Hot Springs Music Festival. Richard Rosenberg, conductor.
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New Orleans native Louis Moreau Gottschalk was the first composer to capture the syncopated music of South Louisiana and the Caribbean in enduring works that anticipate ragtime and jazz by half a century. When we consider his oeuvre, it's staggering to think what this "Chopin of the Creoles" would have created had he lived past the age of 40. One of the most galvanizing and colorful pieces of music ever written, his two-movement symphony A Night in the Tropics is joined here by orchestrations of several piano works.
"Naxos has furnished the premiere recording of Gottschalk's explosive orchestral show-stopper, 'Night in the Tropics' (1859), in something like its original version, with pulsating Cuban percussion and brigades of gyrating brass. Richard Rosenberg leads … a performance whose 'Festa Criolla' rattles the roof…. This is mandatory American repertory."—NYTimes
"Most obviously, the new edition respects Gottschalk's profligate timbral imagination, giving us a renewed appreciation not only of the impudent contagion of climaxes (40 separate wind and brass parts), but also of the score's subtler uses of instrumental resources. But Rosenberg has also taken seriously the details of Gottschalk's notation bringing his rhythmic daring into sharper focus—a special benefit in the exuberant dance of the second movement."—International Record Review