Item #39668 Autograph musical quotation in piano-vocal score from the composer's opera La Vestale, signed "Spontini" Gaspare SPONTINI.

Autograph musical quotation in piano-vocal score from the composer's opera La Vestale, signed "Spontini"

13 measures in piano-vocal score for "Julia" (a soprano, the young Vestal Virgin) and "Clavecin" boldly notated in dark black ink. Titled at head "Prière de la Vestale de Spontini," marked "Andante espressivo" at head, and signed and dated at conclusion "Berlin, de 22 avril 1837 Spontini." With text commencing "O des infortunés, déesse tutélaire," the prayer from Act II of the opera.

La Vestale, a tragédie lyrique in three acts to a libretto by Victor-Joseph-Etienne de Jouy, was first performed in Paris at the Opéra on 15 December 1807; it is regarded as Spontini's masterpiece, evidencing the influence of Gluck and anticipating the works of Berlioz, Wagner, and French Grand opera.

"The opera, mostly composed in 1805 but repeatedly revised, was performed only after the intervention of the Empress Josephine. However, it turned out to be not only the most successful work of Spontini’s unsteady career but also the one serious French opera to achieve lasting and international fame between 1789 and 1826. ...

There are several extremely concise numbers in Gluck’s manner, side by side with longer récitatifs obligés written in arioso style, and a preghiera by Julia in the second finale (‘O des infortunées, déesse tutélaire’), with a soaring melodic line over an extremely sparse accompaniment which anticipates Italian opera of the 1830s.

[Spontini] dominated serious grand opera of the early 19th century in Paris and later in Berlin. ... Although Fernand Cortez was taken out of the repertory in 1810, that year proved to be the peak of Spontini’s career. In February he was appointed directeur de la musique de l’opéra buffa at the Théâtre de l’Impératrice and was able to put his ideas for repertory – concentrating on performances of Cimarosa and Mozart – into practice at the Théâtre Italien. In July he was awarded a newly created prize for the best opera of the decade, for La vestale, and in the same month he married Marie-Cathérine-Céleste Erard, daughter of the pianoforte maker and publisher Jean-Baptiste Erard. After Napoleon’s fall from power Spontini withdrew from the public eye for some time, but he greeted the return of the Bourbon kings in August 1814 with Pélage and he was restored for a time to the position at the Théâtre Italien which he had given up in 1812." Anselm Gerhard in Grove Music Online.

Item #39668

Price: $1,350.00  other currencies

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