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Le istitutioni harmoniche

Le istitutioni harmoniche

Date: 1562
Creator: Zarlino, Gioseffo, 1517-1590.
Description: This is a 1562 copy of "Le istitutioni harmoniche," one of the most influential music theory treatises written by Gioseffo Zarlino. The first edition appeared in Venice in 1558. The treatise, divided in four parts, includes theoretical and practical elements of music. The first two parts discuss philosophical, cosmological and mathematical aspects of music, Greek tonal system and tuning. The third and fourth parts cover the rules of counterpoint and modes, respectively. This copy bears a dedication to Vicenzo Diedo. It contains a table of contents per chapter and list of corrections. Several handwritten annotations appear on the t.p. ink: "coll: cochi nuoi soc: Jesù;" "exdono Joannis Jerary;" and "Inscriptet catalog."
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Prattica di musica, utile et necessaria si al compositore per comporre i canti suoi regolatamente, si anco al cantore per assicurarsi in tutte le cose cantabili

Prattica di musica, utile et necessaria si al compositore per comporre i canti suoi regolatamente, si anco al cantore per assicurarsi in tutte le cose cantabili

Date: 1596
Creator: Zacconi, Lodovico, 1555-1627.
Description: This book is the first part of Lodovico Zacconi's "Prattica di musica," published in 1596. The contents of this book are divided in four parts covering: the history of music, definition of musical terms, introduction to musical notation, modes, time and prolation, rules of counterpoint, musica ficta, classification of musical instruments, and proper manner of singing polyphonic works and musical ornaments. A second part, "Prattica di musica seconda parte," was published in Venice in 1622. The library's copy contains the following pagination errors: leaves 30, 67, 124, 130, 134, 188 were numbered incorrectly as 29, 140, 130, 122, 130, 194, respectively. There are two leaves numbered 50, each containing the parts for the alto, bass and tenor with underlaid text "Beatus author seculi" and "Residuo." Each leaf is preceded by another leaf that contains the singing parts for the cantus, quintus and tenor. These are two versions of a polyphonic setting, in duple time and triple mensuration, respectively. In the second example, the words Gloria tibi domine" appear under the cantus and quintus.
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Isis, tragedie en musique

Isis, tragedie en musique

Date: 1677
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Isis," by Philippe Quinolt. The music of the opera was composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully's and premiered on January 5, 1677 at St. Germain-en-Laye. The libretto is a loose adaptation of one of the episodes in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The plot resembles that of Lully's previous opera, Atys. It is set in pastoral and divine realms. In the opera, Jupiter courts the nymph Io, and jealous Juno imprisons her under the hundred watchful eyes of Argus. The god Mercury helps Io to escape and turns Hiérax, Io's former lover, into a bird when he tries to interfere. Then, Juno orders a Fury to torment Io. After a series of tortures, Io invokes Jupiter who interferes with Juno promising he will be faithful to her in exchange of her sparing Io. Juno then transforms Io into the Egyptian goddess Isis. On the title page for this opera, there is a lithograph illustration of the god Apollo holding a lyre and the goddess Euterpe playing a stringed instrument that resembles a guitar. It also depicts the fleur de lis, and on the background, an allegorical image Louis XIV, the Sun King.
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Proserpine

Proserpine

Date: 1680
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Proserpine," by Philippe Quinolt; the plot is based on the story of the abduction of Proserpine and her descent into Hades, and also on Ovid's Metamorphoses, its original source. In the plot, Cerés, the goddess of the earth, summons the nymph Aréthuse to guard her daughter Proserpine. Aréthuse protests, and tells Cerés of her love for Alphée, the river god, but the anxious mother warns her she should not let her own feelings interfere with the assigned task. Alphée assumes that Aréthuse abandoned him to look after Proserpine. Taking advantage of the situation, Ascalaphe, Pluto's envoy, encourages Alphée's belief in Aréthuse's supposed infidelity; then, persuades both Alphée and Aréthuse into letting Pluto watch over Proserpine. Alphée and Aréthuse agree and as the lovers' attention wanders, Pluto seizes Proserpine and abducts her. Cerés learns of her daughter's abduction and in despair decides to withhold her gifts that give earth prosperity. When Alphée and Aréthuse finally reach Proserpine, they find that she has already eaten of the grain and tasted the fruit of the underworld, which condemned her to Pluto's control. Proserpine begs Pluto for mercy, but the love-stricken god refuses to free her. Pluto summons his judges ...
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Le triomphe de l'amour

Le triomphe de l'amour

Date: 1681
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the ballet "Le triomphe de l'amour" written by Philippe Quinault in collaboration with Isaac de Benserade. It is divided in two parts. The first, contais the prologue and the ballet entrances (i.e., entrées); the second part contains flattering comments and instructions directed to the noble people participating in the ballet. Each of the entrées that comprise "Le Triomphe de l'Amour" reveal aspects of love triumphant. The theater represents a magnificently ornate place where a crowd receives Amour (i.e., the god Love), the son of Venus. The latter presides over the crowd and sings of the virtues of the king who has restored peace to his kingdom. Venus entreats everyone to pay homage to her victorious son. The first performance took place at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on January 21, 1681. The twenty entrées of this 'ballet de cour' (i.e., court ballet) were choreographed by Pierre Beauchamp with music by Jean-Baptiste Lully. Carlo Vigarani designed the stage décor and Jean Berain provided designs for costumes and decorations of this royal festivity. This copy includes a frontispiece engraving that depicts a stage setting by Daniel Marot.
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Phaeton

Phaeton

Date: 1683
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Phaeton," by Philippe Quinolt. The plot is based on an episode in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In the plot, Phaethon, son of Climène and Soleil [the Sun], is filled with excessive ambition and pride. He abandons his beloved, Théone, and requests to the King of Egypt the hand of his daughter Libie. Climène, who after consulting the sea god Proteus knows of the demise that her son's avarice will bring upon himself, tries in vain to discourage his ambition for the throne of Egypt and urges him to renew his love for Theona. However, Phaeton goaded by the taunts of his rival, Epaphus, rides recklessly across the sky in his father's chariot. The spectacular ending includes Jupiter's thunderbolts aimed at stopping Phaethon's wild ride, and Phaethon crashing onto earth where he dies. An ensemble and chorus provide a sorrowful denouement. On the title page for this opera, there is a lithograph illustration of the god Apollo holding a lyre and the goddess Euterpe playing a stringed instrument that resembles a guitar. It also depicts the fleur de lis, and on the background, an allegorical image Louis XIV, the Sun King. It also includes an engraved frontispiece titled, "Le ...
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Amadis, tragedie en musique

Amadis, tragedie en musique

Date: 1684
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the 1684 opera "Amadis," by Philippe Quinolt. The premiere of Amadis was delayed for a year after Lully completed its composition in order to allow the proper mourning period for Marie Thérese, wife of Louis XIV, who died in July of 1683. While still abstaining from theater at court, Louis XIV at last allowed the first public presentation of "Amadis" at the Opéra in Paris on 18 January 1684. It was an immediate public success. On the title page for this opera, there is a lithograph illustration of the god Apollo holding a lyre and the goddess Euterpe playing a stringed instrument that resembles a guitar. It also depicts the fleur de lis, and on the background, an allegorical image Louis XIV, the Sun King.
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La Geneviefa

La Geneviefa

Date: 1685
Creator: Gigli, Girolamo, 1660-1722
Description: This is a ca. 1685 copy of the three-act libretto of "La Geneviefa" by Girolamo Gigli. The work was dedicated to Prince Francesco Maria of Toscana. The Sienese composer Giuseppe Fabbrini set the libretto to music for an opera staged at the theater of the Collegio Tolomei in Siena. Although the music of the opera is lost, the remark, "Il Sign. Giuseppe Fabrini, che ha data l'anima al verso con l'armonia della musica ..." in the preface of the libretto confirms Fabbrini's setting it to music. Concerning Fabbrini's operas, the Grove Music states that, "His operas to librettos by Gigli were all written for the college theatre which opened in 1685." The opera "La Genefieva" premiered that same year in February.
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Roland

Roland

Date: 1685
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Roland" by Philippe Quinault; he based the plot of Roland on medieval legends of chivalry, setting episodes from Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem "Orlando furioso." Roland centers on the conflict between duty and love and the intervention of goddesses. This copy includes includes handwritten annotations of performers' names, and a frontispiece engraving undersigned by Jean Dolivar (i.e., Juan Dolivar) that illustrates one of the scenes from the opera. Jean-Baptiste Lully composed the music of the opera which premiered on January 8, 1685.
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Zephire et Flore

Zephire et Flore

Date: 1688
Creator: Duboullay, Michel
Description: This is a digital reproduction of the 1688 libretto of the opera "Zephire et Flore" by Michel Du Boullay. The music of the opera is attributed to Louis and Jean-Louis Lully, sons of Jean-Baptiste Lully. It was performed for the first time on March 22, 1688 at the Palais Royale in Paris.
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La fede ne' tradimenti

La fede ne' tradimenti

Date: 1689
Creator: Gigli, Girolamo, 1660-1722.
Description: This is a 1689 copy of Girolamo Gigli's three-act libretto for the opera "La Fede ne' tradimenti," set to music by Giuseppe Fabbrini for the 1689 Carnival season at the Collegio Tolomei in Siena, Italy.
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Thetis et Pelée

Thetis et Pelée

Date: 1689
Creator: Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Thetis et Pelée" by Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle. In the plot, the Nereid Thetis is wooed by Jupiter and Neptune, as well as by a mortal, Pelée (Peleus). When a storm caused by Neptune disrupts a celebration Jupiter gave in honor of Thetis, an oracle is consulted, which foretells that Thetis's husband will one day be less powerful than his son. Neptune and Jupiter withdraw their claims, and Thetis marries Pelée. Pascal Collasse composed the music of the opera which premiered at the Paris Opéra on January 11, 1689. This copy includes an engraved frontispiece titled, "Thetis et Pelée" by Juan Dolivar (undersigned as J. Dolivart).
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Enée et Lavinie

Enée et Lavinie

Date: 1690
Creator: Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Enée et Lavinie" by Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle. Pascal Collasse composed the music of the opera which premiered on November 7, 1690. The plot, which Bovier de Fontenelle adapted from Virgil's "Aeneid, Book vii," revolves around the marriage of Enée (i.e., Aeneas) to the Latin bride Lavinia.
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Astrée

Astrée

Date: 1691
Creator: La Fontaine, Jean de, 1621-1695.
Description: Libretto of the 1691 opera "Astrée" by Jean de la Fontaine. Pascal Collasse composed the music of the opera which premiered under the title "Astrée et Céladon" on November 25, 1692.
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Amore fra' gl'impossibili

Amore fra' gl'impossibili

Date: 1693
Creator: Gigli, Girolamo, 1660-1722. & Campelli, Carlo
Description: According to Grove Music, Gigli's 'Amore fra gli impossibili' is an eccentric work where "the pastoral setting is disturbed by mythological references and the addition of the characters Don Chisciotte and Coriandolo, in an ironic and grotesque atmosphere."
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La favola di Orfeo

La favola di Orfeo

Date: 1749
Creator: Poliziano, Angelo, 1454-1494. & Baldi, Bernardino, 1553-1617.
Description: Libretto of the opera "La favola di Orfeo" in several verse forms. Poliziano's version of the legend of Orfeo differs from the story in Monteverdi or Gluck's operas. In Poliziano's ending, Orpheus is torn to pieces by the maenads (or Bacchantes). This copy includes Bernardino Baldi's eclogue "Celeo e l'Orto," a culinary poem that describes the production of polenta.
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Le piacevoli poesie

Le piacevoli poesie

Date: 1750
Creator: Baretti, Giuseppe Marco Antonio, 1719-1789.
Description: This is a ca. 1750 copy of "Le piacevoli poesie di Giuseppe Baretti" (The Pleasing Poetry of Giuseppe Baretti). Although Baretti is primarily remembered for his frequent travels throughout Italy, England, France, and Portugal, which he recounted in his "Lettere familiari ai suoi tre fratelli," he was also a scholar, linguist, poet, translator, and journalist. He wrote "Le piacevoli poesie di Giuseppe Baretti" in 1750. The poetry imitated the style of Fancesco Berni, a 16th-century Italian poet who wrote parodies and burlesque letters-much of it obscene in nature. The introduction of this work was written by the Venetian Count Gasparo Gozzi, himself a poet, prose writer, journalist, critic, and also the brother of Baretti's friend, Carlo Gozzi. The library's copy of "Le piacevoli poesie" is bound with the following librettos: "Ifigenia in Aulide" by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi; “Catone in Utica,” by Pietro Metastasio; "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi; and "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati.
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Storia della musica

Storia della musica

Date: 1757
Creator: Martini, Giovanni Battista, 1706-1784.
Description: This is a copy of the first 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 and includes a pastoral scene depicting Euterpe, the muse of music, holding a lyre and a horn as allegory of a scepter, and accompanied by various putti singing or playing musical instruments. Each page of the book is decorated with an ornamented border. The volume is divided in eleven 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 passages in the book of Psalms and other books of the Old Testament. This volume includes an engraved portrait of Martini by an unknown engraver and one illustration by Nicolaus Valleta depicting Queen Maria Barbara of Portugal in the company of several mythology figures, such as ...
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Ifigenia in Aulide

Ifigenia in Aulide

Date: 1762
Creator: Cigna-Santi, Vittorio Amedeo.
Description: This is a ca. 1762 copy of the libretto of "Ifigenia in Aulide," by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi, the principal librettist at the Teatro Regio in Turin. Cigna-Santi's libretto is an adaptation of Euripide's story of Ifigenia, the daughter of the king of Argos, Agamemnon. The goddess Diana decreed that Ifigenia had to be sacrificed in order to guarantee fair winds for the king's fleet on their journey to Troy. Achilles, rushed to save Ifigenia, his wedding bride, but Diana, moved by Ifigenia's obedience, spared her life before the priest killed her. Ferdinando Giuseppe Bertoni set this libretto to music for the 1762 carnival season in Turin. According to scholar George Hollis, the surviving arias of Ifigenia in Aulide are technically demanding and contain florid and lengthy passages in the tradition of opera seria. The library's copy of "Ifigenia in Aulide"is bound with the following librettos: "Catone in Utica," by Pietro Metastasio; "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi; "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati; and "Le piacevoli poesie" by Gasparo Gozzi.
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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 ...
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Arianna e Teseo

Arianna e Teseo

Date: 1764
Creator: Pariati, Pietro, 1665-1733
Description: Libretto of the opera seria "Arianna e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati. The story unfolds in the island of Crete where several young Athenian men are brought to be ritually sacrificed, and Athenian maidens are to be delivered as victims to a minotaur that lives in a labyrinth. Among the Athenians is Arianna, the daughter of Minos (Minosse), King of Crete, who was abducted as a child by King Aegeus, and Teseo, Aegeus's son. Teseo is determined to kill the minotaur in order to save Arianna's friend Laodice, but Arianna believes that he loves her friend. In spite of her doubts, she hands over to Teseo the secret how to kill the minotaur and vanquish Tauride, King Mino's champion, which she overheard from Minos. The work ends with Teseo's victory over the minotaur and his reconciliation with Arianna.
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Sofonisba

Sofonisba

Date: 1764
Creator: Verazi, Mattia.
Description: This is a ca. 1764 copy of the libretto of the opera seria "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi. Baldassare Galuppi set this libretto to music for the 1764 carnival season in Turin. Mattia Verazi became a court poet at Mannheim and Stuttgart in 1756. Duke Carl Eugen favored operas with French influence, and Verazi catered to his tastes by providing libretti that deviated from Metastasian opera conventions. In 1762, Verazi and Tommaso Traeta collaborated to create operas following French models. Sofonisba was the result of such collaboration. Sofonisba and Siface, king of Numidia, are married and have a child. When Siface fails to return from battle against the Romans, Massinissa, Sofonisba’s former suitor, renews his advances. Siface appears among the captives and rejoins his wife but fail in their attempt to escape from their Roman captors. Afraid that she will be marched in chains through the streets of Rome, Sofonisba poisons herself and is dying when the news arrives that all has been resolved. Baldassare Galuppi composed the music of the opera for the 1764 Turin carnival season. The opening scene includes a programmatic sinfonia that accompanies a pantomimed battle, and later, another pantomime that depicts gladiatorial games. Verazi included detailed ...
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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.
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The Padlock

The Padlock

Date: 1768
Creator: Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812.
Description: This is a copy of a ca. 1768 edition of Isaac Bickerstaff libretto for the two-act English comic opera "The Paddlock" by Charles Dibdin. The plot is an adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's "El celoso extremeño" (translated as, The Jealous Estremaduran). The t.p. features a vignette signed by IJ Taylor [possibly by the London engraver Isaac Taylor (1730-1807)] with four infants. The one at the center is holding several keys and is playing horse riding with a walking stick that has a padlock attached to it. In the story, Don Diego, a rich old man, hopes to marry the young Leonora and locks her inside his house using a large padlock on the front door. After bribing the servants, the younger suitor, Leander, climbs over the garden wall to court Leonora. Don Diego returns unexpectedly and catches the lovers, but allows the young couple to wed acknowledging that he is too old for Leonora.
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