Leopold Godowsky: Studies on the Chopin Études; first comprehensive recording. Carlo Grante: Piano. Disc 1 (73:73); Disc 2 (74:60) UPC# 0-17685-10932-4. DDD.

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Reviewing Grante's earlier recording (1993, on Altarus) of the Chopin/Godowsky Études, Gramophone said, "Few pianists would or could take on this assignment. The difficulties are outlandish and immense, yet Carlo Grante's surpassing ease and aristocratic musicianship remain unruffled and superb... These records seem ripe for selection among the most outstanding of the year." The periodical Classical Piano hailed Grante as "One of the two main pianistic discoveries of 1993..."; while CD Review said in 1994 "He copes with the unspeakably demanding technical requirements of Godowsky's writing as if its difficulties didn't exist-as for him they obviously don't." And Fanfare called Grante in 1994, "A pianistic superman... and certainly, an artist one is avid to become more acquainted with."

Here is what reviewers have to say about the first three volumes of Carlo Grante's Godowsky's recordings:

CD-984(1) "In the seventeen-minute-long 1928 Passacaglia, a massive set of variations on the opening theme of Schubert's Unfinished, I particularly appreciated the stormy manner in which Grante treated the variation that so much resembles Der Erlkonig." -Igor Kipnis, Fi Magazine

CD-1039(1) "Given the high performances standards and abundant listening pleasures found in Grante's Music & Arts volumes, the entire remainder of this series is eagerly awaited." -Steve Holtje, CDNOW

CD-1046(1) "...Leopold Godowsky's liberal adaptations of three Bach Cello Suites retool the originals in the image of hyper-romantic pianism. Harmonies implied by Bach are filled out and elaborated, with new counterpoints and sundry inner voices popping up like rabbits out of a magician's hat. Climaxes get reinforced with booming chords or octave doublings, emerging from the bowels of the keyboard. At times the music's dance origins threaten to buckle under Godowsky's garish filigree. Carlo Grante's light touch and digital deftness, however, keep the textures airborne and alive. He occasionally fidgets with rubato in a way that throws rhythmic definition askew, but he always makes the piano writing sound offhandedly easy. Excellent booklet notes make this release even more enticing." -Jed Distler,


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