1865. Original portrait photograph of the important American composer and virtuoso pianist, boldly signed and inscribed on the verso to the important American contralto singer, Adelaide Phillips: "To my very talented and much esteemed friend Miss A. Phillips - Louis M. Gottschalk/ 25 April 1865." With the imprint of the photographer Dunshee of Providence, R.I. on the verso. 6.5 x 10.5 cm and in fine condition; framed, 27.5 x 33.5 cm; PC Consignment.
Shelved Dupont Bookstore
A remarkable association between two of the giants of music in America in the second of the 19th century, penned under extraordinary circumstances. In his "Notes of a pianist: during his professional tours in the United States," Gottschalk records a collaboration with Adelaide Phillips on the day before the signing of the present photograph, after hearing the news of the assassination of President Lincoln while on board the US Constitution, traveling from concerts in Mexico: "A steamer in sight! It is the Golden City, which left San Francisco two days ago. The captain comes on board, and...hurls these words like thunderbolts, 'Richmond is taken,' 'Lee has surrendered,' 'Lincoln has been assassinated.'...All the men seem crushed, overwhelmed under the weight of incommensurable grief...we are to have a meeting on board to give official expression to the sentiments of grief...After the meeting, the Italian singers who are on board sing the hymn of the Republic, which I accompany on the piano. Miss Adelaide Phillips sings with electric feeling the patriotic song, 'The Star Spangled Banner.' I play my piece, 'Union.' The enthusiasm aroused is without doubt less owing to our music than to the actual circumstances." (Gottschalk, entries for April 23 and 24, 1865, p. 359-361) (5312)