Promenade (Walking the Dog)

Premiered in its original form in Shall We Dance (RKO, 1937).

This charming instrumental cue for a small ensemble of musicians was written by George Gershwin for his and Ira’s first movie score for RKO to accompany a humorous shipboard pantomime sequence for Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and their respective dogs. According to Oscar Levant, George intended this work to be “a private commentary on the plushy, overstuffed scoring favored by most Hollywood orchestrators.” Ira had the piece published in piano solo form as Promenade in 1960, but it is most frequently heard in a number of re-orchestrations for larger forces and has become quite popular with audiences.