Lot 183
  • 183

Rameau, Jean Philippe

6,000 - 8,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Rameau, Jean Philippe
  • Pièces de clavecin avec un table pour les agrémens, second edition, Paris, Boivin, Le Clair & the author, 1731;  Nouvelles Suites de pièces de clavecin avec des remarques sur les différens genres de musique, first edition,  Paris, the author, Boivin & Le Clerc, [c.1728]
  • paper
2 works in one volume, large oblong 4to (c.25 x 33.5cm), [2] & 33 pages (pp.28-33 on a large folding sheet: c.37.5 x 59.5cm), the second work [4] & 29 pages, printed title to the first work, thereafter engraved throughout, table of ornaments, watermark "Dupuy Moyen" (cf Heawood 241), both titles blank on verso, without the later work-lists, contemporary limp vellum, some tears to the large folding sheet, some staining & light foxing, ties defective


We understand that this volume was acquired from the family of Rafael Mitjana y Gordón (1869-1921), Spanish diplomat and musicologist.  Mitjana was a pupil and friend of Saint-Saëns, who edited the Pièces de clavecin for the first "complete edition" in 1895, and from whom he may have received the volume.


RISM, R184 & R188; Rameau. Pièces de Clavecin, edited by K. Gilbert (1978), 'Preface': Pièces issue B (1731) and Nouvelles suites issue A (1728). (Hoboken xvi, 218 & 219 record later, probably posthumous, re-issues of these two editions).

Catalogue Note

RARE. all early editions of Rameau's magnificent Pièces de clavecin (1724) survive only in a small number of copies.  Apart from André Meyer's copy of the 1736 edition (Sotheby's, Paris,16 October 2012, lot 258), we have no record of the Pièces appearing at auction for nearly twenty years.  This copy is taller and wider than Meyer's, and retains its original vellum binding unaltered.  The imprint to the Pièces records Rameau's address ("rue S. Honoré, proche la rue de l'Echelle"), which is missing from later issues.

Rameau's keyboard works are remarkable for their advanced textures, extended range and dazzling virtuosity.  The famous rondeau 'Les cyclopes' in the Pièces de clavecin is printed on a large folding sheet so that all four pages can be played without page-turning.   One piece in the Nouvelles suites is called 'Les trois mains'.  Rameau excelled in descriptive pieces, demanding considerable technical ability. This volume contains a number of celebrated examples, including 'Le rappel des oiseaux', 'Les tendres plaintes', 'Les tricotets', 'La poule', 'Les sauvages' and 'L'Egiptienne'.