With its vamp-till-ready passages and jaunty cakewalk strut, The Banjo
is Gottschalk’s exuberant portrait of a virtuoso banjo player in a minstrel show. Like many other of his compositions, the pianistic difficulties increase in the final pages, marked prestissimo, with their echoes of Stephen Foster’s De Camptown Races, published just four years earlier. The piece is dedicated to Richard Hoffman.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 1990