The Tournament Galop
is a high-spirited circus galop ‘as played by Gottschalk at all his Concerts throughout the United States’. ‘Presto’ and ‘con bravura’ are the opening requests by the composer with many ‘con molto fuoco’, ‘Molto animato grandioso’ and ‘tutta la forza possible [sic]’ markings along the way. There are any number of similar end-of-recital galops from this period guaranteed to bring the house down, Liszt’s Grand galop chromatique
being, perhaps, the best known. But none bears a closer similarity to Gottschalk’s than Mazeppa, étude-galop de concert
, Op 21, by the obscure French pianist and composer Alfred Quidant (1815–1893). The key (E flat) is the same as the Tournament Galop
, the first four bars are exactly the same and, with the exception of one quaver, the first eight bars of Quidant’s second theme match Gottschalk’s third theme note for note. Plagiarism or just a coincidence?
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 1997