Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Shadle, Douglas. “Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s Pan-American Symphonic Ideal.” American Music 29 (Winter 2011): 443-71.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s Symphonie romantique: la nuit des tropiques (1859) and À Montevideo: 2me symphonie-romantique pour grand orchestre (1868) reflect his politics of pan-American republicanism. In his writing, Gottschalk expressed a desire to see republicanism flourish in South America, a position informed in part by contemporary US cultural expansionism into Latin America. With his many concert tours to Latin American countries, Gottschalk saw himself as a musical diplomat, contributing to the moral uplift of the region. Gottschalk composed Symphonie romantique in Matouba, French Antilles in 1859, and the work premiered later that year in Cuba. With its blending of Cuban music (the cinquillo rhythm pervades the symphony), European art music, and American vernacular music (including a quotation of Foster’s Camptown Races), Symphonie romantique offers a musical ideal for an Americanized Cuba. À Montevideo, composed for a music festival in Montevideo, Uruguay, expresses a similar subtle imperialism. In its finale, Gottschalk quotes the Uruguayan national anthem alongside Hail, Columbia, and Yankee Doodle, presenting the pan-American ideal of Uruguay and the United States side by side. In many ways, Gottschalk’s pan-Americanism in Latin America was similar to nineteenth-century German universalism in the United States. Both presented an ideology of supranationalism and moral edification through music, and both emerged as a product of distinctly nationalist ideologies.

Works: Louis Moreau Gottschalk: The Battle of Bunker Hill (445), Symphonie romantique (455-62), À Montevideo: 2me symphonie-romantique pour grand orchestra (462-65)

Sources: Francis Smith (lyricist): America (My Country ’Tis of Thee) (445); Anonymous: Yankee Doodle (445, 463-65); Philip Phile (composer) and Joseph Hopkins (lyricist): Hail, Columbia (445, 463-65); Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21 (458); Stephen Foster: Camptown Races (461); Francisco José Debali (composer) and Francisco Acuña de Figueroa (lyricist): ¡Orientales, la patria o la tumba! (Himno Nacional de Uruguay) (463-65)

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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