La Favorita. [Manuscript full score]. Gaetano DONIZETTI.
La Favorita. [Manuscript full score]
La Favorita. [Manuscript full score]
La Favorita. [Manuscript full score]

La Favorita. [Manuscript full score]

Ca. 1843. 4 volumes. Oblong folio (300 x 230 mm.). Green leather-backed marbled boards with spine in gilt-ruled compartments with titling and decorative lyres gilt. Each volume with act and inventory number gilt to spine. Notated in black ink on 20-stave music paper in the hand of a single unidentified copyist. Text in Italian.

Vol. 1: Atto 1. 267, 106 ff.
Vol. 2: Atto 2. 268, 166 ff.
Vol. 3: Atto 3. 269, 98 ff.
Vol. 4: Atto 4. 270, 62 ff.

From the collection of Italian conductor, vocal coach, and close associate of Puccini and Mascagni, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981), previously from the collection of Italian composer Francesco Maria Albini (1829-1917), with his inventory numbers to title in each volume, and his signature on front pastedown in Vols. 1 and 2.

Bindings very slightly worn, rubbed, and bumped; endpapers slightly foxed and creased. Minor dampstaining to a few leaves in Vol. 3 not affecting music; edges slightly soiled.

With Italian translation by Carlo Bossi, not the well-known translation of Jannetti published by Lucca/Ricordi. A full orchestral score in Italian was not published until the early 20th century. Four manuscript full score copies exist with Italian text. Inzaghi IN. 67, pp.187-189.

La Favorite, to a libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, with additions by Eugène Scribe, was first performed at the Paris Opéra on December 2, 1840. Donizetti used his earlier unperformed opera L’ange de Nisida as the basis for La Favorite, though the plots are considerably different. The original French version would become a standard in Paris, performed regularly at the Opéra until 1918.

"In spite of its mixture of sources, La favorite must rank among Donizetti's best works, although it slips from its high standard in a few instances, such as the merely efficient ballet music." Ashbrook, p. 447.

The Italian version of the opera was changed rather dramatically to avoid censorship, and until recently the opera was best-known in the translation of Jannetti, which was been strongly criticized (see Ashbrook in Grove Music Online, and Gossett: Divas and Scholars, pp. 394-6). Jannetti's translation was used for the Italian premiere in 1842, published in piano-vocal score by Lucca and then Ricordi, and not replaced by a new version until 1999. A different Italian translation was, however, made by Carlo Bossi for the first performance in Milan in 1843. This translation was never published, but was used in the Venice production in 1847 and possibly other performances as well. At least one other manuscript copy contains this translation (Naples, Rari 13.3.1-2), and it is possible that the current manuscript was copied from it.

Ricci was an important figure in the transmission of 19th century traditions passed on to him by noted baritone Antonio Cotogni (1831-1918), whom he accompanied from the age of 12. He was active as a vocal coach at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where he taught (amongst many others) Sesto Bruscantini, Anna Moffo, Rosalind Elias, Ezio Flagello, Peter Lindroos, and Martti Wallén. Item #31266

Price: $2,500.00  other currencies

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