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Hyperion Records

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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: 7 minutes 12 seconds

Polonia 'Grand caprice de concert', RO210 Op 35
1859; published in New York in 1861; published in Mainz in 1862 as Op 43

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
For some time in 1859 (no one is quite sure exactly how long), Gottschalk lived at a remote mountainous spot called Matouba on the island of Guadeloupe. ‘Perched upon the edge of the crater, on the very top of the mountain, my cabin overlooked the whole country. The rock on which it was built hung over a precipice whose depths were concealed by cacti, convolvuluses, and bamboos,’ he recalled for the Atlantic Monthly in 1865. His only companions were ‘an antediluvian Negro, one-armed and stammering’ who cooked, and a mulatto named Firmin Moras who believed the Pope was his brother and the Emperor of the French his cousin, and whose mental recovery became Gottschalk’s personal cause. (He was successful and Moras became his paid valet and factotum, remaining with him until Gottschalk’s death.) ‘Every evening,’ wrote Gottschalk, ‘I moved my piano out upon the terrace, and there, in view of the most beautiful scenery in the world … I played for myself alone.’

It was here that he composed Réponds-moi, La Marche des Gibaros, Columbia (both on CD 1) and Polonia. Despite its promising title, Polonia is perhaps one of Gottschalk’s least distinguished pieces—a meretricious imitation of Chopin without the taste and inspiration.

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)  
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