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Gershwin in Paris

thu 9 jan 2020

In Thema on Tuesday 7 January at 20:00 CET: Gershwin in Paris.

Gershwin had already earned fame – and fortune – with his songs for musicals. However he constantly dreamed of recognition as a classical musician. His first successes came in 1924/5 with ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and the ‘Piano Concerto in F’.

This was not enough and to achieve more acceptance as a classical musician he wanted to take composition lessons with Ravel and Stravinsky. He approached them both when he was at the height of his fame in Paris in 1928 and was told by both that they were not interested.

Gershwin subsequently incorporated his impressions from this period in the hectic but extremely hip French capital in ‘An American in Paris’. The score for this composition includes four taxi horns (see photo). The programme includes the original version of this piece.

Compiled and presented by Thijs Bonger.