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 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Acis and Galatea

Acis and Galatea

Date: 1743
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a ca. 1743 score of Acis and Galatea, a musical masque (also considered an English pastoral opera) by Handel to a libretto by John Gay. The performance forces include: oboes (2), flauto [recorder], violins, basso continuo, and chorus of mixed voices (mostly soprano, three tenors and bass) and vocal soloists. On the front cover the name Morgan appears imprinted on a red stamp with golden ornaments and letters. The names Anna Maria [Lawes] and Mary Anne Morgan were written at the top of the title page and the inscription, "the gift [of] her uncle T. Morgan, 1808." Underneath the dedication: WH London, 1890.
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Alexander's Feast or the Power of Musick.

Alexander's Feast or the Power of Musick.

Date: 1743
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759. & Dryden, John, 1631-1700.
Description: A secular choral work in two parts for four soloists (SSTB) and mixed chorus (SATB) with orchestra acc. (2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, 3 violins, viola, violoncello, and continuo). The names of the vocal soloists (Mr. [John] Beard, Signora [Anna Maria] Strada, Miss. [Cecilia] Young, and Mr. Erard) are printed at the top of their designated songs.
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Giulio Cesare : opera in tre atti

Giulio Cesare : opera in tre atti

Date: 1743
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a [ca. 1743] score of "Giulio Cesare," an Italian opera seria in three acts by Handel. The performance forces include: flute, oboe, horns (in A and D), strings (violin, viola, violoncello, bass), continuo (theorbo and viola da gamba), harp, chorus of mixed voices (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), and soloist singers. A list of solo arias and duets of each act appears on p.170 followed by a list containing the names of the subscribers on pp.[171-172]. Two mythological figures [possibly, the god Apollo and the Muse Erato] and musical instruments signed by the London engraver [John] Strongitharm of Pall Mall appear on the title page. The name of each character appear at the top of p.3 with the names of the actual performers inscribed with pencil. The names of the casting coincide with those listed in the Oxford Dictionary of Music (online, 2009): "the castratos Senesino, Gaetano Berenstadt and Giuseppe Bigonzi (Caesar, Ptolemy and Nirenus), Francesca Cuzzoni (Cleopatra), Margherita Durastanti (Sextus), Anastasia Robinson (Cornelia), Giuseppe Boschi (Achillas) and John Lagarde or Laguerre (Curius)."
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Les Elemens

Les Elemens

Date: 1742
Creator: Destouches, André Cardinal, 1672-1749
Description: This four-act ballet was premiered on 22 December 1721 at the Tullieries and, later, performed at L'Academie Royale de Musique on 29 May 1725 and 27 May 1734, and at the Theatre on 22 May 1742. Various dramatis personae present an allegorical depiction of the French court.
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Judas Maccabaeus

Judas Maccabaeus

Date: 1740
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a [ca. 1740] score of Judas Maccabaeus, a sacred oratorio by Handel. It contains a table of songs for each of the three acts of the oratorio and a descriptive catalog of music composed by Handel, which includes: Italian operas, English oratorios as well as concertos, chamber music and transcription of vocal music for instruments. The performance forces include: vocal soloists (SATB or SATB), strings (violins, viola, violoncello and contra bass), oboes, traverse flute, and bassoon. It also includes figured bass for continuo playing. The names of singers (Gambarini, Galli, Reinhold, and Beard) appear at the heading of each aria. Page [73], incorrectly numbered 48, contains a keyboard march identified as: No.484 Marche.
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XII solos for a violin

XII solos for a violin

Date: 1740~
Creator: Corelli, Arcangelo, 1653-1713
Description: This English edition of Corelli's Op. 5 sonata for violin and continuo is, aside from an engraving of the composer and the title page, printed on both the recto and verso sides of the leaves. The bass line contains figures. A note by the publisher states: "These Solos are Printed from a curious Edition Publish'd at Rome by the Author."
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Nouvelles Poesies Morales sur Les Plus Beaux Airs de la Musique Francoise et Italienne avec la Basse.: Fables Choisies Dans le gout de M. De La Fontaine, Sur des Vaudevilles & petits Airs aisés à chanter, avec leur Basse & une Basse en Musette.  Recueil I.  6 liv. broché.

Nouvelles Poesies Morales sur Les Plus Beaux Airs de la Musique Francoise et Italienne avec la Basse.: Fables Choisies Dans le gout de M. De La Fontaine, Sur des Vaudevilles & petits Airs aisés à chanter, avec leur Basse & une Basse en Musette. Recueil I. 6 liv. broché.

Date: 1737
Creator: La Fontaine, Jean de, 1621-1695
Description: This score is a collection of poetry and set to music including moral fables (marked on the table of contents with an asterisk). Each piece has words written with musical lines in treble, bass, or a combination of both. Includes a preface ('Avis.') and table of contents for the movements prior to page 1 for each of the seven collections ('recueil'). The pagination restarts for each collection and for the fables which fall at the end of each section.
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Ode on St. Cecilia's Day

Ode on St. Cecilia's Day

Date: 1736
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: A sacred work for mixed chorus (SATB) with orchestra acc. (2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, and basso continuo). A contents index is given on p. 74. Plate no. 105.
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Beggar's opera

Beggar's opera

Date: 1735
Creator: Pepusch, John Christopher, 1667-1752. & Gay, John, 1685-1732.
Description: This is a 1735 fourth ed. of the three-act ballad opera "The beggar's opera" by John Christopher Pepusch and John Gay. It includes the score for the overture (for violins (2), viola, and bass ensemble) and the melodies of each song. The inscription, "Nos haec novimus esse nihil" (transl. as, We know these to be nothing) that appears on the t.p. is an epigram by Marcus Valerius Martialis from his Books of Epigrams. On the back of the t.p. appears the advertisement of these works printed by John Watts: Fifty one new fables in verse; The tunes to the songs in the Beggar's Opera, transposed for the flute; and Gay's opera "Achilles." A table of songs shows the first lines of text for each act. The item includes a list of characters.
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Achilles. An opera.

Achilles. An opera.

Date: 1733
Creator: Gay, John, 1685-1732
Description: John Gay is credited with inventing the ballad opera, a genre that blends spoken plays and previously composed songs to new texts. Although The Beggar’s Opera (1728) was his most successful endeavor, he continued to compose English musical dramas. Achilles was finally performed in 1733, one year after Gay died. In this story, Achilles appears as a girl named Pyrrha, unknown to most of the inhabitants of the island of Scyros, in order to circumvent a prediction that he will die in battle. Deidamia (the king’s daughter) knows the secret, however, because she is carrying the disguised man’s child. After Achilles’s identity is revealed, he and Deidamia are able to wed. Then, in a fateful twist of irony, Achilles plans to join the Greeks in the Trojan War.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Devil to pay: or, The wives metamorphos'd

Devil to pay: or, The wives metamorphos'd

Date: 1732
Creator: Coffey, Charles, d. 1745; Mottley, John, 1692-1750 & Jevon, Thomas, 1652-1688
Description: English libretto to Charles Coffey's ballad opera The devil to pay or, The wives metamorphos'd. The Devil to Pay is an adaptation of Thomas Jevon’s play The Devil of a Wife (1686). Nearly fifty years later, the ballad opera appeared at Drury Lane with Charles Coffey and John Mottley each responsible for half of the three acts. However, a much shorter and more well-received one-act version, edited by Theophilus Cibber, is represented in the printed libretto. Today Coffey is generally the only name widely attached to The Devil to Pay. The opera’s popularity is attested by the frequent performances and a translation into German, which contributed to the development of the Singspiel.
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Le triomphe des sens

Le triomphe des sens

Date: 1732
Creator: Mouret, Jean-Joseph, 1682-1738
Description: This opera (ballet héroique) is comprised of five acts with a prologue. It was premiered on 29 May 1732 at L'accademie Royale de Musique in Paris. This score opens with a letter of dedication from the composer "A Son Altesse Serenissime Monseigneur Le Prince de Dombes." Next, Mouret includes two tables of contents: one of the dances (Airs de Simphonie) and the other, of the arias (Airs à Chanter). The following pages lists other publications by Mouret including prices and where these items may be purchased. Vocal lines are set apart from instrumental ones by text underlay and, in the case of high voices, the use of the standard treble clef. (The violin parts use the French clef.
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Harmonia Sacra

Harmonia Sacra

Date: 1730~
Creator: Purcell, Henry, 1659-1695
Description: This collection of six anthems for various combinations of voices employs a figured continuo accompaniment. Instrumental interludes labeled "symphonies" can also be found interspersed among the choral selections. Though the music cites no particular scriptural passages, the text seems inspired by - if not directly derived from - the Bible.
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Les amours des dieux : ballet heroique

Les amours des dieux : ballet heroique

Date: 1727
Creator: Mouret, Jean Joseph, 1682-1738
Description: None
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Le voyage de Cythere

Le voyage de Cythere

Date: 1727
Creator: Villeneuve, Alexandre de, 1677-1756
Description: This secular cantata for soprano and basso continuo features obbligato flute and violin. The introductory letter addresses not a royal patron but a commercial one - the women that would sing this cantata.
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Rutzvanscad, il giovine

Rutzvanscad, il giovine

Date: 1724
Creator: Valaresso, Zaccaria, 1686-1769.
Description: This is a copy of Cattuffio Panchianio's "Rutzvanscad, il Giovine," a parody of Greek tragedy. The library's copy is bound with the libretto of Giovanni Battista Casti's "Prima la musica e poi le parole." Clarification notes relating to terms and characters of the tragedy appear on the back of p.79 together with a list of printing errors.
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Persée : tragedie

Persée : tragedie

Date: 1722
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Philippe Quinault, 1635-1688
Description: King Louis XIV's involvement in campaigns against the Dutch/Swedish alliance in early 1682 prevented him from attending the premiere of Persée in April of that year. As was customary in the operas of composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Philippe Quinault, the prologue included references to current battlefield exploits and portrayed the king as a paragon of virtue. The prologues of previous Lully operas emphasized glory and prowess over virtue; the change in emphasis in Persée may have resulted from the increased influence of Madame de Maintenon (the king's new mistress) in the court and her pension for decorum.
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Atys : tragedie mise en musique

Atys : tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1720
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Atys, which premiered on 10 January 1676, is the first of the tragédies lyriques of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault to have a tragic ending. As the Prologue indicates, the tragedie itself is a divertissement to ease the king's mind of his impending duties. Joyce Newman, in Jean-Baptiste de Lully and his Tragédie Lyriques, summarizes the message of the story in this way: "In [Atys], Quinault shows how actions which are not in accord with the noble ideal will bring defeat and punishment. Not only is love in opposition to glory in this opera, but also it is shown that if love is place more highly than honor, it will bring unhappiness even to one of the immortals."
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Isis; tragedie mise en musique

Isis; tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1719
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Isis, which premiered January 5, 1677, at St. Germain-en-Laye, was the fifth of Jean-Baptiste Lully's tragédies lyriques written with librettist Philippe Quinault. The plot is loosely adapted from one of the episodes in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In many of its essentials, the plot of Isis resembles that of Lully's previous opera, Atys. In Isis, the nymph Io, daughter of the river Inachus, is promised in marriage to Hierax, just as the nymph Sangaride, daughter of the river Sangar, was promised to Celoenus. Like Sangaride, Io is pursued by another love and yields to this love in spite of her feelings of guilt. Like Sangaride, Io has a goddess as a rival and is vulnerable to her jealousy. Lully's contemporaries interpreted this story as representing the volatile situation between two of the King's mistresses. The subsequent scandale of the premiere ended the collaboration between Lully and Quinault for a time, and led to the dismissal of a number of members of Lully's artistic circle.
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Three Cantatas

Three Cantatas

Date: 1717
Creator: Hayden, George, d. 1722?
Description: It is upon this set of three Italianate cantatas - "Martillo," "Thyrsis and Neptune" and "Amymone" that Hayden's reputation mainly rests. The second and third works include unspecified obbligato instruments. Content is printed only on the recto of each leaf. The bass line contains no figuration.
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Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Date: 1716
Creator: Collasse, Pascal, 1649-1709 & Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757
Description: Pascal Collasse was one of the few opera composers able to secure successful performances in the years following Lully’s death. Collasse then went on to supply the music for the entire opera, Thétis et Pélée, which was premiered at the Paris Opéra on 11 January 1689. Thétis remained popular throughout Collasse’s lifetime, in spite of its rather weak plot. Owing to its success is primarily the music, including a significant storm scene in Act II. This departure from the Lullian tradition is perhaps Collasse’s most significant contribution to the tradition of French opera.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Thesée; tragedie mise en musique

Thesée; tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1711
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Thesée, which premiered at the court theater at St. Germain-en-laye on January 11, 1675, was Jean-Baptiste Lully's third tragédie lyrique created in collaboration with librettist Philippe Quinault. As in most of his libretti for Lully, Quinault combines a plot based on a classical source (an episode from Ovid's Metamorphoses) with references to contemporary events. The Prologue alludes to Louis XIV's personal leadership in the military engagements in the Alsace (along the French/German border). The juxtaposition of Venus' entreaties for pleasure with Mars' call to arms reflects a period of unease during which the French armies were in retreat from the armies of the Elector of Brandenburg. This resulted in the unique joining of songs of love with songs of war and victory.
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Cantates françoises à I. et II. voix: avec simphonie, et sans simphonie, V. 1-2

Cantates françoises à I. et II. voix: avec simphonie, et sans simphonie, V. 1-2

Date: 1710
Creator: Clérambault, Louis-Nicolas, 1676-1749
Description: This item contains volumes 1 and 2 of Clérambault's "Cantates Françoises." The second volume bears the subtitle "Mellées de Simphonies." Volume 1 contains the cantatas "L'amour piqué," "Le jaloux," "Orphée," "Poliphême," "Medée," and "L'amour et Baccus." Volume 2 contains "Alphée et Arethuse," "Leandre et Hero," "La musette," "Pirame et Tisbé," "Pigmalion," and "Le triomphe de la paix." The continuo line is figured.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Atys; tragedie mise en musique

Atys; tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1709
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Atys, which premiered on 10 January 1676, is the first of the tragédies lyriques of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault to have a tragic ending. As the Prologue indicates, the tragedie itself is a divertissement to ease the king's mind of his impending duties. Joyce Newman, in Jean-Baptiste de Lully and his Tragédie Lyriques, summarizes the message of the story in this way: "In [Atys], Quinault shows how actions which are not in accord with the noble ideal will bring defeat and punishment. Not only is love in opposition to glory in this opera, but also it is shown that if love is place more highly than honor, it will bring unhappiness even to one of the immortals."
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library