This exuberant treatment of Stephen Foster’s My Old Kentucky Home
is among Gottschalk’s most appealing works. Its catchy tune and rhythmic bounce stay in the mind for days. Although it sounds easy, it is an exacting piece to play, needing a left hand of machine-like accuracy and not a little stamina to cope with the athletic leaping of the accompaniment, punctuated by coruscating runs in the treble. With the finishing post in sight, Gottschalk piles on further pianistic pressure requesting, in tempo, left hand jumps of two octaves. Columbia
, in this writer’s experience, is the earliest example of what was later to be called ‘stride piano’, a style developed in the 1930s.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 1990