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Gottschalk: Piano Music

Cecile Licad

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Customer Reviews

Gottschalk's Got It!

This is some of the most delightful, and energizing, piano music ever written. Gottschalk's "signature" tune, Le Banjo, is utterly amazing to hear. How anyone could make a piano sound like a banjo is beyond me! Louis Moreau Gottschalk was of Jewish and White Haitian Creole heritage. His music has the flavor of the South and African/Creole influences. I like to think of it as ragtime's slightly gentrified cousin, married to 19th century parlor music. It's a trip to days gone by. And at this price, it's a bargain! NOTE: My five star rating is for the music. Not being much of a "techie" I have not attempted to assess the technical merits of the recording itself (although it sounds very robust on my iMac speakers). The pianist executes the music beautifully. IT TAKES A LOT OF FINGERS TO PLAY GOTTSCHALK AND LICAD'S GOT ALL OF THEM AND MORE!!

Good but uneven

I wouldn't recommend this album if your new to Gottschalks music, first buy either Phillip Martins Vol. 1 or a the performances by Eugene List. Miss Licad doesn't really seem to identify with the American and Latin American pieces very well, she gets many of the rhythms wrong and those are some of his most important pieces. However, I do think she's great at the Spanish pieces, especially La Jota, and Manchega as well as her thrilling performance of Tournament Galop. Other Gottschalk performers could never match her in these pieces and her playing often reminds me of Martha Argerich in her prime. So if you have other Gottschalk Albums I mentioned I highly recommend this Album.

Great music, but best look elsewhere

Miss Licad did not let this music "simmer" long enough before committing it to disc; in fact she could have corrected two obvious rhythmic errors simply by listening to recordings by other artists! In "Bamboula" she miscounts the opening flourish, interpreting the quarter rests after the low D flats as eighth rests, causing the next measure to enter a half-beat early EVERY TIME. In "La savane" she commits a more grievous rhythmic error, playing the first statement of the theme as if it were in 3/4 time, compressing the first two beats into one in every measure! This error is more exasperating when one realizes the simplicity of the rhythm in the printed score. This is not some complex polyrhythmic wash of notes. One is better off with the Michael Lewin recordings or the classic Eugene List readings, both offered here, and I bought individual tracks from these artists and deleted Miss Licad's inept ones from my iPod. Avoid this disc at all costs.

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Customer Ratings