Milano: F. Lucca [PNs 5360-2], . Folio (265 x 360 mm). Brown leather-backed marbled boards with titling and decorative lyres gilt to spine. 1f. (recto engraved title within decorative border printed in green, verso blank), 1f. (recto movement title, verso blank), 8 pp. (libretto in Italian and French), 37 pp., 1f. (recto movement title, verso blank), 21 pp., 1f. (recto movement title, verso blank), 23 pp. Text in Italian and French. Engraved.
Each title with large lithographed illustrations by Célestin Nanteuil (1813-1873) depicting scenes from the work.
From the collection of Italian conductor, vocal coach, and close associate of Puccini and Mascagni, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981). From the collection of Italian composer Francesco Maria Albini (1829-1917), with his signature and "306" to title.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed, and bumped. Minor staining to lower outer corners throughout; lower blank margin slightly trimmed.
First Italian edition, published in the same year as the French edition.
The French composer Félicien David struggled early on in his musical studies and personal life and joined the Saint-Simonian community, embarking on a life-changing tour of the Middle East and North Africa for several years. His fascination with these eastern cultures provided him with inspiration for his compositions, leading directly to Le désert, premiered December 8, 1844 in Paris. This unique work, an "ode-symphonie" for soloists, male chorus, narrator, and orchestra, became David's most famous and popular composition.
"Within each movement are a number of separate scenes, describing a desert storm, a prayer to Allah, the caravan, the ‘rêverie du soir’, and the muezzin’s call. The opening is particularly striking with a long-repeated pedal C representing the vast wastes of the desert; the picturesque orchestration won Berlioz’s admiration. ... The music is rarely strictly oriental in inflection—even the muezzin’s call is diatonic (though David had the performer introduce some microtones into it at the first performance)—and the straightforward tunefulness of the hymn to Allah accounts for some of its popularity. Yet the character and colour of the East had left its mark." Hugh MacDonald in Grove Music Online.
Ricci was an important figure in the transmission of 19th century traditions passed on to him by noted baritone Antonio Cotogni (1831-1918), whom he accompanied from the age of 12. He was active as a vocal coach at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where he taught (amongst many others) Sesto Bruscantini, Anna Moffo, Rosalind Elias, Ezio Flagello, Peter Lindroos, and Martti Wallén. Item #31270
Price: $275.00 other currencies