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Pvt Schnapps
05-08-2009, 09:15 AM
Born in New Orleans of French and Creole parentage today in 1829, Louis Moreau Gottschalk took Europe by storm as a child prodigy, played for Chopin and Liszt, and returned home to fame and the grueling life of a concert pianist. Despite his southern origin, his sympathies lay with the Union. His journal, published after his death as “Notes of a Pianist” provides a fascinating view of life in America on the home front during the war:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0691127166/wwwgelfertnet-20

For more information about Gottschalk, see:

http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/Louis_Moreau_Gottschalk/21106.htm

For an example of Gottschalk’s compositions, you could do worse than starting with Richard Alston’s performance of “The Union,” a piece that may have done more for the northern war effort than any given brigade:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lli2DL2oAPE

For an example of one of Gottschalk’s most popular “American” pieces, check out this clip of “Bach Scholar” playing “Le Banjo”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3rL23IdbyI&feature=related

Enjoy! And happy birthday, Louis Moreau!

Danny
05-11-2009, 12:57 PM
Born in New Orleans of French and Creole parentage today in 1829, Louis Moreau Gottschalk took Europe by storm as a child prodigy, played for Chopin and Liszt, and returned home to fame and the grueling life of a concert pianist. Despite his southern origin, his sympathies lay with the Union...happy birthday, Louis Moreau!

M.A. -

Thanks for the links.

LMG was responsive to his public, and created and played extended compositions of popular stage tunes as well. Most notably, he played "Dixie" many times in his tours of the Country and through Cuba etc. before the CW.

Notable for us here is that he at one point toured with violinist Carlos Patti and Carlos' child prodigy sister, the singer Adelina Patti, who had sung for Lincoln on one occasion. Carlos, also a composer, was the one who chose to perform "Dixie", the Southern cause version, at a rallying performance in New Orleans as the War was about to begin. The Washington Artillery picked it up as their quick-step and soon afterwards it spread to become the unoffical anthem song of the Confederacy. Gottschalk would not have approved.

Gottschalk went North, and Carlos became a Confederate Cavalry soldier. Adelina continued as a popular performer, and her carte-de-visite was found even in the vest pocket of John Wilkes Booth upon his capture and death. She performed into the 1900's and she was recorded - there being a CD of those early recordings available (thanks, Carl, for finding that gem).

Gottschalk's composition "The Banjo" attests to that instrument's popularity in the day, the renowned composer LMG having no problem in recognizing the particular rythms and sound of the banjo and putting it into an almost classical setting.

Danny

Pvt Schnapps
05-11-2009, 02:07 PM
Actually, his name was Carlo Patti, not Carlos, but thanks very much for adding that information about "Dixie", which I didn't know. But based on Gottschalk's journal, it seems that whatever Patti did in the Confederate army was done before December 1863, at which point he went on tour with Gottschalk for at least the next six months. In "Notes of a Pianist" Gottschalk alludes to Patti's service during a visit to Montreal in April 1864:

"Montreal.

"Patti, who went to take a walk, has already met some friends, good Secessionists, that cannot be gainsaid. Thanks to the noise which the rash enterprise at Buffalo has made (I wished to speak concerning the attack of which he has been the subject in a paper, respecting his sojourn in the South and of his service in the Confederate army), Patti has become a sort of hero. At St. Louis, where Unionism is more than doubtful, he was applauded to the skies every time he played. In every town he found unknown friends, who welcomed him, felicitating him on his political opinions, and it seems that a sort of Freemasonry connects all these conspirators whose machinations are happily limited to hypocritically deploring the ruin of the North, 'THE CONSTITUTION AS IT WAS' and in making sterile vows for the triumph of the South. I know nothing more odious than this kind of hybrid patriot, who with arms crossed, protests his devotion to the Republic and remains neuter, except when by his clamours he endeavours to fetter the efforts of the government. I admire and respect those of the South who fight and sacrifice themselves for what they think a just cause. I do not participate in their convictions, but I have only contempt for these politicasters of the North who wish peace at any price, without thinking that the plastering up a few cracks is of no use when the foundation of the edifice is giving way, and that in the social no more than in the individual body an eating wound does not cease its ravages because it is concealed under an anodyne plaster."

Gottschalk's reference seems a bit odd; I wonder if there's any source that tells exactly what Patti did in the Confederate army and for how long. A search on the Archives' soldiers and sailors system turned up two southern soldiers named "Patti," one in the Signal Corps and one in a Tennessee Infantry regiment. This latter could be him -- the February 28, 1862 Memphis Daily Appeal has this to say about him:

"Patti's Concert.—The concert tendered to our gifted young friend Carlo Patti by his numerous admirers in this city will take place at Odd-Fellows' Hall, on Thursday evening next. The Theater, we learn, could not be obtained, owing to some professional impediments. Signor Patti has left his profession, and it was hoped would have been regarded in a non-professional point of view. The ladies are looked to to use their influence to gain for this patriotic young gentleman a successful concert. He laid aside a profession in which his powers as a composer and a performer promised him a high rank, to enter the army of the Confederacy. He has served the term of his enlistment and has re-enlisted for the entire war—let it be seen that his spirited zeal is appreciated among his fellow-citizens in Memphis."

Patti's "sprited zeal" was not quite enough to keep him in the Confederate army, despite conscription. Perhaps he was wounded, but then his zeal did not keep him from touring in the north with Gottschalk, nor did it keep Gottschalk or anyone else in the north from keeping him from earning a living. If Patti is at all an example, fanatic devotion to the cause was no more universal in the south than the north.

That may be just another way some of us reenactors differ from our forebearers. :)

Spinster
05-15-2009, 12:56 PM
Given the New Orleans connections, and the monied background that his education would imply, I'm wondering about any relationship to the 'Sugar' Gottschalks.

Craig L Barry
05-15-2009, 01:42 PM
...a lot more activity on your just post put that despite being a southron from New Orleans, Gottschalk was anti-states right, and favored a strong centralized Federal government.

Pvt Schnapps
05-15-2009, 09:45 PM
...a lot more activity on your just post put that despite being a southron from New Orleans, Gottschalk was anti-states right, and favored a strong centralized Federal government.

OR... try to find a bagpipe arrangement for "Le Banjo" :)

Danny
05-16-2009, 09:11 AM
Actually, his name was Carlo Patti...it seems that whatever Patti did in the Confederate army was done before December 1863, at which point he went on tour with Gottschalk for at least the next six months...

M.A. -

A bit more on that timing: “By 1862 Carlo, Carlotta, and Amalia were all members of Gottschalk's traveling operatic troupe...” (Offergeld, Robert, ed. The Centennial Catalogue of the Published and Unpublished Compositions of Louis Moreau Gottschalk. New York: Ziff-Davis, 1970).

Carlo was perhaps Tennessee Infantry or Cavalry, given his location at time of probable muster: “Farewell Concert of Carlo Patti, At Odd-Fellows' Hall,Thursday Evening, 21st...In bidding farewell to the public of Memphis, I have to acknowledge the universal kindness with which I have ever been treated, and I sincerely trust that upon this, my last appearance before my kind friends, their presence and patronage will justify me in the belief that I have lost nothing in their estimation during my brief but happy sojourn in the Bluff City.” (MEMPHIS DAILY APPEAL, March 21, 1861, p. 2, c. 7)

Anyway, specifics on Gottshalk and Dixie: “Within two years of its publication by Daniel Decatur Emmett in 1860, Gottschalk composed a set of variations on the song I Wish I Was in Dixie's Land." (Robert Offergeld). According to Offergeld, those variations likely were composed before Gottschalk declared his allegiance to the Union in 1862.

btw, for Craig, what source ever claimed Gottshalk was anti-states' rights? I think he was anti-slavery.

Dan Wykes

Pvt Schnapps
05-16-2009, 09:05 PM
btw, for Craig, what source ever claimed Gottshalk was anti-states' rights? I think he was anti-slavery.

Dan Wykes

Reasonable people can differ whether there's any difference between advocating "states rights" and advocating slavery. It always seemed to me that the only "right" the "South" had unique to itself was just that. But it also seems like Gottschalk saw it much the same way. In the following excerpt from his "Notes" it looks like he combines the two, or at least doesn't make any distinction when it comes to the Confederacy:

"March 5, 1863:
"Besides the South—whose courage and heroism I honour, whilst deploring the blindness which has precipitated them into a war without issue—the South leans upon two political errors. In the nineteenth century nationalities are no longer broken—the general movement tends to unification. No one fraction of the people has the right to reclaim its autonomy, if it does not carry with it greater guarantees of progress and civilization than that of the majority who is enslaving it. But the South in wishing to destroy one of the most beautiful political monuments of modern times—the American Union—carries with it only slavery. It is, indeed, unbecoming my fellow-citizens of the South to ask for the liberty of reclaiming their independence, when this independence is only to be made use of for the conservation of the most odious of abuses and the most flagrant outrage upon liberty."