Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 5

Gottschalk: Piano Music, Vol. 5

Philip Martin (piano)


This is the fifth disc in our ongoing Gottschalk series and the success of the project means that what we originally expected to be a few highlights discs seems likely to become the first complete recording of the composer's output for solo piano. We are now well past the half-way point and another 2-3 CDs should encompass the project.

All Gottschalk's usual hallmarks are here—Caribbean rhythms, tear-jerking melodies, salon polkas, national melodies—wrapped up in the most elegant 19th-century virtuoso pianism. The repertoire includes several of the composer's best known pieces such as the hugely virtuosic 'Tremolo' (the last piece Gottschalk ever played as he collapsed during a performance of it and died shortly after of a ruptured appendix) or the Cuban inspired 'El Cocoyé', all played in his usual idiomatic style by Philip Martin, by critical consent the foremost exponent of Gottschalk playing today.

All of the music on this album is also available as part of the specially priced box set Gottschalk: The Complete Solo Piano Music: ‘There are some fine Gottschalk albums out there, but Martin’s is the only complete survey of the composer’s works for solo piano. Not only that, he has a unique affinity for this music that shines through in every bar … Martin reminds us just how consistently assured and interesting Gottschalk’s keyboard writing really is. Indeed, that’s why I found it so easy to listen to all 109 tracks in a single day. Sensitively planned and lovingly played, this set contains some of the most varied and enchanting piano sounds imaginable … a must-buy for pianophiles and LMG fans alike’ (MusicWeb International).

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