Paris: Heugel & Cie. [PNs H. & Cie. 9391, G.H. 1571], [ca. 1885]. Large octavo. Original publisher's decorative dark brown boards printed in ivory, red, green, and gold; decorative endpapers. 1f. (recto illustrated title printed in dark ivory, green, and gold, verso blank), 1f. (recto dedication, verso blank), [i] (notes on first performance and named cast list), [ii] (contents), [i] (blank), 355, [i] (blank) pp.
Named cast includes Fidès-Devriès, Bosman, Jean de Reszké, Édouard de Reszké, Melchissédec, Plançon, Lambert, Balleroy, Girard, and Sentein, with ballets by Mérante.
Spine and edges of binding reinforced with black tape; endpapers browned; library label to front pastedown; hinges split. Some minor browning, foxing, and staining; preliminary leaves partially detached; publisher's handstamp to lower margin of third leaf. Lacking half-title.
First Edition, second issue.
Le Cid, to a libretto by D’Ennery, E. Blau, and Gallet after P. Corneille, was first performed in Paris at the Opéra on November 30, 1885.
"[It] reverted to the grand style for the benefit of the Paris Opéra. Corneille’s drama had served many earlier composers, including Bizet, whose Don Rodrigue remains a very substantial fragment, and Debussy, with a similarly unfinished Rodrigue et Chimène. The libretto provided ample opportunities for Spanish and Moorish colour, which Massenet exploited with his customary flair, particularly in the still popular ballet movements. There is a clear kinship with the Meyerbeer/Verdi principle of casting the heroic passions of individuals against a backdrop of larger conflicts, and the vision of Don Rodrigue in which St Jacques of Compostella promises him victory in the war with the Moors contributes a devotional flavour to the mix."
"[Massenet] was the most prolific and successful composer of opera in France at the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th." Annegret Fauser, Patrick Gillis and Hugh Macdonald in Grove Music Online. Item #28831
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