Long and fruitful musical relationship. Cuba and the United States. First exchange

Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Manuel Saumell

Manuel Saumell (Havana, 1817-1870)      
This month marks the 143 anniversary of the death of Manuel Saumell, important Cuban composer and pianist, the Father of cuban quadrilles. Louis Moreau Gottshalk, who died in Rio de Janeiro, was one of the most important American musicians of his time and a pioneer in America in the use and mix of popular music in classical music. They had met in 1854 in Havana, on the first trip of the three that were made to Cuba, to seal a friendship that led to the first documented musical exchange between the music of both countries. A mid-nineteenth century Havana and New Orleans were the cities of greater cultural exchange and trade in the area. Their sugar industries were very connected to each other and Gottschalk, who had just arrived from his European training full of recommendations to the authorities of the island, made ​​his entrance to a city that boasted of receiving the best shows coming out of European borders.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk. New Orleans, 1829, Rio de Janeiro, 1869
Within days he met the most important musicians of the city, becoming the star of the moment in Havana society. His inexhaustible piano concerts and mastery were constant news in Havana´s newspapers. It was an almost casual meeting in the Juan Federico Edelmann workshop, German who established the first house music and music publishing company in the city. 

The workshop had become a space for musical gatherings among the notables, the less and outstanding trainees. In one of those gatherings coincided both. Since then, the relationship between the music of Cuba and the United States established a starting point. The man took the other. But the most remarkable in that exchange was that a few scholars believed in his work, and the incorporation of the spanish tinge - or latin tinge - to the work of the composer from New Orleans, traveling in his performances and sheets music for all of America. The rhythmic cell that Gottschalk incorporated from cuban quadrille -and perhaps habaneras already at that time were all the rage in the city- was none other than the rhythmic pattern of Bantu origin, known in Cuba as tango congo. You talk of both the tastiness and cadence that gives a piece its use? Maybe yes or maybe just a creative exchange, a finding amid the creative passion that New Orleans musician he gave to his life.

Juan Federico Edelmann (1795-1848)
De Meyer
Nicolás Ruiz Espadero (1832-1890)
Besides Saumell, Gottschalk had established a friendship with one of the most famous musicians in town by then: Nicolas Ruiz Espadero. This strong relationship between the two musicians was perhaps the cause that caused the main reason for the piece Ojos Criollos. Work in which Gottschalk used for the first time in the left hand of the piano, tango pattern congo. A beautiful habanera, undoubtedly had to be the motivation, to which the American musician composed the piece, who lived in the same house as the Espadero love. This led to the newcomer in Europe, perhaps trying to please the family which according to the most important era of Havana society, offering a private concert at the home of his love. In this idyll was born, five years later, Eyes Creoles . Op, 37 Danse Cubaine, 1859  in part, marking another idyll, which existed between the music of Cuba and the United States over the next hundred years.

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