Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Exotic Landscape (1910) by Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
Track(s) taken from CDA67118
Recording details: May 1999
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: February 2000
Total duration: 5 minutes 58 seconds

'Immaculately delivered, recorded and presented in every way … every track is a delight. A joy to listen to' (Gramophone)

'Gottschalk's elegant sensuality has surely had its most gracious advocate in Philip Martin … this is Gottschalk playing at its most refined.' (International Record Review)

'Played with refinement and elegance' (Classic CD)

'The shining brilliance of Gottschalk is superbly captured by Martin’s wonderful pianism. This musician’s personality, intelligent, technically transparent, and subtly colored, matches those traits in Gottschalk with unerring sympathy. I can only join the chorus of critical praise for previous instalments in this series' (Fanfare, USA)

'Maintains the high standards of playing and recording that we have come to expect' (Hi-Fi News)

Morte!! 'Lamentation', RO174 Op 60
? 1868; published in New York in 1869; alternative title: She is dead

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Without doubt, this piece qualifies as Gottschalk’s most familiar title with the least familiar music. It has rarely been recorded—and who has heard it in recital? Yet few who follow the piano do not know that Gottschalk wrote a piece called Morte!!. It is usually consigned to the Musical Sniggers Department by those who have never heard the work, along with The Maiden’s Prayer and The Robin’s Return. It is rather more interesting than these when played sensitively and ‘straight’ (as here). Composed towards the end of his life, Morte!! quickly became Gottschalk’s most popular work in South America, in the same lachrymose tradition of his The Dying Poet, The Dying Swan and his other great weepie The Last Hope. One contemporary report refers to ‘the vague terror it spills into one’s soul … shocking because of the profound inner turmoil it provokes’. He himself described it, not without pride, as ‘un succès de larmes, as several of my fair listeners wept at listening to that rather sad and disconsolate of my last effusions, which is my favourite now, and which I consider as being neither better nor worse than old Last Hope’. He dedicated it to his friend ‘Monsieur le Comte Jioannini, Minister of His Majesty the King of Italy’.

With its steady funereal beat and recurring bottom pedal Fs, Morte!! was the last complete work Gottschalk played in public (25 November 1869 in Rio de Janeiro). As he began the next piece, Tremolo, he collapsed over the keyboard and died in agony three weeks later from peritonitis following a ruptured appendix.

Ten months after his death, his body was interred in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery. Until it fell into disrepair, the inscription beneath read: ‘L. M. Gottschalk—Morte’, notwithstanding the translation of the Spanish word: ‘She is dead’.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2000

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)  
   English   Français   Deutsch