Paris: Choudens [A.C. 738.], . Large octavo. Quarter dark brown morocco with pebbled paper boards, raised bands on spine in ruled compartments with titling and publication date gilt, marbled endpapers, original publisher's illustrated lithographic upper wrapper bound in. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), [i] (named cast list and table of contents), 2-132 pp. Engraved.
With composer's autograph inscription signed "Ch. Gounod" in brown ink to head of title: "à mon bon ami Hasselmans – souvenir bien amical"), with Hasselmans's handstamp to upper corner of upper wrapper.
Named cast includes Carvalho, A. Faivre, Roger, and Balanqué.
Small publisher's oval handstamp to lower outer corner of title.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed and bumped with small scratches to upper; upper wrapper somewhat soiled and creased. Title browned; some foxing and offsetting; occasional creasing or splitting at inner margins; publisher's handstamp faded.
First Edition of the original version. Lesure p. 108.
The first performance of La Colombe took place at the Théatre de Bade in Baden-Baden on August 3, 1860, under the direction of Edouard Bénazet; an expanded version of the opera was staged at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1866.
Gounod may have inscribed this copy for Josef H. Hasselmans (1814-1902), a Belgian conductor, harpist, and violinist. Hasselmans "became first violinist with the orchestra of the Théâtre Royal, Antwerp, and later its conductor. His career continued at Strasbourg where he conducted the orchestra of the Théâtre Municipal, and in 1854 he became the first director of the Strasbourg Conservatoire... He was a respected teacher as well as a creditable conductor, and may be remembered for two major schools of double-action harp playing which stemmed from his tutelage." Wagner described him as "a very good-natured, amiable fellow." Alice Lawson Aber-Count in Grove Music Online. Item #25602
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