Lying in the south of Belgium, the picturesque Ardennes region is one of deep valleys, high forests, historic cities and medieval castles. Perhaps Gottschalk visited there, but the music’s title as stated in some catalogues is not Souvenir des Ardennes
, but simply Ardennes Mazurka
. It is a relatively simple and effective piece that combines Chopin’s Paris-refined Polish dance with the piquancy of Louis Moreau’s harmonies. The key is A major with a brief section in D major, its delicate charm ruptured by the final unexpected dynamic markings.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2004