London: Published by the Author. Printed and Sold by Richard Meares... & by Christopher Smith, . 2 volumes in one. Tall folio. 18th century blindstamped suede with "Rhadamistus" in manuscript to upper board.
1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (recto privilege and dedication to King George I, verso blank), [i] (blank, with early manuscript index), 121 pp. Engraved.
Arie Aggiunte di Radamisto. London: Published by the Author. Printed and Sold by Richard Meares Musical-Instrument-Maker and Musick Printer in St. Pauls Church yd. & by Christopher Smith at ye Hand & Musick-Book in Coventry-Street near ye Hay-Market. N.B. Not to be sold any where else in England, . 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 38 pp. Engraved. With early manuscript index to verso of free front endpaper opposite title.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed, bumped, and scuffed; rebacked. Very slightly worn; some minor creasing to upper corners; occasional small tears and archival repairs. Very good copies of both volumes.
First Edition, first issue of both parts. Rare. With the Privilege not present in some copies. HWV 12a-b. Händel-Handbuch I, 172. Smith p. 53 nos. 1 and 2. BUC p. 429. Hoboken Vol. 5, 29 and 30. RISM H258 and H261.
First performed at the King's Theatre in London on April 27, 1720, with text by Nicola F. Haymn after the Italian drama L'Amor tirannico O Zenobia by D. Lalli. Revised, with the addition of 13 new pieces, for a performance at the King's Theatre on December 28, 1720.
"The printing of the score was heralded by a publicity campaign. A press announcement on 12 July 1720 stated that it "is now Engraving finely upon Copper Plates by Richard Meares, Musical Instrument-Maker and Musick-Printer... NB To make this Work the more acceptable, the Author has been prevailed with to correct the whole'. On 3 December 'the Printer presumes to assert that there hath not been in Europe a Piece of Musick so well printed, and upon so good Paper'... It appeared on 15 December, fortified by a Privilege of Copyright granted to Handel on 14 June... The name of the engraver, Thomas Cross, appears on the last page of the score, which is indeed a handsome volume. Smith's name confirms that Handel was concerned in the publication, but there is no proof that he corrected the plates or supplied the bass figuring..."
"... On 14 March 1721 Meares advertised 'several Additional Songs'... These Arie Aggiunte di Radamisto, comprising the ten new arias and duet composed for the December 1720 revival, but not the quartet or accompanied recitative, were published a week later on 21 March, and the two collections subsequently sold together." Dean and Knapp: Handel's Operas 1704-1726, pp. 365-366.
"... on April 27, Radamisto, Handel's first opera for the Academy, was presented to a full house, the King and "his ladies," as well as the Prince of Wales, being in the audience. Mainwaring says that "several gentlemen were turned back, who had offered forty shillings for a seat in the gallery" (usually selling for two shillings and sixpence). The success was tremendous, and indeed Radamisto is one of Handel's great operas. It has a good libretto, and the work is well and tightly composed even though the proportions are large. Radamisto contains elaborate instrumental numbers, ritornels and preludes, in addition to a wealth of great arias." Lang: Handel, pp. 174-175.
"Radamisto proved to be one of the greatest operas [Handel] ever produced in England... The crowds flocked to Radamisto like a modern mob to a notorious prize-fight, and the opera had an unbroken run til the season ended on 25th June... Radamisto was easily the most popular opera of its epoch... The airs from Radamisto were being sung everywhere." Flower: Handel, pp. 128-129. Item #31123
Price: $6,500.00 other currencies