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Apothéose 'Grande marche solennelle', RO8 Op 29
? 1856; published in New York in 1858

'Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 4' (CDA67118)
Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 4
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'Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDS44451/8)
Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music
Buy by post £38.50 CDS44451/8  8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Track 16 on CDA67118 [11'36]
Track 16 on CDS44451/8 CD4 [11'36] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Apothéose 'Grande marche solennelle', RO8 Op 29
‘This long and tedious work is one of the few in Gottschalk’s oeuvre to suffer from overly bland thematic material’ is the verdict of the composer’s biographer, S Frederick Starr. It is an opinion that is hard to dispute. With its imposing title and opening measures (‘grandioso largo maestoso’), Apothéose is a succession of heroic gestures—martellato tutta la forza, trionfale, con passione delirando, tumultuoso and similar requests, its central F sharp major section scored on three staves—but is full of sound and fury signifying very little. With elements of Schumann, Chopin and other Gottschalk works (one passage was to be recycled in his Grand Fantasy on The Brazilian National Hymn, 1869), Apothéose seems to have originally been a fragment from his Concerto in F (or F minor) (1853) which is now lost. Gottschalk dedicated the piece to King Leopold I of Belgium.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2000

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