Milano: G. Ricordi & C. [PN 122341], 1931. Large octavo. Original publisher's binding designed by Cisari illustrated in color, decorative endpapers. [i] (descriptions of scenery and costumes), 1f. (secondary title by N. Benois with small folding illustration in color laid down), [i] (title), [i] (copyright notice), 1f. (cast list), 1f. (table of contents), 1f. (half-title), 1f. (scene description), 1f. (part-title), 92 pp.
Each episode with its own unpaginated part-title.
Binding slightly worn, bumped, soiled, and foxed; split at hinges. Very lightly browned; some outer corners slightly creased; occasional light offsetting, staining, and soiling, not affecting music.
Probable second version, first issue. (see OCLC no. 48902121).
Maria egiziaca, to a libretto by Claudio Guastalla after Domenico Cavalca's Le vite dei santi padri, was first performed in a semi-staged version in New York at Carnegie Hall on March 16, 1932. The first fully-staged performance took place in Venice at the Teatro Goldoni on August 10, 1932.
"Respighi matched Guastalla’s consciously archaic libretto with an austerely evocative score in which Gregorian, Renaissance and Monteverdian influences are evident. The small orchestra even includes a harpsichord, which occasionally accompanies recitatives on its own. These ‘archaizing’ tendencies are not as thoroughgoing as in, say, the Lauda per la Natività del Signore (among the composer’s non-operatic works): the opera’s first orchestral interlude even begins with an incongruous, albeit fleeting, echo of Richard Strauss. Yet at its best – for example, in Mary’s magnificent aria ‘O bianco astore’, addressed to the angel in the central episode – the music rises to heights of calm dignified spirituality that are rare in Respighi. Highlights of this calibre help to explain why Maria egiziaca, uneven though it is, has become his most frequently performed opera in Italy." John C.G. Waterhouse in Grove Music Online. Item #26158
Price: $135.00 other currencies