Leipzig: C.F. Peters [PNs 1688; 1688 II], [ca. 1822-1824]. Oblong folio. Full contemporary dark green pebbled cloth with nitials "A. v B." in gilt to upper, titling gilt to spine. 1f. (title), [i] (table of contents), 2-99, [i] (blank), 3-110 pp. Each act separately paginated. Engraved. Text in German and Italian.
Two publisher's handstamps to lower portion of title.
Binding slightly worn. Minor dampstaining, most noticeable to first six leaves; some foxing.
First Edition of the first version. OCLC no. 163227488. Hirsch IV no. 1283. Göthel p. 336.
Faust, to a libretto by Joseph Carl Bernard, was first performed in Prague at the Estates Theatre on September 1, 1816.
"... Faust marks an important landmark in the development of German Romantic opera. Spohr’s concern to create scene complexes, rather than merely a string of individual numbers, points the way towards the continuity of his later operas. His striking use of chromatic harmony was recognized by Weber, who wrote in his introduction to the Prague première: ‘this dark, Romantic spirit-world is ideally matched with the composer’s inmost musical character. Owing to this fact the work as a whole is marked by great aptness of colour – grand musical and dramatic effects of charm and tenderness alternating with shatteringly powerful effects in the ensembles and choruses’."
"Regarded by many contemporaries as worthy of a place beside Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven in the pantheon of the greatest composers, [Spohr] has, together with Gluck and Cherubini, been allotted a considerably lower status by posterity. Mozart's Figaro and Wagner's Tristan were both composed during Spohr's lifetime; his own work looks, Janus-like, towards both the formalism and clarity of the Classical tradition, and the structural and harmonic experimentation associated with 19th-century Romanticism." Clive Brown in Grove Music Online. Item #25926
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