Hyperion Records

Pastorella e cavalliere, RO190 Op 32
1859; published in New York in 1862; alternative titles: Bergère et cavalier; The young shepherdess and the knight; The gay shepherdess and the knight

'Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 8' (CDA67536)
Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 8
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA67536  Archive Service; also available on CDS44451/8  
'Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDS44451/8)
Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music
Buy by post £38.50 CDS44451/8  8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Track 6 on CDA67536 [7'42] Archive Service; also available on CDS44451/8
Track 6 on CDS44451/8 CD8 [7'42] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Pastorella e cavalliere, RO190 Op 32
The sheet music cover pairs ‘No 1: Murmures Eoliens’ (see CD 3) with ‘No 2: Pastorella e Cavalliere’ (‘The Young Shepherdess and the Knight’), for no apparent reason. Pastorella is a genre piece in which Gottschalk takes a simple story and translates it into pianistic language. ‘A gallant knight, in search of adventures, meets on his way a young village maiden’, runs the legend as printed in the score. ‘Fascinated by her budding charms and simple grace, he offers her his troth. Bachelette hears him with cruel indifference, smiles at his passion and continues to sing her rustic song. The Knight wages his suit with renewed ardour, but neither vows of love nor promises of fortune can conquer the scruples of the beauty, whose joyous song is heard by the Noble long after he has left the scene, and with sad and confused bearing has once more turned his palfry in the direction of the Tournament.’

In addition, Gottschalk provides a note of encouragement to would-be performers to ‘endeavour to emphasize the iterated design of the accompaniment, so as to invariably convey to the listener the idea of […] 34 time’, though in some places ‘it would seem to indicate 68 time’. The effect he is seeking is the antagonism of the two conflicting rhythms, one of which is subordinate to the other. ‘If it be performed in an intelligent manner’, writes Gottschalk, ‘the auditor should be enabled to follow all the phases, and the entire action of the little sentimental drama […].’

The music was written in August 1859 while the composer was living in Matouba, Guadeloupe. It is dedicated to his friend the French pianist and composer Émile Prudent (1817–1863). The work also appears in expanded form with a spoken text by another friend, the critic Henry C Watson (RO191, New York, 1865).

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2005

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