Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

George Gershwin: An American in Paris

for Chamber Ensemble

George Gershwin (1898-1937) composed An American in Paris in 1928. It evokes the sights and sounds of Paris in a brilliant and energetic symphonic poem. The work was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, who gave the premiere in Carnegie Hall, New York. Gershwin was inspired to compose the piece by a visit to Paris, and included some genuine Parisian taxi horns that he had brought home with him. Although not specifically programmatic, the work follows the moods of an American visitor listening to the various street noises and observing the colourful scenes. Soon the music turns to the blues as the American becomes homesick, and the trumpet plays a melody full of longing. However, the spirit of the city remains positive and the piece works through a succession of brilliant and witty episodes, before ending triumphant.

This arrangement is for seventeen players, and was made in 2011.

Available to hire or purchase from Aria Editions here

Instrumentation: flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, alto saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, double bass, 2 percussion, piano (17 players)

Listen to a performance of this arrangement here.