Notes and Editorial Reviews
Here's a self-recommending release for fans of 19th-century ethnic nationalism in music. Coleridge-Taylor had Brahms' Hungarian Dances as his models (Dvorák's Slavonic Dances, don't forget, were all based on original melodies) in choosing 24 tunes from Southwest Africa (four titles), South Africa (two titles), West Africa and the West Indies (one each), and America (all the rest). Many of these tunes will be familiar: Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, Wade in the Water, Steal Away, and Deep River, among others. Their treatment is simple, the melody followed by ornamental variants, but it never sounds formulaic. And of course the tunes themselves are timelessly beautiful. It would be very nice if Albany or some enterprising
label commissioned orchestrations of these pieces, but until then David Shaffer-Gottschalk plays them with unaffected charm and an easy lyricism that seems just right. There's a certain lack of contrast between pieces that mitigates against hearing the entire set at a sitting (they last about 90 minutes), but that hardly seems to be what the composer intended. Dip in, and enjoy. The engineering, by the way, is just as pleasing as the music. An important release.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
"David Shaffer-Gottschalk...is a technically well-equipped and sympathetic interpreter of Coleridge-Taylor's music, sensitive to the innovative thinking that was poking out from under the blanket of Edwardian-era technique. A fine release..."
-- All Music Guide
"Pianist David Shaffer-Gottschalk delivers loving performances of this unusual, but engaging repertoire...a release that piano enthusiasts will certainly want to investigate."
--Classical Lost and Found
Works on This Recording
Negro Melodies (24), Op. 59 by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
David Shaffer-Gottschalk (Piano)
Written: by 1905; England
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