In addition, Gottschalk provides a note of encouragement to would-be performers to ‘endeavour to emphasize the iterated design of the accompaniment, so as to invariably convey to the listener the idea of […] 34 time’, though in some places ‘it would seem to indicate 68 time’. The effect he is seeking is the antagonism of the two conflicting rhythms, one of which is subordinate to the other. ‘If it be performed in an intelligent manner’, writes Gottschalk, ‘the auditor should be enabled to follow all the phases, and the entire action of the little sentimental drama […].’
The music was written in August 1859 while the composer was living in Matouba, Guadeloupe. It is dedicated to his friend the French pianist and composer Émile Prudent (1817–1863). The work also appears in expanded form with a spoken text by another friend, the critic Henry C Watson (RO191, New York, 1865).
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2005
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