A fine performance from Licad, who is a sympathetic soloist with the Gottschalk story, which the notes document. Personally, Bamboula; Danse de negres is the highlight, and, of course, The Union. All other works are polished and played with a deep touch by the young artist.
I have, however, given this release two stars, as I was disappointed that there is not much new here, as Naxos American Classics had already released "A Night in the Tropics", with the Hot Springs Music Festival (1999), under Richard Rosenberg, in 2000, which featured most of the works included in this 2003 edition (only in an orchestrated format). I would have preferred to hear some other, less familiar works. In the future, I may invest in Philip Martin's prodigious, and unprecedented, complete cycle of Gottschalk's piano music with Hyperion (1990-2004).
However, this disc is worth while because of an excellent recording and a generally fine performance, some blemishes not withstanding.