Laurent Wagschal – Godowsky, the Art of Transcription

The legendary pianist Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938) left a huge catalogue boasting more than 400 pieces, more than half of which are transcriptions, arrangements or paraphrases for piano. As with Liszt, the original work is a pretext for inspiration, thoroughly, and very freely reworked. His devotion to the great composers of the past was immense, and he carried out his adaptations with considerable respect, taste and style, the final aim always remaining musical above all. Laurent Wagschal offers an eclectic glimpse of the art of transcription according to Godowsky, featuring some of his finest realisations, from Chopin Etudes to the American national anthem, by way of Saint-Saëns’ Swan and a few Lieder by Schubert.

Artist’s Biography

One of the most original pianists of his generation, Laurent Wagschal is recognised as a fervent interpreter of French music and ardent defender of its ill-known composers, as attests his discography, warmly greeted by the press (Télérama, Le Monde, Diapason, Classica, Pianiste Magazine…) and consisting of some thirty solo and chamber recordings devoted to Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Franck, Chausson, Debussy, Magnard, Dukas, Pierné, Gaubert, Schmitt, Emmanuel, Cras, Tomasi… He has also recorded with Nicolas Dautricourt Szymanowski’s complete music for violin and piano as well as Chausson’s Concert and Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto, accompanied by the Orchestre d’Auvergne conducted by Arie van Beek. He has been nominated for the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2011 in the category «Best Recording of the Year» for the integral of chamber music with winds of Saint-Saëns performed with the soloists of the Orchestre de Paris. Impassioned by chamber music, which he considers essential for his development, he performs, in particular, with the violinist Solenne Païdassi, the flute player Vincent Lucas, the Wind Quintet of the Orchestre de Paris… Laurent Wagschal regularly performs in prestigious halls in Paris (Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Auditorium du Musée d’Orsay, Radio-France), abroad (Auditorium National de Musique de Madrid, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Carnegie Hall à New York, Dongsoong Hall à Seoul, Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall), as well as in many festivals (la Folle Journée à Nantes, Midem de Cannes, Festival Chopin à Bagatelle, Festival Présences, Festival du Périgord Noir…). He has won several international awards and has been a soloist with the Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, the Orchestre Pasdeloup, the Orchestre de la Cité Universitaire de Paris, the Orchestre d’Auvergne, the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Classica Orchestra of Moscow.

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