art and is considered to be one of the best pianists of all time. Renowned for his piano miniatures and extraordinarily refined transcriptions and paraphrases, Godowsky wrote only two large-scale original works for piano, including a monumental five-movement Sonata in E minor. It is a work of special compositional competence, often associated with Rachmaninov and Medtner’s masterpieces of the sonata genre. Sonata in E minor is a magnificent late romanticist canvas, which the composer dedicated to his dear wife. Emotions, noble passion and lyricism of this opus attest to that. The work is of symphonic scope with polyphonic elements and contrasts characteristic of the composer’s compositional style. As a tribute to Godowsky on his 150th birth anniversary, Mūza Rubackytė, the prominent Lithuanian pianist and recipient of the Lithuanian National Prize, presents 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th movements of Sonata in E minor.

PUBLISHED: 2020-06-16