Magonza: B. Schott figli [PN 1277], [1818-1820].
Oblong folio. Half contemporary mid-brown calf with marbled boards, decorative dark red morocco title label gilt to upper, spine in decorative compartments gilt. 1f. (title with fine large vignette of a scene from the opera engraved by Contgen), 1- (cast list and table of contents), 222 pp. Engraved. Text in Italian and German.
Contemporary signature in black ink to front free endpaper.
Binding somewhat worn and bumped; upper joint partially split. Some minor wear, soiling, browning, and foxing; small portion of corner of pp. 55-56 lacking, not affecting music. An attractive copy overall.
First Edition. With two spurious numbers. Gossett: The Operas of Rossini, pp. 245 and 259-262. Rognoni p. 444, no. 11. OCLC no. 16970555.
L'Italiana in Algeri, to a libretto substantially derived from Angelo Anelli's libretto for Luigi Mosca's L'italiana in Algeri, was first performed in Venice at the Teatro S Benedetto on May 22, 1813.
"The opera is Rossini’s first buffo masterpiece in the fully fledged two-act form. It quickly won widespread popular acclaim in Italy and it was the first Rossini opera to be produced in Germany (1816, Munich) and France (1817, Paris)... L’italiana in Algeri is a work of great richness and sophistication. Formally it is an innovative piece, drawing Rossini’s experience from his single-act farse into a larger context. It is also, despite being written at speed, notably free from any kind of self-borrowing. The numbers that were farmed out to another composer, gracious and decorous in an 18th-century style, are by contrast a reminder of how fiercely the flame of Rossini’s own comic invention burns in this remarkable opera, which transcends Mosca’s earlier effort as surely as Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia was shortly to transcend Paisiello’s." Richard Osborne in Grove Music Online.
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