The Martyr’s Song
finds Gottschalk at his most lachrymose, a production-line weepy with an insipid melody. The opening D flat major section gives way to a sturdier central B flat minor (as in Chant de Guerre
) before the home key returns with both hands at the octave and marked pp celeste. Five bars before the end (ppp morendo) we encounter a lovely Gottschalkism: allontanandosi (sic), presumably an emphatic allentando.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2005