This is the second of the two pieces dedicated to Julian Fontana (see La Gitanella
). C sharp minor is the key, ‘andante malinconio’ the marking for this forlorn utterance in which Gottschalk’s high spirits and optimism have thoroughly deserted him. Replying on 4 July 1860 to a letter from Fontana he wrote: ‘Your thoughts on the inferior music and vulgar, prosaic style of most pianists are exactly the same ones I have myself felt for a long time without daring to express them. Chopin’s music has often made me cry while at the same time consoling me during the too frequent hours of melancholy experienced by artists who have the boundless misfortune of not having been born cobblers or molasses merchants’.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2000