Oblong quarto (239 x 285 mm). 19th century quarter dark blue calf with matching marbled boards, titling and decorative devices gilt to spine. Notated in black ink on 20-stave wove paper, watermark "AGF" to final signatures. 1r (title), 1v-144v (Act I), 145 (blank), 146r-156r (Act I “Strumenti in Fine”), 156v (blank), 157r (Act II title), 157v-235r (Act II), 235v (blank), 236r-269r (Act III), 269v (blank).
In two different hands, with occasional performance markings and corrections in ochre, blue, and lead pencil.
Several numbers with indications of instrumentation (low brass and percussion) included "in Fine," with supplementary scores for these parts included in the "Strumenti in Fine" section following Act I.
From the collection of Italian conductor, vocal coach, and close associate of Puccini and Mascagni, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981), previously in the collection of Italian composer Francesco Maria Albini (1829-1917), with his signature and inventory number to title.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed, and scuffed; edges slightly worn and soiled. Occasional minor wear and soiling; scattered light staining to upper outer corners; some signatures trimmed at blank margins; several minor repairs. In very good condition overall.
Unpublished in full score. The autograph manuscript is held by Ricordi. There are a total of twelve 19th century manuscript copies recorded.
Il giuramento, a melodramma in 3 acts with a libretto by Gaetano Rossi after Victor Hugo's play Angelo, tyran de Padoue (1835), premiered in Milan at La Scala on 11 March 1837. " ... from the night of its première [Il giuramento] was regarded as [Mercadante's] masterpiece and became his most frequently performed opera. It also marked the point of departure for the series of successes (Elena da Feltre, Le due illustri rivali, Il bravo and La vestale) with which Mercadante set the trend in replacing the dramaturgy of the pure bel canto opera of Bellini with dramatic action that permeated the whole work. Many contemporaries, chief among them Franz Liszt, thought that in these works Mercadante overtook Donizetti himself as the leading composer of Italian opera between Bellini and Verdi." Michael Wittmann in Grove Music Online
Mercadante had a string of successes following his years of study in Paris. Beginning with Il giuramento, he gradually developed a more dramatic opera form that earned him the respect of contemporaries such as Liszt.
"After Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, [Mercadante] was the most important composer of Italian opera in the period immediately preceding Verdi, on whom his influence was considerable ... Il giuramento and the best of the operas that follow it are of the greatest interest and importance in the history of 19th-century Italian music; more than any others of the period, they provide the link between Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti on the one hand, and Verdi and the later 19th-century melodrama on the other. " Michael Rose in Grove Music Online.
Price: $2,200.00 other currencies