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Issé

Description: 1724 score of André Cardinal Destouches' opera Issé. Destouches’s Issé premiered in 1697, just nine years after the death of Jean-Baptiste Lully. The tradition of featuring new operas at the court prior to a public premiere—common during Lully’s later years—was reinstated with this work. When Destouches revived the opera in 1708, he enlarged the original three-act work to five acts. This allowed for expanded divertissements, choruses, and more elaborate arias, which appealed to contemporary public preferences. The volume in the Virtual Rare Book Room is the five-act version.
Date: 1697
Creator: Destouches, M. (André Cardinal), 1672-1749 & La Motte, M. de (Antoine Houdar), 1672-1731

Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

Description: 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.
Date: 1763
Creator: Duni, Egidio, 1708-1775 & Anseaume, M. (Louis), 1721-1784

Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

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.
Date: 1763
Creator: Duni, Egidio, 1708-1775 & Anseaume, M. (Louis), 1721-1784

Forza del sangue, e della pietà; drama per musica

Description: 1686 libretto for Giuseppe Fabrini's opera La forza del sangue, e della pietà. The music for all of Giuseppe Fabrini’s operas, including La forza del sangue e della pietà, is lost. However, the libretti by Gerolamo Gigli, have been preserved for these dramas that were performed at the Collegio Tolomei in Siena. La forza del sangue e della pietà translates as “The Force of Blood and Pity.”
Date: 1686
Creator: Fabrini, Giuseppe & Gigli, Girolamo, 1660-1722

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

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.
Date: 1754
Creator: Favart, M. (Charles-Simon), 1710-1792

Achilles. An opera.

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.
Date: 1733
Creator: Gay, John, 1685-1732

The encore concerto for piano and orchestra

Description: This is a holograph score of Don Gillis "The Encore Concerto for Piano and Orchestra." Gillis's dedicated this his first piano concerto to his friend Joseph Kahn. The entire score is in loose white onionskin pages and black ink. It is part of the UNT Music Library's Don Gillis Special Collection, which can be accessed at <http://www.library.unt.edu/music/special-collections/gillis/the-don-gillis-collection-1>. Page 96A is an alternative re-orchestrated version that replaces the essentially chordal accompaniment presented in p.96.
Date: 1956
Creator: Gillis, Don, 1912-1978.

Armide: Drame héroique, mis en musique

Description: Armide was premiered at the Paris Opéra on September 23, 1777, recalling the earlier success of Lully’s opera of the same name, which premiered nearly a century earlier on February 15, 1686. After collaborating on several reform operas with Calzabigi, Gluck revived the older dramatic tradition of Quinault (Lully's librettist) by setting the older text in the modern musical style. The seventeenth-century five act model requires more continuous music, with few distinct arias, as well as divertissements and spectacular effects. Gluck also respects the tragic conclusion endemic to the model, avoiding the modern practice of the lieto fine ("happy ending") in which misfortunes are reversed at the last possible moment.
Date: 1783
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787

Armide: Drame héroique, mis en musique

Description: Armide was premiered at the Paris Opéra on September 23, 1777, recalling the earlier success of Lully’s opera of the same name, which premiered nearly a century earlier on February 15, 1686. After collaborating on several reform operas with Calzabigi, Gluck revived the older dramatic tradition of Quinault (Lully's librettist) by setting the older text in the modern musical style. The seventeenth-century five act model requires more continuous music, with few distinct arias, as well as divertissements and spectacular effects. Gluck also respects the tragic conclusion endemic to the model, avoiding the modern practice of the lieto fine ("happy ending") in which misfortunes are reversed at the last possible moment.
Date: 1783
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787

Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes

Description: Although he did not have a production planned, Gluck composed the music for Iphigénie en Aulide for Paris, with the intention (along with Roullet) of establishing himself at the Opéra. He initially had difficulties convincing the Academy of Music to arrange for the production, but with the support of Marie Antoinette, the opera was finally realized in 1773. Gluck revised Iphigénie for performances in 1775. The most significant change was the addition of Diana as a character, whose appearance serves as the deus ex machina of the plot. He also altered and expanded the divertissements.
Date: 1811
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786

Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes

Description: Although he did not have a production planned, Gluck composed the music for Iphigénie en Aulide for Paris, with the intention (along with Roullet) of establishing himself at the Opéra. He initially had difficulties convincing the Academy of Music to arrange for the production, but with the support of Marie Antoinette, the opera was finally realized in 1773. Gluck revised Iphigénie for performances in 1775. The most significant change was the addition of Diana as a character, whose appearance serves as the deus ex machina of the plot. He also altered and expanded the divertissements.
Date: 1811
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786

Orphée et Euridice; tragédie; opéra en trois actes

Description: The Viennese premiere of Orfeo was extremely well received, and Gluck decided to revise the opera as Orphée et Eurydice for Paris in 1774, with the French adaptation and additions provided by Pierre Louis Moline. The role of Orpheus was lowered slightly for an haute-contre singer (a male operatic voice type more in line with an alto range), adhering to French preferences. The opera was lengthened, to create a more magnificent spectacle, with extra arias, ensembles, and instrumental numbers. Gluck also modified the orchestration to accommodate the orchestra at the Académie Royale de Musique. This version, Orphée et Eurydice, became one of the most popular operas in France.
Date: 1783
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Moline, M. (Pierre Louis), ca. 1740-1821

Armide: drame héroïque

Description: Armide was premiered at the Paris Opéra on September 23, 1777, recalling the earlier success of Lully’s opera of the same name, which premiered nearly a century earlier on February 15, 1686. After collaborating on several reform operas with Calzabigi, Gluck revived the older dramatic tradition of Quinault (Lully's librettist) by setting the older text in the modern musical style. The seventeenth-century five act model requires more continuous music, with few distinct arias, as well as divertissements and spectacular effects. Gluck also respects the tragic conclusion endemic to the model, avoiding the modern practice of the lieto fine ("happy ending") in which misfortunes are reversed at the last possible moment.
Date: 1811
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688

Echo et Narcisse, drame lyrique en trois actes

Description: After the resounding success of Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), Gluck set out to compose his last of the seven Paris operas, which turned out to be his final opera. Whereas Iphigénie en Tauride is often considered Gluck’s best opera, its immediate successor, Echo et Narcisse (1779) was ill-fated and quickly disappeared from the repertoire. Echo was premiered a mere four months after Tauride, and the Parisian audience was not prepared for the differences between these two operas. Although the music resembles that of his other French operas, the pastoral story lacks the dramatic intensity that viewers expected in a Gluck opera. Thus, the serene music—though it is at times quite beautiful— lacks dramatic impulse.
Date: 1779
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Tschudi, Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Théodore, baron de, 1734-1784

Alceste: tragedie opera en trois actes

Description: According to Grove Music, "when Admetus, King of Pherae in Thessaly, is ill and about to die an oracle announces that he will be saved if someone else is willing to die in his stead. His wife Alcestis displays her conjugal devotion by offering herself; she dies and Admetus recovers. Under the influence of tragédie lyrique, Calzabigi enriched his libretto with choruses, ballets and opportunities for impressive scenery."
Date: 1776
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787; Calzabigi, Ranieri de, 1714-1795 & Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786

Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

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.
Date: 1768
Creator: Gretry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799

Richard Cœur de Lion : opéra comique en trois actes

Description: Richard Cœur-de-lion is probably Grétry’s most famous opéra-comique. However, it was banned during the French Revolution and subsequent rebellions in 1830 and 1848 due to its favorable depiction of royalty. Other than those exceptions, the work has remained popular due to its well-developed and compelling plot, its idealized representation of the Medieval community, as well as its musicodramatic structure in which a recurring romance melody is treated as a unifying plot point.
Date: 1838
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813

Épreuve villageoise : opéra bouffon en deux actes en vers

Description: L’épreuve villageoise started out as Théodore et Paulin before Grétry convinced Desforges to rewrite the libretto. The original three-act opera was reduced to two acts, and the improbabilities of the original plot were reworked. Théodore et Paulin received one performance at Versailles on 5 March 1784, but it was never published. L’épreuve villageoise appeared at the Comédie-Italienne on 24 June 1784. This revision remained one of the most popular of Grétry’s opéra-comiques, receiving performances throughout the nineteenth century.
Date: 1784
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Desforges, M. (Pierre-Jean-Baptiste), 1746-1806

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

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.
Date: 1782
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Lourdet de Santerre, Jean Baptiste, 1732-1815

Panurge dans l'Isle des Lanternes : comédie lirique en trois actes

Description: Panurge, like Colinette à la cour, features recitative, rather than spoken dialogue. In his memoirs, Grétry recognized Panurge for being the first comic opera to enjoy a successful run at the Opéra, and he saw it as a turning point for this theater, which traditionally presented serious plots (Grétry, Memoires; ou, Essais sur la musique, 377). The overture to Panurge was featured on concerts in the nineteenth century, and although the opera eventually disappeared from the repertoire, its long stint was noted as late as 1866, by which time it was no longer being performed (Crozet, Revue de la musique dramatique en France, 275-76).
Date: 1785
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Morel de Chédeville, Etienne, 1747-1814

Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

Description: Although the story of Bluebeard was familiar to French readers from Charles Perrault’s 1698 collection of children’s tales, transferring it to the operatic stage was problematic due in large part to the gruesome nature of the plot. Other violent works had appeared in Paris, but in this instance, the drama was to be performed at the Comédie-Italienne, which typically featured lighter plots than that of Raoul and Isaure. Nevertheless, the opera had a successful run, receiving over a hundred performances in the decade after its premiere. After its initial popularity, Raoul Bluebeard was staged less frequently, but it still made an impression on nineteenth-century composers, particularly Weber.
Date: 1789
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Sedaine, 1719-1797

Silvain

Description: This one-act opera to a libretto by Marmontel is dedicated "a son Altesse Royale Monseigneur Le Prince Charles de Pologne." This full score features a catalogue of Grétry's music on the verso of the title page. The opera was premiered in Paris on 19 February 1770 at the Comédie-Italiènne.
Date: 1770~
Creator: Grétry, André-Ernest-Modeste, 1741-1813

Le mariage d'Antonio. Divertissement en un acte et en prose

Description: Lucile Grétry’s opera Le mariage d’Antonio premiered in Paris when she was a mere fourteen years old. As the second daughter of André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry, she was afforded lessons at a young age in counterpoint and declamation. Her father supplied the orchestral parts for her comédie mêlée d’ariettes after Lucile had composed the vocal, bass, and harp parts. Although Le mariage d’Antonio was a modest success, Lucile’s second endeavor, a divertissement mêlée d’ariettes entitled Toinette et Louis (1787), did not receive the same positive attention. The young composer died from tuberculosis before she could establish herself further at the Comédie-Italienne.
Date: 1786
Creator: Grétry, Lucile