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Murmures éoliens, RO176 Op 46
1858/9; published in New York in 1862

'Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 3' (CDA66915)
Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 3
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'Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDS44451/8)
Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music
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Track 8 on CDA66915 [8'53]
Track 8 on CDS44451/8 CD3 [8'53] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Murmures éoliens, RO176 Op 46
In his preface to the score, Gottschalk goes to some lengths to describe exactly how he expects the piece to be executed, doubtless reflecting many years of having heard his Aeolian murmurings disfigured and altered by enthusiastic amateurs unable to master the more demanding passages. ‘Play Murmures Eoliens as I have written it’, Gottschalk seems to imply, ‘or don’t bother to play it at all’. It proved to be one of his most requested works, a serene nocturne punctuated by a flashy cadenza which is prefaced by a page of octave trills progressing from pppp to fff.

In February 1862, just after Murmures Eoliens had been published, Gottschalk wrote in his journal:

My ill will toward those publishers who, when I stood in my most need of them, continued only to discourage me, increased with my success. Returned today to New York after an absence of six years, and in a position that I have conquered inch by inch, I avenged myself by refusing all those who approached me, one to offer five hundred, another a thousand dollars for only one piece. One publisher, the one who had first bought The Last Hope … offered me one thousand dollars for my Murmures Eoliens. The sum made me smile comparing it with the thirty dollars at which I had offered my pieces in vain some years before. It then was gratifying for me to give proof of my gratitude to General Hall, with whom my contract had expired. I sent to him Murmures Eoliens, Pastorella e cavaliere, Ojos criollos [see CD 1 for the latter] and many other pieces, asking him to fix the conditions of a new contract, which I was ready to sign.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 1997

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