Paris: L'Auteur [Maurice Schlesinger], . Folio. Dark green leather-backed marbled boards, titling and decorative devices gilt to spine. 1f. (recto title, verso blank),  (blank), 2-140 pp. Engraved.
Composer's facsimile signature handstamp to lower margin of title.
From the collection of Italian conductor, vocal coach, and close associate of Puccini and Mascagni, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981), previously from the collection of Italian composer Francesco Maria Albini (1829-1917), with his signature and "778" to title.
Binding slightly worn and rubbed. Browning to platemark; scattered light foxing and minor offsetting throughout; impression to title light.
First Edition. Hirsch IV, 731; 23. Bellasis, p. 335. RISM CC 2028 I.
Cherubini's first Requiem in C minor (1816) was to be performed for the funeral of Boieldieu, but the Archbishop of Paris refused to allow it at La Madeleine due to the presence of women's voices, forcing the service's relocation to Les Invalides. (A similar objection was overcome for the funeral of Chopin in 1849, with the women singing behind a black curtain). One anecdote reports Cherubini's reaction: "... the clergy would admit no female singers, and thereby caused great annoyance. I do not wish the same thing to happen at my death, so I am writing a Requiem for men's voices – and then they will not have occasion to quarrel on my account, at least." Bellasis, p. 259.
This second Requiem in D minor was completed in 1836 and first performed in its entirety on March 28, 1838 at the Paris Conservatoire. As planned, and as he requested, it was performed at his funeral in 1842 to great acclaim and without controversy.
"With the exception of a few traditionally forceful sections (such as the Dies Irae and Sanctus) Cherubini used the orchestra more sparingly than in his C minor Requiem. In search of an archaic effect, the Graduale and Pie Jesu are written a cappella, while the Agnus Dei has a section in which the text is recited on a monotone. Such conscious reductions of musical means render the sound bare and exhausted. As his sequential development of phrases leads uncompromisingly into harmonically remote areas, the most startling dissonances occur when praying with ‘a heart as contrite as ashes’. Although there is a sense of drama when a section seems to act out a conflict between major and minor keys (as in the Hostias et Preces or the Agnus Dei), the effort to sustain hope is overcome by gloomy resignation." Michael Fend in Grove Music Online. Item #31310
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