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George Gershwin

An American in Paris (1928)

Gershwin's most cohesive extended orchestral work. The opening theme hints at Poulenc's Mouvements perpetuels, as it simultaneously keeps a strong American profile. The whole piece, in fact, is an imaginative marvel, with surprises around every corner. Gershwin, like Van Gogh, invented an idiom. He remains its greatest practitioner. The central slow-walk section is a glory of American music, perfectly capturing the nostalgia of a big-city Romantic.

Copyright © 1996 by Steven Schwartz. All Rights Reserved.