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Gottschalk: Caprice On “Home Sweet Home”

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: home in the U.S.A., but made in Europe…

In this flashy caprice, one of the most popular songs of the nineteenth century gets a royal treatment from one of America’s home-grown ‘king’ of pianists. Following a promising musical childhood in his native New Orleans, Gottschalk did what all good American musicians of the time did and went to Europe! After being acclaimed by such figureheads as Chopin, Gottschalk launched himself both as a concert pianist and as a publisher of salon music. Towards the end of his intense touring career, Gottschalk wrote his caprice on Henry Bishop’s “Home Sweet Home,” one of the most popular songs of the nineteenth century. Although just as popular in the US, “Home Sweet Home” was actually written for an English opera entitled “Clari, or The Maid of Milan.”

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