The intermezzo La serva padrona first appeared between the acts of Pergolesi’s Il prigioniero superbo in 1733. This was the standard way in which to present an intermezzo. The work served as comic relief in the midst of more solemn opera serie, and incorporated elements of the improvisational commedia del’arte tradition. For instance, the few characters are drawn from stock types, such as the servant Serpina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Apollo and Minerva, among others. At the center top appears a crown and a banner with the Latin inscription, "Hoc offer Regina, Tibi Lectum undique manus. Et vult esse tuum Musica quid quid Habet." At the bottom appears the coat of arms of the Spanish crown. The first chapter explains the purpose of the volume and defines three classifications of music as defined by Boethius in the medieval ages: mundana (produced by the motion of planets and celestial bodies), humana (loosely translated as music of the body and soul), and instrumentalis (this kind produced by the human voice and musical ...
Libretto of the 1759 pastiche-style comic opera "Cendrillon," by Louis Anseaume. The songs were contributed by the singer-composer Jean-Louis Laruette and Egidio Duni, which they likely adapted from fashionable tunes. "Cendrillon" (Cinderella in English) premiered in Paris at Foire St-Germain on February 21, 1759. The opera underwent two revisions before the definitive version of 1764. Anseaume adapted the plot the fairy tale by Charles Perrault. This copy includes (from pp.54-63) notated melodies of airs and recitatives.
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.
This collection opens with a brief letter of dedication from Leyding to his friend Johann Jakob Dusch followed by a preface. The table of contents lists the songs in the order in which they appear in this volume. All of the songs are written in two staves - the top with soprano clef; the bottom, with bass clef. The first stanza of each poem is manually underlaid below the top staff. The full text of the poem is printed either below the music or on the following page. The vocal line use either single or double voices.
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").
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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