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An American in Paris-American Musical 1951 by Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron


By CatherineYen(20,979) CatherineYen

Posted Saturday, February 02, 2008
View All Blog Posts submitted by CatherineYen


"An American in Paris". musical, 1951 by Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron
 
Before being called up for  World War I, Jerry Mulligan (Kelly) was an artist.  Now that the war is over, he's decided to continue painting in Paris.  Life in Paris is good, painting, meeting his pianist friend Adam (Levant) in sidewalk cafes, and attempting to sell his paintings on sunny street corners.  Furthermore, he has attracted the attentions of an elegant older woman, Milo Roberts (Foch), who purports to be an art patron.  But now Jerry has seen the girl of his dreams, Lisa(Caron).  In spite of Milo's obvious jealousy and Lisa's existing boyfriend, Jerry knows he must follow his heart 
 
The elements of An American in Paris that people still speak of with repture are the little French nymph that is Leslie Caron, the glorious dance that is Gene Kelly, and the closing 13 minute balet sequence, the like of which many viewers have never seen before.  Gene Kelly had seen something like it before; when trying to persuade MGM to back this film, he showed them the 15-minute ballet sequence from The Red Shoes (1949).
 
Vincente Minnelli was a groundbreaking director of musicals and the perfect partner for Kelly on this project.  It's often said that it is the ballet that won the film its six Oscars.
 
An American in Paris is a symphonic composition by American composer George Gershwin, composed in 1928.  Inspired by the time Gershwin had spent in Paris, it is in the form of an extended tone poem evoking the sights and energy of the French capital in the 1920s.
 
Gershwin composed the piece on commission from the New York Philharmonic.  He also did the orchestration. (He did not orchestrate his musicals or the Rhapsody in Blue.) Gershwin scored An American in Paris for the standard instruments of the symphony orchestra plus celesta, saxophone, and automobile horns.  Gershwin brought back some Parisian taxi horns for the New York premiere of the composition which took place on December 13, 1928 in Carnegie Hall with Walter Damrosch conducting the New York Philharmonic.
 
Gershin collaborated on the original program notes with the critic and comoser Deems Taylor, noting that "My purpose here 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." When the tone poem moves into the blues, "our American friends has succumbed to a spasm of homesickness." But, " nostalgia is not a fatal disease."  The American visitor "once again is an alert spectator of Parisian life" and " the street noises and French atmosphere are triumphant."
 
An American in Paris is one of Gershwin's best-known compositions, along with Rhapsody in Blue.
 
An American in Paris is scored for 3 flutes(3rd doubling on piccolo). 2 oboes. English horn. 2 clarinets in B flat, bass clarinet in B flat. 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in B flat. 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, low and high tom-toms, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, 4 taxi horns, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, and strings.
 
The above data was refered from "The 501 Must See Movies" and "wikipedia free encyclopedia"



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Posted to ProBlogs.com on Saturday, February 02, 2008
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