Milano: G. Ricordi & C., 1893.
Octavo. Original publisher's light green wrappers with titling in dark green to upper. 1f. (recto title, verso publisher's note), 1f. (recto named cast list, verso named orchestral and stage personnel), -114 pp. Text in Italian.
Named cast includes Vittorio Maurel, Antonio Pini-Corsi, Edoardo Garbin, Giovanni Paroli, P. Rossetti-Pelagalli, Vittorio Arimondi, Emma Zilli, Adelina Stehle, Giuseppina Pasqua, Virginia Guerrini, and Attilio Pulcini.
Publisher's blindstamp "G. Ricordi 1 1893" to lower inner corner of upper wrapper.
Wrappers slightly worn, chipped, and faded, with small stain to upper, ; pages lightly browned and foxed.
First Edition. Chusid p. 66. Fuld p. 99.
Set to a libretto by Arrigo Boito after Shakespeare's plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and King Henry IV, Falstaff premiered in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala on 9 ebruary 1893.
For his final opera, Verdi exploited the verbal wit and humor of his source subject by overlapping and compressing large musical ideas into dense moments layered with both musical and dramatic complexity. "It is clear the Verdi was fully aware of the opera’s ‘polyphonic’ texture and was – on occasion – even prepared to interrupt the drama in order to enhance it. As he said in a letter to Boito discussing Fenton’s sonetto in Act 3, ‘as far as the drama goes we could do without it; but … the whole piece provides me with a new colour for the musical palette’. These new aspects, possible only through the medium of comedy, served to stimulate Verdi’s creative imagination to new levels of fecundity. In the midst of an increasingly fragmented aesthetic world, he was able to follow the whim of the moment, to gaze back serenely on past achievements and, as he said so many times in letters to Boito, simply to enjoy himself. Few would deny how richly Verdi deserved this final triumph, or how heartening a message Falstaff offers. The opera leaves us with a musical image that exactly reflects those famous photographs of Verdi in his last years: an old man, in black hat, with eyes that have lived through a lifetime of struggle, smiling out wisely at the world." Roger Parker in Grove Music Online.
Price: $385.00 other currencies