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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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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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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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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.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Dardanus : nouvelle tragédie

Dardanus : nouvelle tragédie

Date: 1744
Creator: Rameau, Jean Philippe, 1683-1764 & La Bruère, Le Clerc de, 1714-1754
Description: Dardanus went through a number of revisions from the time of its premiere in 1739 until its final eighteenth-century run at the Opéra in 1771. The version in the Virtual Rare Book Room was first performed in 1744; the last three acts exhibit extensive plot changes from the first edition. The final version in 1760 received the most positive acclaim, especially compared to the criticisms that were made about the nonsensical plot of the first version. By this point, however, the polemic between the Lullistes and the Ramistes, which had surrounded the premiere, had subsided.
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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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Platée : comédie-ballet

Platée : comédie-ballet

Date: 1749
Creator: Rameau, Jean Philippe, 1683-1764 & Le Valois d'Orville, Adrien-Joseph
Description: Jacques Autreau’s play Platée, ou Junon jalouse was based on a story by a second-century Greek author named Pausanias who chronicled his travels (including rituals and traditions) in ten books that represent the different regions of Greece. At the time Le Valois d’Orville appropriated Autreau’s drama for a libretto, it was uncommon for French court operas to include comic features, and even Autreau’s spoken play lacked the comic tone of the opera. Yet, the humor extends beyond the plot; for instance, the sounds of frogs and birds are represented instrumentally. Platée was first performed at Versailles for the wedding of the dauphin and Princess Maria Theresa of Spain in 1745.
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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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Fileuse : parodie d'Omphale

Fileuse : parodie d'Omphale

Date: 1752
Creator: Vade, M. (Jean Joseph), 1719-1757 & Destouches, M. (André Cardinal), 1672-1749
Description: When Vadé’s first opera comique, La fileuse, appeared at the Foire St Germain on 8 March 1752, the tragic opera that it parodied—Destouches’s Omphale (1701)—had recently been criticized by Friedrich Melchior Grimm in his “Lettre sur Omphale.” Soon after this attack on “bad taste” in French music, the Querelle des Bouffons heated up, with debates about the merits of Italian comic opera versus French serious opera. Many mid-eighteenth-century French comic parodies were based on familiar serious operas, but following the Querelle des Bouffons, lyrical Italianate melodies were incorporated into the opera comique genre. Vadé’s La fileuse follows the older model of reworking existing tunes to new texts, including a vaudeville finale; later in his career, he composed some original airs.
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Vocal Melody Book IV

Vocal Melody Book IV

Date: 1752
Creator: Arne, Thomas Augustine, 1710-1778
Description: This collection of songs from the pantomime "Harlequin Sorcerer" and the play "The Oracle" are scored for various voice types with obbligato instruments and basso continuo (with figured bass). A "Mrs. Cibber" is credited prominently on the title page. Some songs also have alternate parts for the solo line (conflating obbligato and vocal parts) for German flute (sometimes simply designated as "Flute").
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Titon Et L'Aurore

Titon Et L'Aurore

Date: 1753
Creator: Mondonville, Jean Joseph Cassanea de, 1711-1772
Description: This three-act opera (Monsigny's Op. 8) is dedicated to Monseigneur le Prince de Soubise and was premiered at L'Academie Royalle de Musique on 9 January 1753. This full score opens with a letter of dedication from the composer to his patron and closes with a document describing royal publishing privilege.
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Amour au village : opera-comique, en un acte, et en vaudeviles

Amour au village : opera-comique, en un acte, et en vaudeviles

Date: 1754
Creator: Favart, M. (Charles-Simon), 1710-1792
Description: Libretto for Charles-Simon Favart's 1754 opera L'amour au village. Charles-Simon Favart gained prominence for his parodies of extant operas during the middle of the eighteenth century. His L’amour au village (1754), a typical example of the genre, was based on Carolet’s L’amour paysan (1737). The parody technique consisted of setting new texts to existing melodies and writing new dialogue based on a familiar plot. L’amour au village includes a typical vaudeville finale. In the Virtual Rare Book Room’s volume, the melody is included along with the first verse’s text. Because vaudeville finales are strophic (with one repeated melody), the subsequent verses are numbered to indicate each time the melody should begin again.
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Le trompeur trompe, ou, La rencontre imprevue. Opera-comique en un acte. Represente pour la premiere fois sur le Theatre de la Foire S. Germain, le 18 fevrier 1754.

Le trompeur trompe, ou, La rencontre imprevue. Opera-comique en un acte. Represente pour la premiere fois sur le Theatre de la Foire S. Germain, le 18 fevrier 1754.

Date: 1754
Creator: Vade, M. (Jean Joseph), 1719-1757.
Description: In the mid-eighteenth century, comic opera librettos served a dual purpose, as evinced by the libretto to Vadé ’s Trompeur trompé (1754). Although the primary function of the publication was to allow audience members to follow along with the text of the opera, solo airs were printed in the back of the book. Not all the melodies are included, but those printed in the libretto enhance our understanding of an opera the music of which was never published as a comprehensive musical score.
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Oeuvres de M. Vade, ou recueil des opera-comiques, & parodies qu'il a donnes depuis quelques annees; avec les airs, rondes, & vaudevilles notes; & autres ouvrages du meme auteur.

Oeuvres de M. Vade, ou recueil des opera-comiques, & parodies qu'il a donnes depuis quelques annees; avec les airs, rondes, & vaudevilles notes; & autres ouvrages du meme auteur.

Date: 1755
Creator: Vade, M. (Jean Joseph), 1719-1757.
Description: Jean-Joseph Vadé’s popularity as a composer and librettist is evident in the publication of his collected works, which first appeared in 1755 but was expanded in 1758, a year after his death. Vadé’s œuvre consists of mostly opéras comiques, some with original music rather than preexisting tunes. The collected works editions include fictional correspondence and poetry. Vadé’s interest in capturing the bustling atmosphere of fish markets is evident in such works as Les quatre bouquets poissards and the poem La pipe cassée, which is classified as a “poëme epitragipoissardiheroicomique.” Melodies for operatic airs are also printed in this volume. Although Vadé claimed authorship of the music, some were familiar tunes that had existed before Vadé appropriated them.
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