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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67478
Recording details: December 2003
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2004
Total duration: 6 minutes 33 seconds

'Even the most devoted of Gottschalk's admirers will make some arresting discoveries among the less familiar works here … those who have enjoyed the series so far will want to add this disc to their collections, too' (International Record Review)

'Gottschalk is never abstruse or merely technical, but it is obvious from the elegance of his writing that he was a wonderful pianist. He is still underestimated, I think—as a composer, too. I can listen to his music for hours, and I don't feel that way about much piano music. The piano sound is simply wonderful—Hyperion manages to convey an individual instrument's personality in piano recordings' (Fanfare, USA)

Battle cry of freedom 'Caprice héroïque, grand caprice de concert', RO62 Op 55
1863/4; published in Chicago in 1865; alternative title: Le cri de délivrance; after G F Root

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Here is Gottschalk in the garbs of fierce Republican and virtuoso pianist. ‘Battle Cry of Freedom’, the work’s subtitle, is among Gottschalk’s more testing pieces and cast, for the most part, in the key of F sharp major. It is based on the American Civil War song by George Frederick Root (1820–1895), a friend of Gottschalk’s from his days in Paris. Root was famous for the words and music of such songs as The vacant chair, Just before the battle, Mother and Tramp, tramp, tramp—the boys are marching. But his biggest hit was Let’s rally round the flag, boys!, now known in American folklore as The Battle Cry of Freedom. It was penned in response to Lincoln’s first call for volunteers. Gottschalk’s treatment may have sprung from an impromptu performance during a dinner in New York with friends in March 1863. Having talked fervidly of his friend’s song (one ‘that would soon resound on the battlefield and sustain the army in the toughest fight’), he then sprang to the piano and played the tune with such gusto that one guest recalled: ‘I never heard anything like it, and never will again … The effect was earthquakian almost. [My fellow guests] were enthusiastic; and they were frantic. The uproar could have been heard a mile. Gottschalk was nearly killed with embraces.’

Le cri de délivrance was dedicated ‘à mon ami Geo. F. Root Esq.’ and was, with The Union, de rigueur at every Gottschalk recital during the course of the Civil War.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2004

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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