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 Resource Type: Musical Score/Notation
Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Date: 1716
Creator: Collasse, Pascal, 1649-1709
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.
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Buona figliuola : opera comica

Buona figliuola : opera comica

Date: 1767
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800
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.
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Roland. Tragédie mis en musique

Roland. Tragédie mis en musique

Date: 1709
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
Description: Roland is one of three operas by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Philippe Quinault based on the medieval legends of chivalry (the other two are Amadis and Armide). This is the second edition. Roland sets episodes from Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso. And, like its sibling Armide, Roland centers on the conflict between duty and love. Acts I-III portray this conflict within Angélique, Queen of Cathay, while the remaining acts concern Roland's unrequited love for Angélique, which is resolved only when the goddesses Glory and Fame show him that this too is a struggle between duty and love.
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Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

Date: 1763
Creator: Duni, Egidio, 1708-1775
Description: Undated score of Egidio Duni's opera Les deux chaussures et la laitière. Duni’s French style was shaped by the developments of the War of the Buffoons, which pitted French tragic opera against Italian comic opera. The newly emergent opéra comique genre, for which Duni is still considered to be one of the major contributors, combined elements of both styles. His significance in the development of opéra comique is evident in the long-term success of Les deux chasseurs et la laitière, which was performed at the Comédie-Italien until 1792, almost twenty years after the composer’s death.
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Achille et Polixene, tragédie dont le prologue & les quatre derniers actes

Achille et Polixene, tragédie dont le prologue & les quatre derniers actes

Date: 1687
Creator: Collasse, Pascal, 1649-1709
Description: Achille et Polixene, Jean-Baptiste Lully's last opera, premiered on 7 November 1687, eight months after Lully's death on March 22 of that year. Since the composer had only finished the overture and first act, the score was completed by Pascal Colasse, Lully's secretary and student, to a text by Jean Galbert de Campistron based on events in Virgil's Aeneid.
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Isis : tragedie

Isis : tragedie

Date: 1677
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
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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Colinette à la cour ou La double épreuve : comédie lyrique en trois actes

Colinette à la cour ou La double épreuve : comédie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1782
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: A comparison of the scores for Colinette à la cour and Barbe-bleue illustrates the primary distinguishing factor between the genres of comédie lyrique and opera comique: the method of dialogue delivery. In Paris, the issue of genre was tied to the performance venue of a particular opera, due to government regulations. Although comic opera was traditionally presented with spoken dialogue, as in opera comique, when Grétry composed for the Opéra, where recitative was expected, he merged comic subject matter with the sung dialogue heard in serious opera.
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Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes

Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1766
Creator: Philidor, F. D. (François Danican), 1726-1795
Description: Philidor’s Tom Jones is representative of the continental interest in English literature. Henry Fielding’s homonymous novel served as the foundation for Philidor’s opera, but Philidor pared down the story quite a bit, especially downplaying Tom’s philandering ways. Many secondary characters and situations were also cut, a common technique that librettists employ when adapting prose writings to the stage. Thus, a central plot unfolds in a manner that the audience can follow, and the length remains manageable for an evening’s entertainment.
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Messa à 4

Messa à 4

Date: unknown
Creator: Bisso, Matteo, 1705-1776
Description: This a manuscript copy of two Mass movements, Kyrie and Gloria, gathered from a "Messa à 4." The copyist, Vincenso Marchetti, attributed this mass to the composer Matteo Bisso. The texts of both movements of the Mass are divided in several sections and set musically for an ensemble of mixed choir (S.A.T.B), vocal soloists, strings and basso continuo. Each section reflects changes of tonality, tempo, and musical meter. The composer indicated dynamics, the use of muted strings (e.g., p.[84]) and performance indications such as unison and col parte (e.g., p. [76] and p.[79]). The last section for the Chirie [sic] is set musically as a slow fugue in triple meter.
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Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

Date: 1768
Creator: Gretry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: Grétry’s Le Huron takes as its source a short story called L’ingénu (Geneva, 1767), written by Voltaire under the name Dulaurens. The story was banned two months after its publication due to anti-government themes. For instance, the young man raised by the Hurons (the title character of the opera) was imprisoned for expressing his radical ideas about issues such as the treatment of the Huguenots. Voltaire’s character is derived from another source, the novel Bélisaire by Marmontel, in which a man is framed for a crime and awaiting the death penalty before being released. Marmontel, who corresponded regularly with Voltaire, created the libretto for Grétry’s opera. However, most controversial aspects of the story were eliminated or downplayed for the censors, and as a result, the anti-religious message is absent from Le Huron.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library