It was pretty clear that Billy Joel had run out of steam by 1993's River of Dreams. He had shown signs of wearing on its predecessor, Storm Front, but his trademark melodic gift disappeared on River of Dreams and his words, even performances, were bone-tired – he even called the last song "The Last Song (No More Words)." So, it was no great surprise that he did not rush to record a follow-up, and when he started murmuring toward the end of the decade that perhaps he wasn't interested in pop music anymore, nobody who paid attention could have been surprised.
With his idiomatic and graceful style, pianist Philip Martin has established himself as the foremost exponent of Gottschalk. Much of his music is by no means easy to play; it requires an impeccable technique matched with Èlan and joie de vivre for its most effective execution. Although not essentially a great composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk had a unique spontaneity and individuality which Martins performances bring vividly to the fore. The composers music was hugely popular during his lifetime and his works display a real melodic charm and a great sense of fun. Each of the eight discs in Martins extensive Gottschalk series has received wide acclaim and left pianophiles eagerly awaiting the next issue.
Solo piano works, recorded live in Moscow Conservatory on April 18th, 2000. Russian-only release on the Long Arms label. Pieces include: 'Arica', 'Havana Man', 'Negro Hall', 'The Ecstasy', 'Missigono', 'Requiem For Wally'. "The following pieces appear without any editing of the performance. Large sections of these pieces are improvised and I have attempted to preserve the spontaneity of this special evening by presenting my first concert in Moscow exactly as it was played. I hope in some way my offering of this evenings music reflects the deep respect I hold for the great musical traditions of Russia and the Masters who have reached for the stars before me with their awesome genius."– Terry Riley.