Hyperion Records

Danse des sylphes 'Caprice de concert', RO65 Op 86
composer
Op 31
arranger
? 1850/3; published in Mainz in 1877; after Godefroid; ed. N R Espadero as Op 86

Recordings
'Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 6' (CDA67349)
Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 6
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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)  
Details
Track 10 on CDA67349 [8'58] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 10 on CDS44451/8 CD6 [8'58] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Danse des sylphes 'Caprice de concert', RO65 Op 86
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The exact date of this brilliant and taxing piece is uncertain—either Paris 1850 or, more likely, New York 1855. In either case, Gottschalk never wrote it down and left it to his friend Espadero to issue the work posthumously in his own edition. Gottschalk was evidently taken by the music of the Belgian harpist Dieudonné Joseph Guillaume Félix Godefroid (1818–1897, whose brother Jules Joseph, 1811–1840, was also a noted harp player). Not only did he transcribe this popular harp solo (Danse des sylphes is Godefroid’s Op 31) but also Le Rêve (now lost), Godefroid’s Étude mélodique, Op 23, and La mélancolie, étude caractéristique, Op 24 (Gottschalk’s version appears as 167 in the RO catalogue, published in 1848 as ‘after F Godefroid’). The Caprice (in A flat) is a compendium of favourite Gottschalkian devices—scintillating runs at the top of the keyboard, passages for alternating hands, rapid repeated-note sections—a score to which Espadero adds liberal dashings of veloce e deciso and con impeto.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2003

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