Listening blind to this Deuxième Ballade, one might reasonably guess its composer as Gottschalk. There is no doubt that Herz exerted a strong influence on the American boy wonder and the chromatic phrase immediately after the opening theme’s repeat is similar to passages in several of Gottschalk’s works. It is an altogether graceful confection with its cantabile espressivo melody (in B major) and its later runs of demisemiquavers requiring the most delicate touch and sensitive tonal discrimination. The cadenza is reminiscent of those in Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor, K397.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2008