Louis Morrau Gottschalk was born in New Orleans in 1829 in a house that still stands at the southwest corner of Esplanade and Royal streets. From early in his childhood, he was exposed to the French and African-tinged Caribbean folk music that characterized the music of the Creoles. It was this music that left the deepest impression on Gottschalk, later permeating his works and eventually spurring him on to international fame.
This piece, his Opus 44, has a strong habanera rhythm, even after the simplification from late intermediate to easy intermediate (but not quite early intermediate, except for the first part). Students will get to work on mixed rhythms, dynamic flow, and pedaling. The piece includes most of Gottschalk’s interpretation markings, of which students are encouraged to look up and discover the meaning.
Key: D minor, F major
Mood: sentimental, timid, then resolute.
Pedagogy: habanera rhythm, dynamics, pedaling