GERSHWIN George, An American in Paris (arr. for Calefax)

When George Gershwin (1898–1937) introduced An American in Paris he wrote that ‘My purpose here is to portray the impressions of an American visitor in Paris as he strolls about the city, listens to the various street noises, and absorbs the French atmosphere.’ On the title page of the manuscript, Gershwin called it ‘a tone poem for orchestra’, adding that it was ‘begun early in 1928 and finished November 18, 1928.’ Mixing French touches and American elements Gershwin himself said ‘It’s a humorous piece, nothing solemn about it. It’s not intended to draw tears. If it pleases audiences as a light, jolly piece, a series of impressions musically expressed, it succeeds.’  

© Nigel Simeone 

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