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Hyperion Records

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The Monkeys by Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, USA / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67248
Recording details: January 2001
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Ken Blair
Release date: September 2001
Total duration: 8 minutes 27 seconds

‘More glowing Gottschalk from Martin … a real enchantment from start to finish. This series is another immaculate Hyperion production [and] nobody is better qualified than Philip Martin to play it all for us’ (Gramophone)

'Go for it!' (Fanfare, USA)

'This disc is a constant delight' (Piano, Germany)

Bataille 'Étude de concert', RO25 Op 64
composer
? 1867/8; published in New York in 1870 as Op 63; published in Mainz in 1871

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
For two years, from May 1866, Gottschalk spent his time shuttling between Argentina and Uruguay. It was a dangerous time to be in South America when every republic except Chile was in a permanent state of political unrest. Gottschalk spent the whole of January 1868 in the then small rural town of Las Conchas on the El Tigre River, northwest of Buenos Aires. Cholera and leprosy were rife and the pianist records the death of a priest in a neighbouring village whose body was left to rot until a gaucho lassoed the body and dragged it out of the town where vultures consumed the remains. Gottschalk suffered from boils under the arms and on the thighs, and developed a tumour under one armpit.

It was during this sojourn that he managed somehow to get round to writing down several earlier compositions, of which Bataille is one. Its tranquil opening theme (E flat major) is reminiscent of a Stephen Foster ballad (on its final return, Gottschalk offers a decorative ossia) leading to an ardito (‘bold’) galop. Gottschalk on auto-pilot it may be, but the final pages are demanding enough with the composer’s trademark huge rhythmic leaps in the left hand and the right hand way above the stave. (Not to be confused with the earlier La Bataille de Carabovo [1859, but now lost] intended as a victory march for Gottschalk’s friend the Venezuelan General Páez, ‘thrice liberator of the Spanish Americas’.)

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001

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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