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 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
The gentle shepherd, a pastoral comedy

The gentle shepherd, a pastoral comedy

Date: 1796
Creator: Ramsay, Allan, 1686-1758.
Description: This is a copy of the libretto of the pastoral opera, "The gentle shepherd" by Allan Ramsey. It includes an engrave image bearing the inscription "Alan Ramsey Scotus," and "A. Ramsey, ad viv. del." (translatable as, drawing of the living subject) at the bottom left. It also bears the disclaimer and engraving signature, "Published according to Act of Parliament by D. Allan Edin, July 12, 1788" at the bottom right. The libretto includes twelve numbered plates depict various scenes from scenes of each act and include corresponding portions of text or dialog, melodies with figured bass, and a 15-page glossary at the end.
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Hercules : an oratorio in score

Hercules : an oratorio in score

Date: 1788-89
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: The plot of this oratorio centers around Hercules's death by an inadvertent action of his wife Dejanira. Handel set to music the English libretto by Rev. Thomas Broughton's English, based on Sophocles' Trachiniae, and additions from Ovid's Metamorphoses. The performance forces include: soloists (SATB) and mixed chorus with oboes (2) violins (2), viola, Bass (unspecifdied) and continue. The index that appears on p.248 contains the incipits of arias, recitative and choruses for each of the three acts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Date: [1794]
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a ca. 1794 score of "Esther," a sacred oratorio by Handel. According to the Grove Dictionary of Music, the English libretto of the oratorio was probably a collaborative work between John Arbuthnot and Alexander Pope with additional words by Samuel Humphreys. The engraved frontispiece that precedes the t.p. bears the title "Apotheosis of Handel," and the inscription, "The portrait from an original picture of Hudson's in the possession of Dr. Arnold. Designed by Rebecca [Biagio]. Engraved by [James] Heath. Published the 26th of May 1787, being the anniversary of the commemoration of Handel." A table of contents appears on p. 185 with incipits of first lines of text of recitatives and aria. The performance medium includes: oboes (2), flute, bassoon (2), trumpet, strings (violins, viola, violoncello, and bass), harp, soloists (S) and mixed chorus (SATB), and basso continuo. The choral number that appears in the appendix on p.183, contains a note, "This chorus comes in page 122."
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Date: [1794]
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a bound copy of a ca. 1794 score of "Esther," a sacred oratorio by Handel. The cover contains the inscription, "The works of Handel, edited by Dr. Arnold." It does not include the frontispiece preceding the t.p. According to the Grove Dictionary of Music, the English libretto of the oratorio was probably a collaborative work between John Arbuthnot and Alexander Pope with additional words by Samuel Humphreys. A table of contents appears on p. 185 with incipits of first lines of text of recitatives and aria. The performance medium includes: oboes (2), flute, bassoon (2), trumpet, strings (violins, viola, violoncello, and bass), harp, soloists (S) and mixed chorus (SATB), and basso continuo. The choral number that appears in the appendix on p.183, contains a note, "This chorus comes in page 122."
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Romeo et Juliette, opera en trois actes, en prose

Romeo et Juliette, opera en trois actes, en prose

Date: 1793
Creator: Steibelt, Daniel, 1765-1823.
Description: This is the score of Daniel Steibelt's first opera "Roméo et Juliette" composed in 1793 to a libretto by Vicomte Alexandre de Ségur. According to Grove Music, Steibelt submitted this opera to the Académie Royale de Musique, but it was rejected. The work was performed as opéra comique at the Théâtre Feydeau on 9 October 1793, after Steibelt replaced the original recitatives with spoken dialog. The opera is in three acts and the orchestral forces comprise: woodwinds (flutes (2), oboes (2), clarinets (2), and bassoon (2)), brass instruments (horns in E-flat (2), trumpets in C (2), and trombones (3)), timpani in C, and strings (violins, viola, violoncello, and bass). On the t.p., the publisher advertised Steibelt's arrangement for the piano of arias and overture of this opera.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Saul : a sacred oratorio, in score

Saul : a sacred oratorio, in score

Date: [1792?]
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is ca. 1792 musical score of Saul, a sacred oratorio by Handel composed in 1738 to the English text by Charles Jennens. The composition year 1740 given in the t.p. might refer to a performance of the oratorio that took place that year. The performance forces include: vocal soloists (SATB), mixed chorus, and orchestra (2 oboes, bassoon, trombones (3), horns (2), strings (violin, viola, violoncello, bass), timpani, organ, harp and continuo). A content index with the incipits of recitatives and arias appears on a separate page at the end of the score.
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Tarare : opéra en cinq actes avec un prologue

Tarare : opéra en cinq actes avec un prologue

Date: 1790
Creator: Salieri, Antonio, 1750-1825
Description: Antonio Salieri’s French debut Les Danaïdes (1784) led to additional commissions, Les Horaces (1786) and Tarare (1787). Although Les Horaces was not well-received, Tarare was popular both in Paris and Vienna. Beaumarchais supplied the libretto for Tarare, basing his plot on the third volume of the exotic English collection The Tales of the Genii, or The Delightful Lessons of Horam, the Son of Asmar (1764) by James Ridley, (pseudonym for Sir Charles Morell), who claimed the stories were translated from a Persian source.
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Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

Date: 1789
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: Although the story of Bluebeard was familiar to French readers from Charles Perrault’s 1698 collection of children’s tales, transferring it to the operatic stage was problematic due in large part to the gruesome nature of the plot. Other violent works had appeared in Paris, but in this instance, the drama was to be performed at the Comédie-Italienne, which typically featured lighter plots than that of Raoul and Isaure. Nevertheless, the opera had a successful run, receiving over a hundred performances in the decade after its premiere. After its initial popularity, Raoul Bluebeard was staged less frequently, but it still made an impression on nineteenth-century composers, particularly Weber.
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Barbier de Seville [Il barbiere di Siviglia] Opéra comique en quatre actes

Barbier de Seville [Il barbiere di Siviglia] Opéra comique en quatre actes

Date: 1789
Creator: Paisiello, Giovanni, 1740-1816
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
The musick for the Royal fireworks

The musick for the Royal fireworks

Date: 1788
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a [ca. 1788] score of one of the arrangements Handel made of his "Music for the Royal Fireworks." The caption title gives indication that this version contains the music as performed in 1749. The Grove Dictionary of Music lists two other arrangements from ca. 1746. The performance forces of this edition include: trumpets (3), horns (3), timpani, oboes (2), bassoon, and strings (violin, viola, violoncello, and contrabass). The plate no. appears in both Roman and Arabic forms: No. XXIV and No. 24.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library