Copland, Aaron. (1900–1990)
"In the Beginning" – Autograph Musical Quotation Signed
Boldly penned AMQS, the opening measure of Copland's "In the Beginning," signed "Aaron Copland" and dated 40 years after the work's premiere, 1987, in black ink. In very fine condition, an ideal uninscribed example, on a trimmed sheet of music manuscript paper. 7.6 x 4 inches (19.3 x 10.2 cm.).
In the Beginning is a 1947 choral work set to a text from the Book of Genesis chapter 1:1 to 2:7. The 15'–20' minute long work is for mixed four-part chorus a capella and soprano or mezzo-soprano solo. The work is evocative of the Hebrew davening and shows the influence of polytonality with references to jazz and blues. It was written for a “Symposium on Music Criticism” held at Harvard on May 1–3, 1947, and organized by A. Tillman Merritt. The premiere was performed by the Collegiate Chorale at the Harvard Memorial Church, Cambridge on 2 May of that year, conducted by Robert Shaw. (Choral Singer's Companion)