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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67536
Recording details: December 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2005
Total duration: 7 minutes 42 seconds

'Quite early in the 14-year period that covers these eight volumes the Dublin-born pianist matured into becoming the pre-eminent Gottschalk interpreter. He understands exactly his stylistic range, from the mellifluous Italianate melody of the salon to sheer virtuosity, but without any exaggeration' (Gramophone)

'These are sympathetic performances, glowingly recorded' (BBC Music Magazine)

'another neglected area of the 19th-century repertoire has been thoroughly explored and superbly championed by Martin' (The Guardian)

'Effective performance of this music requires striking a series of delicate balances: between the learned and the popular, between the progressive and the traditional, between the sensual and the self-conscious. And if you've been following this series, you'll know that no current Gottschalkian catches these special ambiguities more consistently than Philip Martin' (International Record Review)

'A beautifully produced disc that is impossible to play without smiling' (The Times)

'This is one of the great piano recordings of recent years. Not since the exquisitely chiseled, delicately nuanced playing of such past greats as Wilhelm Kempff, Stefan Askenase, and Walter Gieseking have I heard anything so hypnotically well performed. This release leaves no doubt that Martin is one of today's finest keyboard artists' (Fanfare, USA)

'Martin plays every piece with such conviction that value judgements on this music's qualities seem almost churlish … the recording itself is of the very highest standards with superb presence, as we expect from Hyperion' (International Piano)

Pastorella e cavalliere, RO190 Op 32
1859; published in New York in 1862; alternative titles: Bergère et cavalier; The young shepherdess and the knight; The gay shepherdess and the knight

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The sheet music cover pairs ‘No 1: Murmures Eoliens’ (see CD 3) with ‘No 2: Pastorella e Cavalliere’ (‘The Young Shepherdess and the Knight’), for no apparent reason. Pastorella is a genre piece in which Gottschalk takes a simple story and translates it into pianistic language. ‘A gallant knight, in search of adventures, meets on his way a young village maiden’, runs the legend as printed in the score. ‘Fascinated by her budding charms and simple grace, he offers her his troth. Bachelette hears him with cruel indifference, smiles at his passion and continues to sing her rustic song. The Knight wages his suit with renewed ardour, but neither vows of love nor promises of fortune can conquer the scruples of the beauty, whose joyous song is heard by the Noble long after he has left the scene, and with sad and confused bearing has once more turned his palfry in the direction of the Tournament.’

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

Other albums featuring this work
'Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDS44451/8)
Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £38.50 CDS44451/8  8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
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