Item #39432 Manuscript of 25 French operatic and non-operatic pieces dating from ca. 1700-1760, including many unlocated works. Jean-Philippe RAMEAU.
Manuscript of 25 French operatic and non-operatic pieces dating from ca. 1700-1760, including many unlocated works
Manuscript of 25 French operatic and non-operatic pieces dating from ca. 1700-1760, including many unlocated works

Manuscript of 25 French operatic and non-operatic pieces dating from ca. 1700-1760, including many unlocated works

ca. 1765.

Oblong quarto (197 x 254 mm). Contemporary heavy marbled wrappers. Notated in black ink on 8-stave rastrum-ruled paper. 1f. (blank), 36, 1f. (recto with musical fragment on 7 hand-drawn staves, verso blank).

A compilation of 25 vaudevilles (popular dance-based tunes often sung in theatrical contexts), airs, and operatic selections.


1. "Tatigue que quermu menage." For 2 baritone voices. Pp. 1-4. Unlocated.

2. "Sous tes chaines." For treble and alto voices. Pp. 4-6. Unlocated.

3. Berton, Pierre-Montan 1727-1780
"Une clarté plus pure." For treble and alto voices. Pp. 6-8. From the opera Deucalion et Pyrrha, 1755. Berton, a composer, conductor and arranger, "raised orchestral standards at the Opéra and assiduously looked for new talent; by updating performance techniques and facilitating the invitation to Paris of Gluck and Piccinni, he paved the way for those composers in France. Meude-Monpas described his conducting, and called him a ‘sovereign master of the orchestra’." David Charlton, Graham Sadler, Michel Noiray, and Patrick Taïeb in Grove Music Online

4. Destouches, André-Cardinal 1672-1769
"Mars laissez reposer Bellone et la victoire." For treble and bass voices. Pp. 9-11. In all likelihood drawn from "Recueil d'Airs sérieux et à boire de différents auteurs, pour l'année 1703" (Paris: Christophe Ballard, 1703).Destouches was a composer of theatrical music, songs in the vaudeville genre, cantatas, and sacred religious works. He discovered his prodigious ability in music somewhat late, around age 20, but went on to have vibrant and productive career. His teacher was the celebrated André Campra (1660-1744).

5. Mondonville, Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de 1711-1772
"Grand dieu après tant de biens faits." For treble and alto voices. Pp. 11-13. The scribe has modified the first word of the original air, "Amour après tant de bienfaits" from Mondonville's Titon Et L'Aurore, 1753. A French composer, violinist, and conductor, "with Jean-Philippe Rameau, [Mondonville] ... was one of the outstanding figures of French music in the 18th century." Marc Signorile in Grove Music Online

6. Mangot, Jacques-Siméon [?]1712-1791
"Qu'est ce qu'amour, le connois tu grégoire." For treble and bass voices. Pp. 14-17. In the Anthologie franco̜ise, ou Chansons choisies, depuis le 13e siécle jusqu'à présent, Tome III, Paris: Barbou, 1765. Mangot, brother-in-law of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) was an accomplished oboe and musette player, composer, music director, and opera impresario

7. Berton
"Le jour repand sur la nature." For two treble voices. Pp. 17-19

8. Anon. "Dieu des coeurs." For two treble voices. Pp. 19-20. This gavotte en rondeau is included in Le Chansonnier français, ou Recueil de chansons ariettes, vaudevilles & autres couplets choisis, Tome 11 (1760), as a single-line melody.

9. Anon. "Quoy toujours des chansons." For solo bass voice. P. 21. This piece also appears, in a differently ornamented version, within a manuscript compilation (RISM ID: 800226924) formerly belonging to author Antoine Houdar de la Motte (1672-1731), now at the Bodleian Library (Oxford). La Motte was a librettist for Campra, Marais, and Destouches.

10. La Coquette, "La jeune helas qu'enchaine." For solo treble voice. P. 22. Unlocated.

11. "Un jour dans un festin." A minuet for solo soprano voice. Pp. 22-23. Unlocated.

12. "Ah chers amis je suis perdus," marked "a boire." For solo bass voice. Pp. 23-24. Unlocated.

13. "Non ce n'est point un fol amour." For solo treble voice. P. 24. Unlocated.

14. "Le tems de la jeunesse." For solo soprano voice. Pp. 24-25. Unlocated.

15. "Que vous avez de plaisir papillon." A rondeau for solo soprano voice. P. 25. The same poem was set by Bousset in 1716 (RISM A/I B 3913), with different music. Unlocated.

16. "Tout soupire sous l'empire" and "A dieu meme du bien supreme." For treble and bass voices. P. 26. A pair of gavottes, the first minor and the second major. Unlocated.

17. "Le papillon leger au tour de mille fleurs." For solo treble voice. P. 27. Unlocated.

18. "A toujours." For solo treble voice. P. 28. Unlocated.

19. "Au Lieu de la houlette Lizette prend ta serpette." For soprano and bass voices. Pp. 29-30. Unlocated.

20. "Charmante mere des amours." For solo treble voice. Pp. 30-31. Unlocated.

21. Rameau, Jean-Philippe 1683-1764
"Dieu d'amour." For solo treble voice. Pp. 31-32. From Hippolyte et Aricie, 1733. A French composer and theorist, Rameau was "one of the greatest figures in French musical history, a theorist of European stature and France's leading 18th-century composer. He made important contributions to the cantata, the motet and, more especially, keyboard music, and many of his dramatic compositions stand alongside those of Lully and Gluck as the pinnacles of pre-Revolutionary French opera." Graham Sadler and Thomas Christensen in Grove Music Online

22. Montéclair, Michel Pignolet de 1667-1737
"L'amour veut que tout soupire." For solo soprano voice. P. 32. Drawn from the opera ballet Les Fêtes de l'Eté with a libretto by Simon-Joseph Pellegrin (1663-1745) or Marie-Anne Barbier (1664-[?]1745). Montéclair was a well-regarded composer, music theorist, and pedagogue. He counted Rameau among his admirers and François Couperin (1668-1733) entrusted his daughters' music education to him. An accomplished double bass player, he performed at the Paris Opéra and composed opera and ballet, cantatas, instrumental music, and sacred vocal works.

23. "Le [?]dieu." For baritone voice (incomplete). P. 33. Unlocated.

24. Favart, Charles-Simon 1710-1792, librettist
"Agite par la fierte." For soprano voice. Pp. 34-35. From Favart's opera Le caprice amoureux ou Ninette à la cour, a pastiche.

25. Munier d'Haudimont, Étienne-Pierre ca. 1730-ca.1803
"Non quand l'amour." Pp. 35-36. This selection was printed in "Receuil de chansons choisies avec accompagnements de harpe composés par Melle de Haulteterre," Paris: Cousineau, ca. 1765. D'Haudimont was a violinist, composer, choir director, and abbot.

Wrappers slightly worn. Very minor internal browning and soiling. In very good condition overall.

The compiler includes dance-based pieces (fashionable songs often referred to as "vaudevilles" in other sources), selections from operas and ballets, and floridly ornamented solos. Some selections, like the operatic pieces, were originally orchestrated for multiple instruments and continuo. Others, like "Qu'est ce qu'amour, le connois tu grégoire" by Jacques-Simon Mangot (1712c-1791), were originally composed for unaccompanied voices.

French baroque music consumers viewed the elaborately orchestrated operatic sections as "detachable" from their original contexts: in their more modest solo or duo iterations, these arrangements allowed opera-lovers to experience their favorite theatrical music from the comfort of home. The style of the vocal duos, whether operatic or not, is characterized by imitation and paired thirds (i.e., love duet style), not dissimilar from the innumerable French baroque instrumental duos for pairs like two violins, or two flutes, or vocal duos for high and low voices, with alternation between equal roles for the voices and melody-bass type writing.

The present compilation was most likely created for private musical recreation. Two singers could read side-by-side from the same manuscript, their close physical proximity enhancing the effect of the love-duet writing and musical dialogue. Vaudevilles were most often performed unaccompanied.

Of special note is the presence of music by Rameau's brother-in-law Mangot, a now virtually forgotten French baroque composer who was an oboe and musette player, composer, music director, opera impresario, and important source on the historical performance practice of the vaudeville repertoire.

"On 25 February 1726, now aged 42, Rameau married the 19-year-old Marie-Louise Mangot ( 1707–85 ), an accomplished singer and harpsichordist and possibly already one of his pupils. She bore him four children. Her father, Jacques, was one of the symphonistes du roy, while her brother, Jacques-Simon, was later to make Rameau's music known at the court of Parma and to act as intermediary in correspondence between Rameau and Padre Martini." Graham Sadler and Thomas Christensen in Grove Music Online

"Unaccompanied vaudeville performance is explained in a letter from Rameau’s brother-in-law Jacques-Simon Mangot dated 24 June 1762 at the court of Parma. Mangot directed the duke’s French troupe from 1756 after holding directorships at Bordeaux and Lyons, and was helping an unknown correspondent in Vienna. Numerous vaudeville comedies performed at the Parma court in 1755–6 have been documented by Marco Marica.

'I have the honour of sending you the airs and vaudevilles that I have copied; I have not added the accompaniments for the Menuet d’Exaudet or the air from Castor, I have the honour of sending you the airs and vaudevilles that I have copied; I have not added the accompaniments for the Menuet d’Exaudet or the air from Castor, because it is normal in this kind of piece that the songs we introduce, which are either familiarly known or else vaudevilles, are sung by the actor without accompaniment. I have discussed it with Marianno, who has told me that in case one wanted to have an accompaniment, they did have the accompaniments in Vienna, and that then it would be possible in the blink of an eye.' " David Charlton: Popular Opera in Eighteenth-Century France, pp. 119-120.

With numerous unlocated works, some very possibly unrecorded.

An interesting compilation of French baroque vocal music spanning six decades, shedding light on domestic music-making in 18th century France, where singers drew from a wide variety of music both contemporary and from earlier decades, freely adapting operatic works for unaccompanied performance.

Item #39432

Price: $1,500.00  other currencies

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