Milano: Tito di Gio. Ricordi [PNs 28116-50], 1856.
Oblong folio. 19th century quarter dark brown morocco with dark green textured cloth boards, spine in gilt and blindstamped compartments with titling gilt to head and owner's name "Edwinn" gilt to tail. 1f. (recto title within decorative border, verso blank), 1f. (recto index listing 35 numbers and corresponding plate and page numbers, verso named cast list of singers and dancers), 15, 23, 6, 25, 9, 20, 17, 13, 3, 21, 15, 5, 17, 4, 9, 18, 9, 11, 9, 10, 6, 23, 8, 10, 15, 11, 22, 13, 10, 28, 16, 14, 6, 29, 5 pp., for a total of 475 pages of music, each number with its own caption title and imprint. Numbers 17-21 [PN nos. 28132-28136] contain the ballet music for solo piano. Engraved.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed, bumped, and stained, with early Rome circulating library stamps to front endpapers. Slightly worn and foxed, with some minor creasing; small circular stain to lower outer corners of number 13. Lacking the secondary pictorial title. In very good condition overall.
Rare first complete Italian edition of the second version of the opera. Hopkinson 56B(a). Chusid p. 171.
"After the performances of Jérusalem at the Opéra in 1847 Verdi had intended to produce an entirely new opera for the first theatre of Paris, but the revolutions of 1848 caused the plan to be shelved. He renewed negotiations with the Opéra, however, in 1852, and a contract was drawn up for a full-scale French grand opera in five acts, with a libretto by Eugène Scribe, the acknowledged poetic master of the genre. After various subjects had been proposed, poet and composer eventually agreed to use a revised version of an existing libretto, Le duc d’Albe, written by Scribe and Charles Duveyrier for Halévy (who did not use it) and partly set to music by Donizetti in 1839. Verdi spent most of 1854 working at the score, making a reluctant Scribe undertake some important revisions and complaining about the sheer length demanded by audiences at the Opéra. The première, which included Marc Bonnehée (Montfort), Louis Guéymard (Henri), Louis-Henri Obin (Jean Procida) and Sophie Cruvelli (Hélène), was well received, even by such severe critics as Berlioz, but the work failed to enter the standard repertory of the Opéra. Its revolutionary subject caused difficulties with the Italian censors and it was first performed in Italian in a bowdlerized version translated by Eugenio Caimi and entitled Giovanna de Guzman. Later performances as I vespri siciliani retained most aspects of Caimi’s translation and it is almost invariably in this Italian version that the opera is encountered today." Roger Parker in Grove Music Online.
Price: $1,500.00 other currencies