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 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Ballet du Temple de la paix

Ballet du Temple de la paix

Date: 1685
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: The elements that make up the Jean-Baptiste Lully's Ballet du Temple de la Paix have some parallels to the plot of Roland, which premiered in the same year. Both celebrate the expanding influence of France and Louis XIV through the introduction of exotic characters. The flexibility of the ballet de cour format, which was more a progression of loosely related scenes and spectacles than an organized plot, allowed librettist Philippe Quinault more freedom in his elaboration of that theme.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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 & Sedaine, 1719-1797
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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; Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de, 1732-1799 & Framery, Nicolas Etienne, 1745-1810
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Bellérophon; tragedie mise en musique

Bellérophon; tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1679
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687; Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684; Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757 & Boileau Despréaux, Nicolas, 1636-1711
Description: Although not the first of the Jean-Baptiste Lully's tragédies lyriques, Bellérophon was the first of Lully's opera scores to appear in print. The Ballard first edition was printed in 1679 to accompany the premiere, on January 31 of that year, at the Palais Royale. Bellérophon was the second of two operas (the first was Psyché) created by Lully without librettist Philippe Quinault after the scandal associated with Isis that led to Quinault's temporary dismissal as royal librettist. After an extended illness during which he did not compose, Lully collaborated with Thomas Corneille and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle for the second time to create one of his most unqualified successes. Following the first performance in January 1679, Bellérophon played for nine months at the Palais Royale.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Belshazzar : a sacred Oratorio in Score

Belshazzar : a sacred Oratorio in Score

Date: {1744-08-23, 1744-10-23}
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759. & Jennens, Charles, 1700-1773
Description: A sacred oratorio in three acts for soloists and mixed chorus (SATB) with orchestra acc. (2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, and basso continuo). A contents index is given on p. 219. According to the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Handel composed this oratorio from 23 August - 23 October 1744. Charles Jennens wrote the libretto on the Biblical story of the downfall of the King of Babylon with details taken from "Cyropaedia" (a political romance about the education of an ideal ruler) by Herodotus and Xenophon's.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Buona figliuola : opera comica

Buona figliuola : opera comica

Date: 1767
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800; Goldoni, Carlo, 1707-1793 & Richardson, Samuel, 1689-1761
Description: Goldoni turned to Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) as the inspiration for his La buona figliuola. In 1750, he wrote the play Pamela nubile and then turned it into a libretto for Duni. Although Duni’s La buona figliuola (1756) was a failure, Piccinni’s setting in 1760 was a huge success. The hilarious comedy coupled with Piccinni’s sentimental treatment of Cecchina contributed to the popularity of the opera, which still receives performances to this day. Typical of opera buffe, La buona figliuola features chain-like finales that propel the plot and characters to the end of the act (at that time, sectional finales were new to Rome). Other features of his music that receive praise are the beautiful, Italianate melodies, energetic accompaniments, and the variety of musical treatment throughout the opera.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Le cadi dupé

Le cadi dupé

Date: 1766
Creator: Lemonnier, Pierre René, 1731-1796.
Description: This is a 1766 copy of the libretto of the one-act comic opera "Le cadi dupé" (The duped judge), by Pierre René Lemonnier to music by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny. The first performance of the opera took place at the Paris Foire St-Germain on 4 February 1761. Christoph Willibald Gluck's music replaced that of Monsigny's for the 8 December 1761 performance at the Burgtheater in Vienna.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Le carnaval de Venise

Le carnaval de Venise

Date: [184?]
Creator: Meyer, Leopold von, 1816-1883.
Description: This is a digital copy of "Le carnaval de Venise" by Leopold von Meyer. The Austrian composer and pianist von Meyer, had a successful performance career in Russia, eastern Europe and Vienna and also achieved success in London and Paris. He visited the United States on October 1845 and his histrionic performance style and bravura showpieces were received with wide acclaim. This piece was dedicate to the operatic soprano Eugenie García (née Mayer; 1815-1880), who was the first wife of the famous Spanish baritone Manuel García. "Le carnaval de Venise" is part of a bound collection of piano pieces composed by von Meyer that also includes fantasies on famous nineteenth-century operas, variations, national airs, marches, valses, an etude and nocturnes. These are the titles of all the piano pieces by von Meyer in the order in which they appear in the library's collection: Lucrezia Borgia: introduction and brilliant variations for the piano forte; Variations sur un theme de Semiramis de Rossini, op.37; Fantaisie sur L'Elixir d'amore, op.32; Fantaisie sur Norma de Bellini, op. 40; Fantaisie sur un air de Bellini; Le carnaval de Venise, varié pour le piano, op.31; Grande fantaisie orientale sur deux themes arabes, op.38; Fantaisie sur Les ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Catone in Utica

Catone in Utica

Date: [1763]
Creator: Metastasio, Pietro, 1698-1782.
Description: This is a ca. 1763 copy of the libretto of "Catone in Utica," by Metastasio. Gian Francesco de Majo set this libretto to music for the 1763 carnival season in Turin. In this story, Caesar and Fulvio meet Cato, Utica's ruler, and offer him a peace truce, but Emilia, Pompey's widow, suspects treachery and plots to murder Caesar. Cato rejects a Senate's order for a reconciliation with Caesar and demands that Caesar surrender his dictatorial powers. Marzia, Cato's daughter, promised in marriage to Arbace, is in love with Caesar and pleas to her father to deter him from waging war. Arbace, who feels that his love for Marcia was betrayed, is lured by Emilia into an assassination attempt on Caesar. Fulvio is led to believe that Emilia will attempt on Caesar's life as he leaves by the gate of the city and advises him to take a secret path only to discover that Emilia used him to deliver Caesar into the hands of her followers. As Fulvio announces the victory of Caesar's armies in Utica, Cato stabs himself and before dying grants forgiveness to Marcia on condition that she swear loyalty to Arbaces and hatred towards Caesar. The library's copy ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library