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[K 366]. Idomeneo... Act 1...[11]...[3]...Price 15s. [Piano-vocal score]
London: Rt. Birchall [without PN]. [ca. 1815-23]. Folio. Modern full brown cloth. 1f. (decorative title engraved by R. & E. Williamson), [i] ("Personaggi" and contents with incipits for all three acts), 77, [i] (blank), 1f. (title), [i] (blank), 78-139, [i] (blank), 1f. (title), 141-248 pp. Titles (all three identical) lithographed; music engraved. Text in Italian. Acts 1 and 2 printed on paper of greenish hue with watermark "1823" to contents leaf, "1815" to Act I, and "1817" to Act II. Act 3 printed on white paper with watermark "1822." Varying addresses of imprint: "No. 133, New Bond Street" to all titles and caption titles of Acts 1 and 2; plates of caption titles of Act 3 corrected to "140, New Bond Street." Double pagination, with continuous pagination to head of pages and separate pagination to upper inner or outer corners. All numbers with caption titles designed for individual sale and with price to the right of caption title. Some soiling and foxing; title of Acts 1 and 2 browned; impression of caption titles and pagination weak in places; other minor defects. A good copy overall. . First English edition, later issue. Rare. Not in Köchel. Not in RISM. WorldCat (four copies: Washington University has same page count but is tentatively dated "1810s;" Biblioteca de Catalunya, Barcelona, has same page count but is dated "1811;" Harvard University (dated "1810s") and the British Library (dated "1811) copies have 227 pages only. The present edition does not include recitatives except Elettra's "Marcia con Recitativo" in Act 2 and the recitatives preceding the oracle in Act 3. The duet "Spiegarti non poss'io" for Act 3 (K489), composed for the 1786 revival, is included alongside the piece it replaced ("S'io non moro a questi accenti"). Robert Birchall died in 1819. After his death, the business continued at 133 New Bond Street until ca. 1824, thereafter at 140 New Bond Street (Humphries & Smith p. 74). It would seem plausible that in the present copy, Act 3 (with the later imprint) is a later, expanded issue. The copies with 227 pages would then represent the earlier issue. "Having completed nine operatic works, Mozart, aged twenty-four, was commissioned to write an opera by the Elector Karl Theodor of Bavaria, formerly of Mannheim, who had moved to Munich in January 1778. He began work in Salzburg in October 1780 and moved to Munich in November to complete the work with the singers, several of whom he knew from Mannheim days. The opera was successful but there were no further performances in other houses and the amateur performance in Vienna took place five years later." Robbins Landon: The Mozart Companion, p. 248. "Idomeneo sprang from a specific tradition and far outstripped it. The happy auspices under which it was created brought forth from Mozart a work so demanding that it could hardly be performed elsewhere. Even the Mannheim-Munich forces were probably not ready for its boldness. "Magnificent," "expressive," "novel," "powerful," "and "strange," its first auditors called it, with the dominating impression certainly the last. For all but a few the profundities of this opera eroica were too deep. In the decade Mozart had left to live, it had already became a work dispossessed. This is perhaps one of the reasons why he loved it especially among all his works." Heartz: Mozart's Operas, p. 34.
      [Bookseller: J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians LLC]
Last Found On: 2015-11-20           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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