* GERSHWIN, George (1898-1937). Autograph musical manuscript, titled "Themes from 'An American in Paris.'" Signed twice ("George Gershwin" below title and dated "Aug 1928," and again below inscription at bottom dated "Aug. 17, 1928"), inscribed to Hyman Sandow. N.p., 17 August 1928.
1 page, 4to, on a single sheet of 12-stave printed music paper, slightly toned; matted and framed. Comprising twelve measures of three themes from his tone poem, An American in Paris, in three lines (the first two line over two staves each), the opening theme in four measures, another theme in the next four measures, and the blues theme in the remaining four measures. With the tempo marking: "Allegretto-grazioso" and "Tempo-Blues," and the dynamics "m-p-semplica" and "p."
Gershwin composed An American in Paris in 1928, inspired by the times he had spent in Paris. Evoking the sights and energy of the French capital in the 1920s, it became one of his best-known compositions. Gershwin composed An American in Paris on commission from the conductor Walter Damrosch. He scored the piece for the standard instruments of the symphony orchestra plus celesta, saxophones, and automobile horns. He brought back some Parisian taxi horns for the New York premiere of the composition, which took place on December 13, 1928, in Carnegie Hall, with Damrosch conducting the New York Philharmonic. Gershwin completed the orchestration on November 18, less than four weeks before the work's premiere.
Inscribed on the lower three unused staves to Gershwin's friend and early supporter, the music journalist Hyman Sandow: "For Hyman Sandow- In appreciation, with All Good wishes. George Gershwin / Aug. 17, 1928." An article by Sandow entitled "Gershwin to Write New Rhapsody," had appeared in Musical America on February 18, 1928 discussing Gershwin's forthcoming work, and his support of the piece was undoubtedly much appreciated by Gershwin as evident in this inscription. The article is frequently cited for the composer'ss early description of a "blues" episode that forms the central section of the work. This article is reprinted in Suriano, Gershwin in His Time, p. 58. See Musical America, Vol. 47, no. 18, February 18, 1928.
Estimate $ 6,000-8,000
Property from the Robert L. McKay Collection, North Tustin, California