Saturday, March 2, 2013

Célèbre Tarantelle

Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829–1869) was among the first American composers and performers to gain international recognition. Many contemporary musicians and concertgoers question the musical integrity of his composition, but few doubt the brilliance of his technique and the emotional effect of his playing. A highly gifted piano virtuoso, Gottschalk adopted many mannerisms of Franz Liszt and was highly acclaimed in Europe, South America, and the United States before Lincoln was elected President. During most of the American Civil War, he lived with his mother and younger brothers and sisters in Paris, where his home became a mecca for the musicians, writers, and authors of the time. Célèbre Tarantelle for Piano and Orchestra (arranged for piano and concert band by Sebastian Anthony Birch) is a lively, energetic Italian dance in 6/8 time, and features fast and furious galloping passages encompassing the piano’s uniquely wide range. (Source: Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire and JRO.)

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