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Vers du Ballet Royal dansé par leurs maiestez entre les Actes de la grande Tragedie de l'Hercule Amoureux. Avec la Traduction du Prologue, & des Argumens de chaque Acte. [Libretto]
Paris: Robert Ballard. 1662. Small quarto. Full polished mid-tan calf with decorative spine in compartments gilt, dark red leather title label gilt, boards with gilt- ruled edges with decorative bird-like motif at corners, inner dentelles gilt. 1f. (title with woodcut device), pp. 3-7 (prologue), 51[!52] pp. With named cast lists for each of 18 entrées for Cavalli's Ercole amante. With fine woodcut headpiece and large decorative woodcut initial to prologue; occasional decorative initials and woodcut head- and tailpieces throughout. Binding somewhat worn, rubbed and bumped; hinges and joints cracking; small portion of lower spine lacking. Somewhat browned and foxed; some leaves trimmed just affecting tailpieces or signature designation in a few instances; small hole to pp. 29/30 just affecting text . First Edition. Malkin 9.1. Magriel p. 139. Slin p. 296. Not in Derra de Moroda. L'Hercule Amoreux, a ballet with music by Lully, marked the occasion of the marriage of Louis XIV to Maria Theresa of Spain; it was first performed in Paris at the Tuileries on February 7, 1662. "This opera-ballet... was doubtless the most brilliant of all the festivities organized in honor of the king's marriage. The performance, before an immense crowd which filled the new theatre to capacity, lasted for six hours... But the magnificence of the new theatre, the extraordinary boldness of the machines and decorations, the numerous and sudden changes of scenes, and the sumptuousness of the costumes kept the audience in a constant state of excitement. They paid very little attention to the opera itself, but the ballet entries, particularly the one in which the king and queen danced together, surrounded by the most illustrious representatives of the nobility, threw them into ecstasy... The complete spectacle is a very happy fusion of two genres producing what we may call a 'court-opera-ballet' in which the subjects of the ballet entries are closely related to the subject of the opera. The work is the result of the collaboration of at least six people: Camille Lillius wrote the Prologue, Buti wrote the libretto, Cavalli composed the music of the opera, Benserade devised the ballet entries and wrote the Vers, Lully composed the music of the ballet entries, and Gaspare Vigarani invented the machines." Silin: Benserade and his Ballets de Cour, p. 301. Ercole amante ("Hercules in Love"), an opera in a prologue and five acts by Francesco Cavalli to a libretto by Francesco Buti after Ovid’s Metamorphoses, was commissioned by Cardinal Mazarin to mark the occasion of the wedding of Louis XIV to Maria Theresa of Spain. Cavalli (1602-1676) "was the most performed, and perhaps the most representative, composer of opera in the quarter-century after Monteverdi and was a leading figure, as both composer and performer, in Venetian musical life." Thomas Walker in Grove online A French poet, librettist and playwright, "[Benserade's] art of telling the truth about society people with elegance and dexterity was not only appreciated by the salons and developed in all the current poetic genres – epigrams, madrigals, rondeaux, enigmas, portraits and epitaphs – but was peculiarly suited to the court ballet. Benserade's popularity coincided with Louis XIV's career as a dancer of some talent, and between 1651 and 1669, when the king retired from the stage, Benserade wrote verses for 23 royal ballets." Margaret M. McGowan in Grove online
      [Bookseller: J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians LLC]
Last Found On: 2014-07-05           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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