American in Paris
On a recommendation from Maurice Ravel, Gershwin arrived in Paris in March 1928 to meet with Nadia Boulanger. After playing only ten minutes of his music, Boulanger replied that she had nothing to teach him. This did not set Gershwin back, as his real intent abroad was to complete a new work based on Paris.
Composed in 1928 on a commission from the New York Philharmonic, An American in Paris was inspired by the time Gershwin had spent in Paris, evoking the sights and energy of the capital in the 1920s. Gershwin 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 Walter Damrosch conducting. Gershwin noted in the original program notes "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."
423.11 - 3 Trumpets in B flat (one doubles on piccolo), Flugelhorn, 2 Horns, 2 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba - Percussion 1 is Xylophone, Suspended Cymbal, Wood Block, Snare Drum, Glockenspiel, Tom-Toms, Choke Cymbal, Triangle; Percussion 2 is Snare Drum, Wood Block, Taxi Horns, Triangle, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Glockenspiel, Tom-Tom, Choke Cymbal, Xylophone, Crash Cymbals
Grade 5 - advanced college/university or professional ensemble
Full score and parts in PDF available for download.