Michael Torke’s “An American Abroad” (“An American in Paris” 2.0?)

Did George Gershwin write this piece from the grave?

The spirit of Gershwin seems to inhabit Michael Torke’s 2002 orchestral tone poem, An American Abroad. It’s music filled with broad, warmly embracing melodies, the almost naive optimism of Broadway, and, at moments, quiet nostalgia. The title is an obvious reference to Gershwin’s An American in Paris and brings to mind the mysterious nature of influence. Listening to this piece, I get the sense that Torke didn’t set out to copy Gershwin. Instead, Gershwin’s voice comes through in sly, subtle ways. Listen, and see if you agree.


  • Torke: An American Abroad, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop iTunes


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