Milano: F. Lucca [PNs 26351-26372], .
Large octavo. Modern full navy cloth boards with original light green wrapper printed in black laid down to upper. 1f. (decorative title printed in dark brown), 1f. (title and character list), 2-18 (libretto), 1f. (index), 393 pp. Engraved. Text in Italian.
Binding slightly worn and soiled. Slightly foxed; minor dampstaining.
First Italian Edition.
Opera, 4 acts. Libretto by Salomon Hermann Mosenthal. Premiered Vienna, Hoftheater, 10 March 1875. Italian version by Angelo Zanardini; Turin, 1 March 1879.
"Goldmark’s most famous, personal and successful work, the opera Die Königin von Saba, was inspired by his piano pupil, the Hofoper singer Caroline Bettelheim. In 1865 Salomon Mosenthal provided him with a suitable libretto, and in 1869 Goldmark received a grant of 800 Gulden from the Hungarian govenment, which enabled him to complete the opera in November 1871. In 1873, when it seemed to be rejected by the Vienna Hofoperntheater, Goldmark wrote a touching letter to Eduard Hanslick in its defence. He was persuaded to include part of Act 1, the arrival of the Queen of Sheba, in a Viennese charity concert on 11 January 1874 in which Liszt and Brahms also took part. Despite further intrigues, the première finally took place on 10 March 1875. It was a great success, and performances in many European operatic centres followed, as well as in New York (1885) and Buenos Aires (1901). Until the 1930s the opera had its most continuous performance tradition at Budapest.
The subject matter of Die Königin von Saba is similar to Bizet’s Djamileh, Delibes’ Lakmé, Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila and other works of oriental colour. Stylistically the opera shows an impressive mixture: the representative scope of musical and scenic luxury is indebted to Meyerbeerian grand opera, whereas the strongly chromatic harmony and the continuous declamatory melodic style, which is only temporarily interrupted by closed forms, point to Wagner. With its opulent and exotic sonority Die Königin von Saba seems to have hit the nerve of its time. It was taken as the musical counterpoint to the orientalistic paintings of Hans Makart and the monumental Viennese fin-de-siècle buildings in the Ringstrasse. In this way Goldmark ranks as the true musical representative of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in the last third of the 19th century." Wilhelm Pfannkuch and Gerhard J. Winkler in Grove Music Online.
Price: $85.00 other currencies