Paris: Léon Escudier [PN L.E. 1648], [ca. 1857]. Large octavo. Dark brown morocco-backed brown textured paper boards, upper with initials "C.G." gilt, spine with titling gilt. 1f. (recto title within decorative border incorporating the names of various Verdi operas, verso blank),
1f. (recto named cast list and contents, verso blank), 312 pp. Lithographed.
Named cast includes Lautyers, Borghi-Mamo, Dameron, Gueymard, Bonnehée, Dérivis, Sapin, Fréret, and Cléophas.
Publisher's facsimile signature handstamp to lower outer corner of title.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed, and bumped; front endpaper with small chip to outer edge. Slightly foxed.
First Edition, second issue of the revised version. Hopkinson 54B (citing two issues, the first of which is engraved and the second lithographed).
Including ballet music newly-composed for the Paris production by Verdi to pp. 155-202.
l trovatore, to a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano with additions by Leone Emanuele Bardare after Antonio García Gutiérrez’s play El trovador, was first performed in Rome at the Teatro Apollo on January 19, 1853 and in a revised version (as La trouvère) in Paris at the Opéra on January 12, 1857.
"Il trovatore, though without doubt one of the two or three most popular Verdi operas, has until recently fared rather badly with critics and commentators, mostly because of its unabashedly formalistic exterior in comparison with the works on either side of it, Rigoletto and La traviata. This attitude at last shows signs of changing, perhaps as our criteria for judging Verdi’s musical dramas alter with time. Indeed, many of the most important stages in the critical rehabilitation of this opera have concentrated attention on just those aspects that were earlier castigated. The libretto, for example, with its immovable character types and ‘unrealistic’ stage action, has recently been seen as one of the work’s great strengths, its economy of dramatic means and immediacy of language forming the perfect basis on which to build Verdian musical drama. Similarly, the extreme formalism of the musical language has been seen as serving to concentrate and define the various stages of the drama, above all channelling them into those key confrontations that mark its inexorable progress."
"But if one trait can be singled out that best accounts for the opera’s success, it is probably the sheer musical energy apparent in all the numbers. Time and again we find a relentless rhythmic propulsion in the accompaniment, and a tendency for the melodic lines to be forced into a restrictive compass, freeing themselves rarely but with consequent explosive power." Roger Parker in Grove Music Online. Item #29559
Price: $475.00 other currencies