Gottschalk had to leave California in a hurry in September 1865—a little matter of indiscreet behaviour with some young ladies from Mrs Blake’s Oakland Female College in San Francisco. He decided to head for South America (in fact, he would never see North America again) and made for Lima, Peru, arriving in the midst of a civil war. Unable to find a hotel, he found lodgings with a French pharmacist named Ernest Dupreyon. This charming waltz (in F major, its central section in D flat major) was written in honour of his hostess, Madame Marguerite Dupreyon. The music, which, had it had Chopin’s name attached to it, would no doubt now be part of the regular piano repertoire, is amusingly at odds with the atmosphere in which it was composed: as Gottschalk makes vividly clear in Notes of a Pianist
he and the Dupreyons were lucky to escape with their lives amid the violence and bloodshed that surrounded the apothecary’s house during his stay.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001