The Banana Tree
, one of the ‘Louisiana trilogy’ which made Gottschalk’s name in Europe, is based on the Creole air ‘En avan’, grenadié’ (a colloquial contraction of ‘En avant, grenadiers’ a well-known popular song) and, though an early success, features the kind of brilliant figurations and hummable melody which characterise so much of his later work. Offenbach, interestingly, transcribed it for cello. The subtitle was inserted, presumably, to enhance its exotic appeal.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 1990