Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
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: 7 minutes 0 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)

El cocoyé 'Grand caprice cubain de bravura', RO57 Op 80
1854; published in Boston in 1873

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Deflated by his reception in Boston and the financial disaster of his first American tour, Gottschalk set sail for Cuba in February 1854 (see the notes for Souvenir de Cuba and La Gitanella in CD 4). Within a few days he had befriended three fellow pianists—the reclusive Nicolás Espadero, and two erstwhile pupils of Kalkbrenner, Pablo Desvernine (1823–1910), who would become one of Edward MacDowell’s early teachers, and Fernando Aristi (1828– 1888). Gottschalk recruited Aristi and Desvernine together with violinist Silvano Boudet (1828–63), the guitarist José Prudencio Mungol and a soprano identified only as ‘Señorita D.F. de L’ to participate in his first concert in Havana on 13 March 1854. El Cocoyé was composed expressly for the occasion. It drove the audience wild and brought Gottschalk a standing ovation and endless curtain calls. The cultured Cubans had never heard anything like it. No wonder they called him ‘the Paganini of the piano’.

El Cocoyé is a virtual vade mecum of Gottschalk’s unique compositional armoury, a synthesis of a popular local tune (a favourite device), the European classical discipline and Afro-Cuban rhythms. The writing is Lisztian in its virtuosity with Gottschalk’s customary passages of flashy rhetoric, rapid repeated notes, idiosyncratic harmonies and much time spent at the top of the keyboard. The melody of El Cocoyé had its origins in the Afro-Cuban carnivals of Santiago de Cuba in the early years of the nineteenth century. By the 1850s it was a popular dance number and several composers had arranged it for piano, among them Desvernine. Doubtless this was how Gottschalk was introduced to the tune. The work, cast in the key of F sharp major with a central section in E flat minor, is dedicated to a certain Monsieur Alphonse Quesada.

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)  
   English   Français   Deutsch