Gottschalk frequently drew on poetry for inspiration—Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset, Charles-Hubert Millevoye were among his favourites—and he travelled with a copy of Alphonse-Marie-Louis de Lamartine’s Méditations poétiques
in his bag. This nocturne, L’Isolement
, with its outer murmurando sections in F sharp minor framing a beautiful Chopinesque melody in the tonic major, was inspired by Lamartine. The piece was given its first performance in the same concert as Sospiro
and was one of those played at the Requiem Mass held in St Stephen’s Church, New York, when Gottschalk’s body was returned to the United States ten months after his death. The score was published posthumously.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001