As noted in CD 4 of this series (Pensée poétique
), Gottschalk spent the whole of January 1868 in the then desolate little town of Las Conchas, some thirty kilometres north of Buenos Aires. Cholera and leprosy surrounded him and he himself suffered from various boils and a tumour on his arms and thighs. Dernier amour
was, however improbably, penned during this time. Based on a beguilingly languorous tango-like theme, the last seven of its ten pages are devoted to an exacting rapid repeated-note decoration of the melody marked piano throughout its course: an étude that mimics a musical box. The piece is dedicated ‘à mon ami Charles G Pond de New York’.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2005