Frank French presents his one-man show,
"Gottschalk in Louisiana"
Frank French, pianist and performance artist, brings the composer to life in this remarkable enactment of Louis Moreau Gottschalk 's music and views of 19th Century America, capturing the spirit of the composer through testimony and music.
Go time travelling in America in the 1860's
Louis Moreau Gottschalk, born in New Orleans in 1829, was the first American composer and pianist to gain recognition in Europe prior to the start of his career in his own country. Sent to Paris to study as a youth, he distinguished himself as a virtuoso and originator of a unique style of Creole music astonishing European listeners who were enthralled by the novel and exotic sound of his early compositions.
Returning to America in 1853, he concertized tirelessly for the rest of his life, traveling throughout the United States, the Antilles, and South America. Many of the incidents he experienced have been preserved for posterity in his diaries, published after his death in 1869 under the title, Notes of a Pianist.
The music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk represents a significant attempt at bringing together the worlds of classic and popular music. Gottschalk's early years in the Creole society of New Orleans, followed by his studies in mid 19th century cosmopolitan Paris, provided the raw material, technique and inspiration necessary to make his way as a composer, performer, and commentator during an important historical era. In embracing Romanticism and Realism in his work, he provides a vital signpost for composers, musicians and music lovers throughout the Americas, opening a realm of unbounded expression and creativity.
Read the reviews of French's show:
"French in costume to impersonate the composerů Foot tapping, vivid, virtuostic American music.... Colorful melodies set against syncopated rhythms". - Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times
the "you are there" program... shared interest in the roots of American music that French finds between himself... and Gottschalk - Wes Blomster, Boulder Daily Camera
1. Gottschalk returns to the United States in 1862 after six years In the West Indies and tells of his tropical sojourn. He plays Souvenir of Porto Rico - Marche des Gibaros.
2. After reacclimating himself to the Unites States, Gottschalk tells something of the hectic pace of concert life and plays The Banjo.
3. After recounting some amusing anecdotes of people Gottschalk has encountered in the course of his travels In the United States, he plays Danza.
4. Arriving In Pennsylvania in June of 1863, Gottschaik finds the state under siege as Confederate armies march on the capital. He plays Union.
1. Landing In Acapulco on his way to California, Gottschalk encounters a compatriot from Louisiana who runs an inn there. He performs a characteristic piece, Manchega.
2. Continuing on to California on board The Constitution, Gottschalk hears news of the end of the war between the states and the assassination of President Lincoln. At the memorial service he, Gottschalk, plays Union.
3. Arriving in San Francisco, Gottschalk reflects on his many years of travel and his thoughts of home. He plays a religious meditation, The Last Hope.
4. Gottschalk tells stories of San Francisco and the present state of music in the eyes of the press and public. He plays Souvenir of Havana.
5. He tells a hilarious anecdote about an amateur. Gottschalk closes with a caprice entitled Pasquinade.
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