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 Decade: 1770-1779
 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Alceste

Alceste

Date: [1774]
Creator: Schweitzer, Anton, 1735-1787.
Description: This is a ca. 1774 score of the opera "Alceste" by Anton Schweitzer based on a libretto by Christoph Wieland. The work premiered in Weimar in 1773. The plot was based on the Greek legend of Alcestis, on the subject of female virtue and conjugal love. The library's copy contains an engraved illustration that portrays a domestic scene. The score does not indicate the musical instruments and the music, which is notated in two, three or four staves, contains the German text underlaid with indication of the character who sings.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Alceste: tragedie opera en trois actes

Alceste: tragedie opera en trois actes

Date: 1776
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787; Calzabigi, Ranieri de, 1714-1795 & Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786
Description: According to Grove Music, "when Admetus, King of Pherae in Thessaly, is ill and about to die an oracle announces that he will be saved if someone else is willing to die in his stead. His wife Alcestis displays her conjugal devotion by offering herself; she dies and Admetus recovers. Under the influence of tragédie lyrique, Calzabigi enriched his libretto with choruses, ballets and opportunities for impressive scenery."
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Colonie : opéra comique en deux actes

Colonie : opéra comique en deux actes

Date: 1776
Creator: Sacchini, Antonio, 1730-1786 & Framery, Nicolas Etienne, 1745-1810
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Echo et Narcisse, drame lyrique en trois actes

Echo et Narcisse, drame lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1779
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Tschudi, Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Théodore, baron de, 1734-1784
Description: After the resounding success of Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), Gluck set out to compose his last of the seven Paris operas, which turned out to be his final opera. Whereas Iphigénie en Tauride is often considered Gluck’s best opera, its immediate successor, Echo et Narcisse (1779) was ill-fated and quickly disappeared from the repertoire. Echo was premiered a mere four months after Tauride, and the Parisian audience was not prepared for the differences between these two operas. Although the music resembles that of his other French operas, the pastoral story lacks the dramatic intensity that viewers expected in a Gluck opera. Thus, the serene music—though it is at times quite beautiful— lacks dramatic impulse.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Momie

Momie

Date: [1778?]
Creator: Despréaux, Jean Étienne, 1748-1820.
Description: This is a ca. 1778 libretto for the burlesque opera in three acts "Momie" by a Jean Étiennethat Despréaux. The opera is a parody based on Leblanc du Roullet's libretto of "Iphigénie en Aulide," an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The libretto includes the titles of the tunes at the opening of each scene. Page 6 of the library's copy is incorrectly numbered as page 9.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Pigmalion

Pigmalion

Date: 1773
Creator: Panard, Charles-François, d. 1765.
Description: This is the 1773 edition of the libretto to the comic opera and vaudeville, "Pigmalion" by Charles-François Panard and Thomas Laffichard. The opera premiered at the Paris Opéra Comique in 1735 . The plot is an adaptation of Ovid's story of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue that he carved. Operatic and ballet representation of the subject of Pigmalion (or Pygmalion) became famous after Antoine Houdar de la Motte's entrée "La sculpture" for the ballet "Le triomphe des arts," which staged in 1700 at Académie Royale de Musique with music by Michel de la Barre. Page 16 of this edition was incorrectly numbered as number 10.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Plain and easy introduction to practical music

Plain and easy introduction to practical music

Date: 1771
Creator: Morley, Thomas, 1557-1603?
Description: In 1597, while Morley was negotiating for the patent, he wrote his musical treatise, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke. Although his preface contains the statement that he had “nothing better to do,” Morley probably knew publishing a treatise on the science of music would boost public interest in purchasing musical works. In addition, by publishing such a work, the English audience would view Morley as an authority in music (and he would become more likely to obtain the patent) (Smith, “Print Culture and the Elizabethan Composer,” 163). The work is practical, and is organized into three sections: teaching to sing simple song, teaching to sing two parts over a plainsong or ground, and teaching counterpoint.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Storia della musica

Storia della musica

Date: 1770
Creator: Martini, Giovanni Battista, 1706-1784.
Description: This is a copy of the second of three volumes of "Storia della musica" (Music History) by Giovanni Batista Martini. Each volume bears a different dedicatee: v.1: alla Sacra reale cattolica Maestà Maria Barbara; v.2: All'Altezza serenissima elettorale di Carlo Teodoro; v.3: a sua Altezza reale Don Ferdinando di Borbone. The t.p. of this volume is printed in red and black ink and decorated with a border that depicts various musical instruments. It also features an illustration of a minotaur and a young boy (presumably, the god Apollo) holding a lyre. This volume is divided in nine chapters and three dissertations. The start of each chapter and each dissertation features, within an ornamented oval-shaped frame, the notated music of a canon in a five-line staff with underlaid text taken from works by Hesiod, Homer, Anacreon, and Sophocles. The book contains maps of Greece and Asia Minor, as well as a table that summarizes the divisions of the breve and prolations translated to 18th century musical notation practice. Chapter 1 discusses the origins of music according to precepts passed down from antiquity and Greece as well as the theory of musical intervals. Chapter 2 discusses several Greek mythological figures and a ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library