An American in Paris
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...
tone poem by the American composer George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...
, written in 1928. Inspired by the time Gershwin had spent in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
, it evokes the sights and energy of the French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
capital in the 1920s. It is one of Gershwin's best-known compositions.
Gershwin composed the piece on commission from the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...
. He also did the orchestration
Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium...
(he did not orchestrate his musicals). Gershwin scored An American in Paris for the standard instruments of the symphony orchestra plus celesta
The celesta or celeste is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. Its appearance is similar to that of an upright piano or of a large wooden music box . The keys are connected to hammers which strike a graduated set of metal plates suspended over wooden resonators...
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...
, and automobile horns.
It's not a pretty face, I grant you, but underneath its flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character. I like Paris. It's a place where you don't run into old friends, although that's never been one of my problems.
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