Hyperion Records

Réponds-moi 'Danse cubaine, caprice brillant', RO226 Op 50
composer
1859; published in Havana in 1861; alternative title: Dí que sí; piano four hands as RO225
arranger
circa 1868; solo piano arrangement

Recordings
'Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 5' (CDA67248)
Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 5
MP3 £4.00FLAC £4.00ALAC £4.00Buy by post £10.50 CDA67248  Download currently discounted
'Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDS44451/8)
Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £38.50 CDS44451/8  8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Track 4 on CDA67248 [3'17]
Track 4 on CDS44451/8 CD5 [3'17] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Réponds-moi 'Danse cubaine, caprice brillant', RO226 Op 50
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For background on Gottschalk’s ‘Cuban dances’ see the CD 3 of this series and the notes for O ma charmante, épargnez-moi!. This, Ojos criollos, Souvenir de la Havane (both on CD 1), El Cocoyé and Réponds-moi are but five examples of Gottschalk’s use of Cuban themes and the habanera rhythm, some time before Bizet and Saint-Saëns were attracted to them. In a sense, these and other pieces such as the final movement of Gottschalk’s Symphony No 1 ‘La Nuit des tropiques’ are successors to his four Louisiana pieces of 1849–51—Le Mancenillier, Le Bananier (both CD 1), La Savane (CD 2) and Bamboula (CD 3) which draw on Creole melodies and rhythms. If anything defines the quintessential Gottschalk, it is the Creole and Cuban works. Réponds-moi might well be mistaken for something by Scott Joplin (there are even a couple of Gershwinesque moments, too), though the treacherous repeated demisemiquavers of the final pages could not.

The work was originally written for four hands (RO225, New York, 1864) and was composed during a rich period of creativity when Gottschalk was living in the mountain village of Matouba in Guadaloupe during the summer of 1859. It is dedicated to the widow of the piano manufacturer Jonas Chickering (1798–1853) who had helped to save the young artist’s career during a rocky patch in 1853. In gratitude, Gottschalk switched from Pleyel and Érard (his preferred Parisian instruments) to Chickering, remaining the firm’s loyal champion for the remainder of his career.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001

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