American in Paris


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Item#: 124647 price:$35,000.00

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GERSHWIN, George. An American in Paris. An Orchestral Tone Poem. Piano solo. New York: Harms, (1929). Large quarto, original printed tan paper wrappers. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. $35,000.

First edition of the piano score (preceding the full score), inscribed by Gershwin on the title page: “Sincerely—George Gershwin / Oct. 10, 1929 / New York City.”

An American in Paris is one of Gershwin's most ambitious compositions. He wrote at the time of the premiere: "This new piece, really a rhapsodic ballet, is written very freely and is the most modern music I've yet attempted. The opening part will be developed in typical French style, in the manner of Debussy and The Six, though the themes are all original. 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." "In An American in Paris he showed that even without studying with Boulanger he could imitate the insouciance of Les Six—the group of young composers who were all the rage in Paris—and make use of polytonal harmonies out of Stravinsky, while writing tunes that were memorable and completely Gershwinesque" (David Schiff). This copy was inscribed by Gershwin six weeks after he made his conducting debut with An American in Paris at Lewisohn Stadium of City College of New York. First edition of the piano arrangement (preceding the full score). Carnovale W3.

Faint fold lines. A fine copy, very rare and desirable inscribed.

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