MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             




Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Buy through MusicWeb for £13.99/15.50 postage paid World-wide.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Purchase button



Louis Moreau GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869)
Deuxième Banjo Op.82 (1853-54) [4:47]
Solitude Op.65 (1855) [4:06]
La Brise (c.1865) [4:01]
Souvenir de la Havane (1859-60) [6:01]
Le Chant du Martyr (c.1854) [6:15]
Manchega (c.1851-52) [3:42]
La Savane (1845) [6:20]
Union – Paraphrase de Concert (1864) [8:44]
Lambert Orkis (piano)
rec. Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, May 1982. ADD
BRIDGE 9206 [43:56]

Lambert Orkis recorded this Gottschalk selection – not quite forty-four minutes’ worth – back in 1982. Added novelty derives from the fact that he played an 1865 Chickering concert grand – an instrument that he notes had a very light action, oddly sized keys, small dampers and a "wet sound." At times in fact it comes close to the sound of a pianola but despite its parlous state before restoration it held up pretty well during the recording, a few squeaks apart.

Orkis strikes a welcome balance between Lisztian fireworks and pious sentiment. In fact two of the eight works chosen might almost exemplify this dichotomous side of the composer’s oeuvre – the finger gymnastics of Union and the weepy reflection of Le Chant du Martyr. Elsewhere we have ebullience and Chopinesque reverie served up with often captivating colour.

Deuxième Banjo followed Le Banjo, a big Gottschalk hit though its publication preceded the better-known work. Ostinati vie with bravura banjo impersonations to create an ornamental gumbo devoted to the stringed instrument of the title. The Chickering’s middle voicings are perhaps appropriately rather hoarse and suit the more down home moments very nicely. The Chopin inheritance of which Gottschalk was so conspicuously aware is explicit in the 1855 Solitude with its quiet gravity adding emotive ballast to Orkis’s programme. Not inappropriately it was played at the composer’s Requiem Mass in New York. Grandiosity and Chopinesque waltz rhythms drive the delightful La Brise written a few years before Gottschalk’s early death. The Chickering’s treble really glitters and the piece ends with a grandiose salon flourish.

The Chickering is most apt for the eventful voicings in something like Souvenir de la Havane and its bright, extrovert qualities are well realised here as well. Manchega is a left hand etude rich in Iberian-Hispanic verve and rhythmic vivacity. The Chickering’s more "upright" sonorities and occasional incipient out-of-tune propensities seem only to add to the ribald dynamism of the music making. La Savane reminds one melodically of Skip To My Lou but is actually based on an old Creole song, Lolotte. And that pile driving Union, with its paraphrases of the Star Spangled Banner, Yankee Doodle and Hail Columbia ends proceedings with dynamic figuration cut from the Abbé’s finest.

Short timing of course but a special set of circumstances rather prevailed for this recital. The recording is a touch occluded. But the performances are richly enjoyable, redolent of opulent soirées and New Orleans salons and the calliope on the river.

Jonathan Woolf




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.