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performance calendar
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cutting Hall,
Palatine IL
3:30pm

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL
8:00pm

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL
8:00pm

Monday, July 3, 2017

Wallace Bowl at Gillson Park,
Wilmette IL
7:30pm

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lagoon at Dawes Park,
Evanston IL
7:30pm

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Main Beach Bandshell,
Crystal Lake IL
12:30pm

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL
8:00pm

program notes > A > An American in Paris

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An American in Paris

George Gershwin/trans. Jerry Brubaker

 

George Gershwin (1898-1937) occupies a unique place in the history of American music. A gifted writer of popular songs, musical comedies, and a folk opera, he was able to combine the styles of Tin Pan Alley and Carnegie Hall music. He made several excursions into the realm of art music. One of these pieces, An American in Paris, resulted from a European journey in 1928. Gershwin called this piece "a rhapsodic ballet". The rhapsody is programmatic in a general impressionistic sort of way, so the individual listener can read into the music such episodes as imagination pictures for him or her. A rich "blues" with a strong rhythmic undercurrent follows the opening section. American tourists, perhaps after strolling into a cafe, suddenly succumb to a spasm of homesickness. The "blues" rise to a climax followed by a coda in which the spirit of the music returns to the vivacity and bubbling exuberance of the opening part with its impressions of Paris. The use of taxi horns contributes to the picturing of the street noises and French atmosphere.

Last updated on April 18, 2015 by Palatine Concert Band