The list is cronological with respect to date of recording.
I welcome any additions or corrections.
What a pity that Godowsky did not accept the proposal by record company Brunswick in 1928 to record the Passacaglia (refer Jeremy Nicholas' Godowsky biography
p. 135). Instead, we are left with a tantalising review by Abram Chasins (in his book Speaking of pianists, 1957) of the world premiere performance of that master
piece in Godowsky's New York apartment, where Godowsky played in the presence of some of his friends, including Josef Hofmann:
"And how he played! This was sheer enchantment, both the work itself and Godowsky's pianism. It had the cool, colorful clarity of a stained-glass window. Although
I was greatly moved and impressed by what I heard, Godowsky's effortless mastery made me unaware of the vastness of his pianistic feat that night. Years later I
realised it when one of the great virtuosos told me that he had worked on the "fiendish piece" for a year, several hours each day, and had finally had to give up the
unequal struggle. "It is impossible to master, " he said. I felt tactful that day and refrained from telling him with what devastating ease Godowsky had disposed of
it, making it seem like nothing at all."
|1987||August||Marc-André Hamelin||Musica Viva||MV 1026|| Hamelin performs on a Fazioli grand piano,
an interesting choice of piano at a time where
only a few hundred pianos of that particular
piano brand existed.
|1987||21 August||Rainer M. Klass||Danacord|| Unpublished
| Pianist Daniel Berman recorded for his own
interest the complete 1987 and 1988
"Schloss vor Husum" festival concerts.
Danacord has issued a selection of these
recordings from the first years of the festival
(DACOCD 299). However, the Passacaglia by
Klass is not included in the issued selection.
|1991||21-23 May||Rian de Waal||Hyperion||CDA66496|| Rian de Waal gave the work its second London
performance in April 1991, 63 years after Godowsky
gave the work its first public performance at
London's Queen's Hall in April 1928.
|1993||24 April||Janice Weber|| The Boston
| Live recording
Weber performed the work as early as 1983,
the first New York performance in forty years.
|1996||n/a||Carlo Grante||Altarus||AIR-CD-9094|| The performance follows Jorge Bolet's copy of
the score into which Godowsky had marked
|1997||n/a||Carlo Grante||Music & Arts||CD-984|
|1998||January||David Stanhope||Tall Poppies||TP135|| Stanhope performs on a Stuart & Sons
|1998||21-23 May||Ian Hobson||Zephyr||Z112-98|
|2000||n/a||"Michael Nanasakov"|| Nanasawa
|JNCD-1008|| Produced with computer and Yamaha discklavier
by Junichi Nanasawa.
Nanasawa names the virtual pianist Michael
|2001||22, 23 August||Marc-André Hamelin||Hyperion||CDA67300|
|2001||4, 5 October||Antti Siirala||Naxos||8.555997|| Siirala included the Passacaglia in one of
his recitals at the 2000 London International
Piano Competition where he won first price.
|2001||?||Michael Schäfer||Telos||TLS 052|
|2002||3, 4 December||Konstantin Scherbakov||Marco Polo||8.225187|
|2008||6 June||Artem Borissov||YouTube||n/a||Live recording|
One early performance of the Passacaglia deserves mentioning: Godowsky's son-in-law, David Saperton (who went on to record eleven Chopin-Godowsky studies, two Godowsky Symphonic Metamorphosis
(Die Fledermaus and Künstlerleben) and several other Godowsky works), performed the Passacaglia in February 1935 at the Astor Hotel, New York. The performance was part of a surprise party celebrating
Godowsky's 65th birthday; four hundred people participated including Josef Hofmann, Josef Lhevinne, Jascha Heifetz, Harold Bauer, George Gershwin and Albert Einstein. Other performers included the
young Shura Cherkassky, who played the Albeniz-Godowsky Tango (reference: Jeremy Nicholas' Godowsky biography).
Last update 12 October 2012.
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