From the time Copland studied in Paris in the early twenties, he was convinced that it was important for
American composers to become known in Europe as well as at home. With this in mind, he returned to Paris in 1926 and composed two new pieces for an all-American program Nadia Boulanger was planning. He invited the violinist Samuel Dushkin to play the pieces with him. Nocturne is slow and bluesy; Ukelele Serenade is lively and includes quarter tones as well as arpeggiated chords simulating a ukelele sound.
- Vivian Perlis, 1998