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Here is a lttle known transcription for the accordion. It was transcribed for stradella accordion by the Great Anthony Galla-Rini. Until recently it was only available in his hand written manuscript and only a very few individuals had access to it.

BettyJo Simon accomplished this piece and she orchestrated it using her MIDI accordion to emulate the original orchestral sounds of this piece. Below you can listen to her recording of this number. A fun thing to do is to download the PDF file... print it... and then follow the music as you listen to her wonderful performance.

This is a very well known orchestral piece, and after you have had a chance to listen to BettyJo's redition, I'm sure you'll agree that this piece works excellently on the accordion. This number was composed by George Gershwin and has become a musical classic. The transcription by Anthony Galla-Rini is true to the original orchestral score and now, for the very first time, it is available to you... as a Thank You Gift for your longevity with The CordeenMan News.

All you'll need to do is click on the "FREE Download Registration" button, register your copy, press the 'Submit' button and receive immediate access to download the PDF file.
 

The engraving of this accordion arrangement (from the original hand written transcription manuscript by Gall-Rini) courtesy of my good friend Ron Ostromecki (email)

An American In Paris

An American in Paris is a symphonic composition by American composer George Gershwin, composed in 1928. Inspired by time Gershwin had spent in Paris, it is in the form of an extended tone poem evoking the sights and energy of the French capital in the 1920s. It is one of Gershwin's best-known compositions.

Gershwin composed the piece on commission from the New York Philharmonic. He also did the orchestration. (He did not orchestrate his musicals.) Gershwin scored An American in Paris for the standard instruments of the symphony orchestra plus celesta, saxophone, and automobile horns. 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 the New York Philharmonic.

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Gershwin collaborated on the original program notes with the critic and composer Deems Taylor, noting that: "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." When the tone poem moves into the blues, "our American friend ... has succumbed to a spasm of homesickness." But, "nostalgia is not a fatal disease." The American visitor "once again is an alert spectator of Parisian life" and "the street noises and French atmosphere are triumphant."

An American in Paris is scored for 3 flutes (3rd doubling on piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in B flat, bass clarinet in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in B flat, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, low and high tom-toms, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, 4 taxi horns, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, and strings.

An American in Paris has been frequently recorded over the years. The very first recording was made for RCA Victor in 1929 with Nathaniel Shilkret conducting the Victor Symphony Orchestra, drawn from members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Gershwin was on hand to "supervise" the recording; however, Shilkret was reported to be in charge and eventually asked the composer to leave the recording studio. Then, a little later, Shilkret discovered there was no one to play the brief celesta solo during the slow section, so he hastily asked Gershwin if he might play the solo; Gershwin said he could and so he briefly participated in the actual recording. Later, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra recorded the work for RCA Victor, including one of the first stereo recordings of the music. In 1945, Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra recorded the music in Carnegie Hall, one of the few commercial recordings Toscanini made of music by an American composer.

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In 1951, MGM released a musical comedy, An American in Paris, featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. Winner of numerous awards, including the 1951 Best Picture Oscar, the film was directed by Vincente Minnelli, featured many tunes of Gershwin, and concluded with an extensive, elaborate dance sequence built around Gershwin's symphonic poem (arranged for the film by Johnny Green).

A part of the symphonic composition is also featured in As Good as It Gets, released in 1997.

Here is the Galla-Rini Transcription as recorded by BettyJo Simon:



An American In Paris - Page 01


Introducing BettyJo Simon...

Musically Yours - Betty Jo Simon
The spring of 2005 marked my 50th year of playing the accordion. From the day a door to door salesman brought a 12-bass accordion into my life, it's been an awesome run and I thank God for giving me this talent.

Music transcends all language barriers and through it, I have learned my geography. USO Tours have taken me to Greenland, Newfoundland, Labrador and Germany.

Touring with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians gave me more of an appreciation for our United States. Playing in the Accordion Orchestra of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) took me to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Musicianary friends living in Hong Kong accompanied me on performances in Meizhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Wuhan, where I appeared on a variety show on Chinese satellite TV. Along the way, I've met wonderfully talented people who have had a great influence on my playing.

I have orchestrated several of Anthony Galla-Rini's inspiring and challenging arrangements. "The Rosary" was arranged for the left hand with the right hand joining in on the second half as a counter melody. In "Begin the Beguine," I particularly love the way he uses the bolero effect.

I added a solo guitar effect in "Malaguena," which is unique to this arrangement. I was inspired by the Boston Pops rendition of "An American in Paris." It was particularly demanding as there are over 48 different sound combination changes within 8 minutes!

All you'll need to do is click on the "FREE Download Registration" button,
register your copy, press the 'Submit' button and receive immediate access to download the PDF file.


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Lenny Happy Anniversary