Handel, George Frideric
EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLISH MANUSCRIPT OF THE OPERA BERENICE, IN THE HAND OF HANDEL COPYIST "S2", FROM THE LIBRARY OF CHARLES JENNENS, HANDEL'S PATRON AND LIBRETTIST OF MESSIAH, AND ANNOTATED BY HIM
the scribal full score of the opera in three acts, notated in brown ink on up to ten staves per page, scored for voices and orchestra (strings, oboes, bassoons and continuo), with figured bass throughout (and with a few additional figures added by Charles Jennens), including the overture, the arias, ariosos and recitatives, and the final Coro, and with extensive stage directions, with the title page "Berenice Opera Composta per il Sgr G:F: Handel/ Comminciato Decembr: 15 1736", and with the end of each act dated, the note at the end reading: "Jan: 18 1737 and finished to fill up the Instrument parts: Jan: 27 1737/ G:F:H:", these dates apparently copied directly from the composer's autograph manuscript, this copy lacking Berenice's aria (no.30), 'Avvertite mie pupille'
Read Condition Report
Read Condition Report
297 pages, oblong 4to (22.3 x 29cm), 10-stave paper, watermarks of a fleur-de-lys & "IV", and of a Strassburg bend & "LVG", together with blank pages and a later manuscript leaf loosely inserted, contemporary half calf with marbled boards, with Jennens's characteristic shelfmark in black ink on the front pastedown ("N X / 15"), and later numbers in orange crayon (Ms 56) and on a label (715), probably 1740s, binding broken, the covers detached, the spine largely defective, some pages loose (but apparently without loss to text), some light foxing
Charles Jennens, with his shelfmark on front pastedown; Heneage, 3rd Earl of Aylesford and thence by descent; sale in our rooms, 13 May 1918, lot 204 (sold in a lot including "MS scores of Tamerlano, Teseo, Silla, Semele, Berenice, and Siroe; also Cembalo & six parts of Silla, Amadis, and Radamisto... [10/- to Lewine]").
J.H Roberts, "The Aylesford Collection", in Handel Collections and Their History (1993), edited by T. Best (pp.39-85), see pages 45 and 83. The present manuscript is that listed on page 83, among the "manuscripts not yet located".