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Alexander Goedicke (Composer, Arranger)

Born: March 4, 1877 (or February 20, 1877) - Moscow, Russia
Died: July 9, 1957 - Moscow, Russia

Alexander Fyodorovich [Fjodorowitsch] Goedicke [also: (auch: Gedike, Gödike, Goedike or Gödicke; Russian: Александр Фёдорович Гедике] was a Russian composer, pianist, organist and pedagogue of German descent. He studied with Safonov and G. Pabst (piano) and Arensky (composition) at the Moscow Conservatory, graduating in 1898.

Alexander Goedicke pursued an unspectacular career on four fronts as composer, pianist, organist and teacher. His compositional efforts were rewarded when he won the Rubenstein Prize for Composition at the young age of 23.He was a professor at Moscow Conservatory from 1909.

Alexander Goedicke numbers among a sizeable group of fine Russian musicians who virtually disappeared from view in the Soviet age, displaying neither the rebellious nature to attract the attention of refuseniks or Westerners nor the mindless adherence to political diktats which might have attracted state patronage (and later, probably, infamy). His large output of symphonies, operas and chamber music (in addition to works for his own instruments) remains to be explored but, oddly, he is remembered (if at all) for his Concert Etude for trumpet, which enlivens the sparse concert repertoire of that instrument, and for some unusually skilful and attractive children's piano pieces.

It seems a bizarre paradox that a fine organist as Alexander Goedicke should lavish so much care and imagination on concert transcriptions for the piano. Contrary to Western myth, the church was not totally suppressed under the communist regime but it was, of course, stripped of its hitherto fonnidable political power. Consequently it lacked the wherewithal, the expertise and possibly the will to maintain its organs in a usable state of repair. It is conceivable that Goedicke turned to the piano in sheer frustration but more likely that these transcriptions were simply a labour of love. His ingenuity and pianistic resourcefulness suggest that he had closely studied the transcriptions of Ferruccio Busoni (the undisputed master in this field), and many of the devices of the Italian genius can be heard in Goedicke's scores - octave displacements, interlinked thumbs for middle voices, and a general concern to discover truly pianistic equivalents to the organ's many voices, together with an awareness of church acoustics.

Selected works

Virineya (1915); At the Crossing (1933); Jacquerie (1937); Macbeth (1944)

Piano Concerto (1900)
Konzertstück in D major for piano and orchestra Op. 11 (1900)
3 Symphonies (1903, 1905, 1922)
Concerto for Organ and chamber orchestra op. 35 (1927)
Organ Concerto (1929)
Horn Concerto (1929)
Trumpet Concerto in B flat minor Op. 41 (1930)
Concert Etude in G minor for trumpet Op. 49 (1948)
Violin Concerto (1951)

Piano Quintet
2 Piano Trios
String Quartet

Pedagogic pieces for piano

Source: Wikipedia Website; Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Liner notes to the CD 'Bach Piano Transcriptions 5: Goedicke, Kabalevsky, Catoire, Siloti', played by H. Milne (Hyperion)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2007); Aggelos Tsompanidis (Photo 01 - May 2010)

Alexander Goedicke: Short Biography | Piano Transcriptions: Works | Recordings | Other Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Alexander Goedicke (Wikipedia)



V. Uakovlev: Alexander Goedicke (Moscow, 1927)
K. Adzhemov: Alexander Goedicke (Moscow, 1960)

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Last update: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 14:40