Paris: A. Durand & Fils [PN D. & F. 7073], [after 1911]. Small folio. Full red cloth with gilt titling to spine. 1f. (title printed in red and black), 1f. (dedication), 1f. (named cast list of first production in Paris at the Opéra-Comique on May 19, 1911), [i] (index), [ii] (performance notes), 114 (music), [ii] (blank) pp.
With printed dedication "À Madame Jean Cruppi Hommage de respectueuse amitié Maurice Ravel." Handstamps to lower right corner of title: "Made in France" and "Net: 50 Frs."
Former owner's signature in pencil to upper left corner of title: "Rood."
Minimally browned. A very good copy overall.
First Edition, later issue (the first issue was published in 1908). Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician, p. 228.
The libretto is closely based on the play by Franc-Nohain. Madame Jean Cruppi (the dedicatee) convinced the director of the Opéra-Comique, Albert Carré, to stage the work in spite of its risqué story line.
"In a letter of 17 May 1911, two days before the première, Ravel wrote: ‘What I’ve tried to do is fairly ambitious: to breathe new life into the Italian opera buffa: following only the principle … the French language, like any other, has its own accents and inflections of pitch.’ At the same time he referred to Musorgsky’s Zhenit’ba (‘The Marriage’) as the work’s only real ancestor. It also forms part of a larger group of Spanish works that spanned Ravel’s whole career, and the necessary Spanish colouring provided him with a reason for a virtuoso use of the modern orchestra, which he felt was ‘perfectly designed for underlining and exaggerating comic effects’." Roger Nichols in Grove Music Online.
Noted music critic Georges Jean Aubry (1882-1949) "belonged to a circle of avant-garde musicians and littérateurs and was a frequent contributor to periodicals. Encouraged by his 20-year friendship with Debussy, he wrote enthusiastically in support of contemporary French composers, noting similarities between their music and that of the 18th century (Couperin, Rameau). He wrote perceptively in praise of Spanish composers (Falla, Granados, Albéniz), but rejected German Romanticism as expressed in the works of Wagner and Strauss." Grove Music Online. Item #24649
Price: $100.00 other currencies