Paris: A. Durand & Fils [PN D.S. & Cie. 3083], [ca. 1891-1909]. Large octavo. Original publisher's polychrome decorative wrappers with British coat of arms to upper. 1f. (decorative title by L. Denis with coat of arms, printed in green, gold, and black), 1f. (printed dedication to "Monsieur Vaucorbeil, Directeur de l'Académie Nationale de Musique), 1f. (named cast list, printed in red and black), 1f. (table of contents), 384 pp. Partially uncut, pp. 337-340 unopened. Text in French.
Publisher's handstamps ("Durand & Cie. Net: 75 Frs."; "AD" monogram) to free endpapers. Cast list includes the names of the singers for the opera's first performance.
Wrappers slightly worn and soiled; spine reinforced with transparent tape and slightly lacking at head. Very slightly browned; margins with occasional light foxing and wear, not affecting music; small tear to outer margins of pp. 139-140. A very good copy overall.
Third version, later issue. Relatively scarce. Ratner II 291, p. 134. Lesure II, p. 152.
Henry VIII, to a libretto by Léonce Détroyat and Armand Silvestre, was first performed at the Paris Opéra on March 5, 1883.
"Despite Saint-Saëns’ care for authenticity of period and place, the music’s strongest impression is of a tightly constructed score with vocal and orchestral resources skilfully deployed, especially in the confrontation scenes. After Samson et Dalila this was his most successful opera, widely performed in the composer’s lifetime, often in a reduced three-act version that simply omitted Act 3; Saint-Saëns refused to make the reductions the Opéra demanded." Hugh Macdonald in Grove Music Online. Item #25989
Price: $100.00 other currencies