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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67349
Recording details: May 2002
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 2003
Total duration: 16 minutes 20 seconds

'Brilliant and technically awesome … Philip Martin is never less than an extremely able and charming guide to this curious repertoire' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There is a poignant period flavour to this music, which Martin captures with the utmost sensibility' (The Daily Telegraph)

'It's impossible to listen to this disc and not beam with pleasure … real melodic charm, surprising harmonic progressions, and enough sensuality and humour to put a kick in the greyest of January days. The recorded sound is gorgeous' (The Times)

'Martin once again reveals his mastery of Gottschalk’s special brand of refined sensuality … for Gottschalk’s growing band of admirers, this is an essential purchase' (Fanfare, USA)

'Philip Martin has the technical resources to do [Gottschalk] justice with straight-faced ease' (The Irish Times)

'finely played and beautifully recorded' (Pianist)

'Volume 6 maintains the same impressive standards set in Philip Martin’s five previous Gottschalk releases on Hyperion … If you’ve been collecting this series, don’t stop now. A delectable disc' (

'Philip Lane is perfectly suited to Gottschalk's music and his interpretations are well nigh unsurpassable. The recording is firm and very realist with a touch of brittleness at the top. In sum, this is another gorgeous piano music collection from the underrated American composer' (

La favorita 'Grande fantaisie de concert', RO95 Op 68
1859; published in New York in 1871; after Donizetti
first performed on 12 June 1859

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The catalogue of Gottschalk’s compositions, lost and extant, lists a total of thirty-one fantasies on themes from operas by Bellini, Flotow, Gounod, Méhul, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Thomas, Wagner, Weber—and Donizetti. Though it is known that Gottschalk wrote a fantasy on the finale of Lucrezia Borgia, and variations on the aria ‘Spirto gentil’ (from La Favorita), the sole extant Donizetti arrangement is this, originally billed as a ‘grande fantaisie de concert’. After a lengthy declamatory maestoso opening, Gottschalk skips to Act 3 of the opera for his first theme (Alfonso’s aria ‘A tanto amor’). Some characteristically brilliant passagework in scintillating voyages to the top of the keyboard and back leads to a devilish repeated-note section derived from ‘Di già nella cappella’ (Act 3), thence to a treatment of the Act 1 soprano aria ‘Bei raggi lucenti’ and, later, a triplet figure based on Act 2’s ‘Giardani d’Alcazar’.

The La Favorita fantasy was given its first performance on 12 June 1859 in the tiny town of Basse-Terre on the southwest coast of the island of Guadaloupe. The piano must have been made of stern stuff to withstand the onslaught. The audience went wild. Just over a year later, Gottschalk made his debut as an opera conductor at the Teatro Principal in Matanzas, Cuba. The work? Donizetti’s Les Martyrs, followed two days later by Lucia di Lammermoor. There is a further (tenuous, though nonetheless interesting) link between Gottschalk and Donizetti. Long before Gottschalk toured with the thirteen-year-old Adelina Patti, her mother, the soprano Caterina Chiesa Barilli-Patti (d1870), had had a part written specially for her by the Italian composer.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2003

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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