332 pages, folio, 17 gatherings of 5 bifolios (numbered I-XVII), 32-stave paper (Ricordi's device and "Extra Str[ong]" blind-stamped to lower corners), pencil paginations (occasionally lost), card covers, Ricordi's title-label, stamped "Partitura" and annotated "Full Score" and "Manuscript", pencil notice to conductor about transpositions on inside cover, probably late summer of 1918, heavily used, binding broken, browning throughout, mainly to margins, small tears and chips to edges (very occasional slight loss), some repairs with translucent adhesive tape,
PRE-PRODUCTION MANUSCRIPTS OF COMPLETE OPERAS BY PUCCINI ARE OF THE UTMOST RARITY AT AUCTION.
Dieter Schickling does not record this manuscript in his 2003 catalogue of Puccini's works, nor indeed any contemporary full score, except for Puccini's autograph manuscript in the Ricordi Archives, Milan. It evidently predates the premiere, given in at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, on 14 December 1918. It shows signs of heavy use, marked up, almost certainly for the first production, with many annotations in English, notes to the conductor and passages of text in English translation.
In Puccini's boldly-written revision to two bars at figure 69, he changes the first and second violin parts to double the flute and oboe parts. Since this alteration can already be discerned in the first printed vocal score, which was set up in September 1918 and printed in October, this manuscript must predate that. There is no sign that this score was used to prepare any edition, but many that it was used for performance. The New York premiere was sung by an Italian and American cast, including Giuseppe de Luca (Gianni Schicchi), Florence Easton (Lauretta), Kathleen Howard (La vecchia) and Giulio Crimi (Rinuccio); it was conducted by Roberto Moranzoni, who may have made the extensive markings in blue and orange.
Gianni Schicchi is Puccini's late comic masterpiece, analogous to Verdi's Falstaff, the final opera in his triptych (Il trittico), containing one of his most familiar melodies, Lauretta's 'O mio babbino caro'. This manuscript preserves an early version of the full score, probably written in late summer of 1918, only a few months after Puccini's completion of the autograph manuscript in mid-April. In fact, Puccini was already making corrections to a copyist's full score, though probably not this one, as early as May and June 1918 (that score was apparently "rather faulty", whereas this one contains only a few alterations attributable to his hand: see Schickling p.369).
This score did not originally contain the distinctive revisions Puccini made sometime between the printing of the first vocal score in the autumn of 1918, and a revised issue in early 1919 (together with the first printed full score: both contain those revisions). These alterations have been marked in the score by a later hand, mainly in English and presumably in New York, which would suggest that they were indeed incorporated into the first performance. The most obvious and extensive revision is to Rinuccio's aria 'Firenze è come un albero fiorito', which he later transposed up a semitone. Here the Moderato passage from fig.28 is notated with the old key-signature of E-flat major, rather than E as in the second vocal score; the Andante at nos.30 & 31 in A major rather than in B-flat; the 'Stesso Movimento' at fig.34 in E-flat major rather than E. Another alteration made after this manuscript was written is the optional cut of four bars at (5 bars after figure 14), which has been boldly marked-up on this score by or for the conductor Moranzoni in blue crayon on page 56.
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