THE AMERICAN STRING QUARTET
Of the four American composers whose works are featured on this programme, three were second- or third-generation immigrants to the United States of America: George Gershwin’s father, Moses Gershowitz, came from Russia; Walter Piston’s grandfather Antonio Pistone had emigrated from Italy; and Aaron Copland’s father, Harris Kaplan, from Lithuania. Upon arriving in America, all three proceeded to anglicize their names, the better to live the proverbial American way of life. Such diverse cultural experiences no doubt contributed to their musical sons’ and grandson’s cosmopolitan world views. And just like the painter and sculptor Alexander Calder, all four composers at one point or another during their formative years or careers resided in Europe for a time, assimilating many new techniques, styles, and other discoveries. Never did this serve to undermine these composers’ authentic Americanness.
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
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