Domenico Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 7 February 1792, just two months after Mozart’s death. It received immediate accolades, particularly from Emperor Leopold II, and the opera was performed a second time that day for a private audience that included the Holy Roman ruler. Il matrimonio segreto enjoyed a successful run that lasted almost a hundred years, with revised versions appearing in the second half of the nineteenth century; in 1933, the work was performed at the Library of Congress. Although the harmonic language is largely diatonic, Cimarosa’s beautiful melodies and exciting rhythms complement Bertati’s direct text. The opera presents the predicament of the secretly married couple without resorting to stock plot conventions such as characters in disguise, conveying the dramatic naturalness and simplicity promoted by Rousseau. The inventive orchestration, which includes clarinets, was another aspect of the opera that was praised by some (while Schumann appreciated the orchestration, Berlioz was unimpressed).
This volume includes eight piano sonatas, preceded by pages featuring a portrait of the composer, a letter of dedication from the composers to the consumers of this item, and incipits of all eight sonatas.
Though the cover of this volume is in French, the title page gives the same information in German. This latter language also receives pride of place in the text underlay: Most songs are solely in German but, when lyrics are given in two languages, German is immediately below the musical staves with either Italian or French in italics below the German. Songs use one to three voices with the voice part sometimes integrated into the top staff of the piano part with text underlay indicating when to sing. Several songs are set for three-part Männerchor or four-part chorus with piano accompaniment. In strophic settings, only the first stanza of poetry appears in the score; the rest are included as addenda at the end of the piece. The volume concludes with a table of contents given the name and first line of each song in all languages used for each entry.
This volume contains fifteen sacred and secular songs for one to four voices with piano accompaniment. Contrary to the title page, the titles of each song are given either in German or German and Italian. When both languages are present in the text underlay, the Italian text sits directly below the staves with German below the Italian. Most songs either give "Singstimme" or a voice part for the vocal staves; some give names of characters, possibly indicating a theatrical or semi-dramatic performance context. Songs for one voice tend to be strophic while part songs are through-composed. Authors such as Gellert, Metastasio, and Shakespeare figure among the authors (most anonymous) of the texts. As with the other binlingual pieces in this volume, the scene "Arianna a Naxos" is set in Italian and German. The interaction of the soprano voice and piano accompaniment as well as the structural alternation between arioso/aria and recitative reveals this piece to be a solo cantata. The volume concludes with a four-page catalog of all of Breitkopf und Härtel's publications in Leipzig complete with price in thalers for each piece and a table of contents. The positioning of the Inhalt at the end of the volume reflects the influence of Italian publishing practices.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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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