No 02: Pastell
No 07: Profil 'Chopin'
No 14: Französisch
No 22: Wienerisch
No 24: Portrait—Joh. Str.
Godowsky intended the twenty-four Walzermasken to be played as a cycle (Portrait, the final number, quotes the opening theme of Karnaval) and, indeed, he gave the first public performance as such at the Bechstein Hall, London, on 19 March 1912. But he did not oppose the playing of selected pieces, as here. The publication of twelve of the pieces as separate numbers supports this. Pastell (No 2 in A major) is the portrait of Schubert referred to above; Französisch (No 14 in D major) and Wienerisch (No 22 in F major) are short, delightful salon waltzes with similar textures to Godowsky’s Strauss waltz paraphrases; Portrait—Joh. Str. (No 24 in G flat major) is by far the longest of the set and, fittingly, a homage to the Waltz King.
Among the first tasks Godowsky set himself on his return to America was to arrange Französisch and Wienerisch for inclusion in his Twelve Impressions for violin and piano, respectively as Valse in D (No 8) and Viennese (No 12)—both were recorded by Heifetz, the latter also by Kreisler.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2008