Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938) was a Polish-American-Lithuanian virtuoso pianist, composer, and teacher. His talent manifested itself very early, and by age five Godowsky was already composing and becoming proficient on both piano and violin. He gave his first concert at age nine, and toured throughout Lithuania and East Prussia. He was part of an influx of refugees, fleeing war and persecution in Europe, whose family originally emigrated to the United States in 1884.
In addition to a number of successful transcriptions to further the repertoire of his instrument, he also arranged numerous works for his friends Jascha Heifetz and Fritz Kreisler - adapting some of them for a duo combination violin and piano.
This work, Alt-Wien (Old Vienna) - here adapted by Gregg Nestor for violin and guitar - is a sweet and sentimental waltz, perhaps recalling the composers' European background and an imagined reminiscence of his European exile, living in a foreign land.