Remembrance Day is an important day for my family. My husband’s currently serving in the military and has had colleagues who died while on duty. We both have family members who served, most notably our maternal grandfathers. As a result, Remembrance services are highly emotional events for us, something I’ve tried to capture in the following poem.
My purpose is to portray the impression of an American visitor in Paris, as he strolls about the city and listens to various street noises and absorbs the French atmosphere.
This quote from George Gershwin comes from an interview in Musical America that was published in August 1928. He was speaking, of course, of his masterpiece “An American in Paris”, which was still a work in progress. But the end goal for this particular piece was in sight. Two weeks from today marks 90 years since he completed the orchestration of his tribute to the City of Light. It premiered at Carnegie Hall on December 13, 1928, conducted by Walter Damrosch, who had commissioned the work. You can read more about the history of the piece here. And, if you’ve never heard the full piece, take a listen here to this performance by the Moscow City Symphony-Russian Philharmonic. It’s about 20 minutes long.