247
247
[Caccini, Francesca (1587-c.1641)] -- Ferdinando Saracinelli (1583-1640).
LA LIBERAZIONE DI RUGGIERO DALL' ISOLA D'ALCINA. BALLETTO RAPPTA IN MUSICA AL SERMO LADISLAO SIGISMONDO PRINCIPE DI POLONIA E DI SUEZIA NELLA VILLA IMPLE DELLA SERENISSMA ARCIDSSA D'AUSTRIA GRAN DUCHSA DI TOSCANA, FLORENCE: PIETRO CECCONCELLI, 1625
Estimate
4,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 4,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
247
[Caccini, Francesca (1587-c.1641)] -- Ferdinando Saracinelli (1583-1640).
LA LIBERAZIONE DI RUGGIERO DALL' ISOLA D'ALCINA. BALLETTO RAPPTA IN MUSICA AL SERMO LADISLAO SIGISMONDO PRINCIPE DI POLONIA E DI SUEZIA NELLA VILLA IMPLE DELLA SERENISSMA ARCIDSSA D'AUSTRIA GRAN DUCHSA DI TOSCANA, FLORENCE: PIETRO CECCONCELLI, 1625
Estimate
4,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 4,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Music, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental Books

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[Caccini, Francesca (1587-c.1641)] -- Ferdinando Saracinelli (1583-1640).
LA LIBERAZIONE DI RUGGIERO DALL' ISOLA D'ALCINA. BALLETTO RAPPTA IN MUSICA AL SERMO LADISLAO SIGISMONDO PRINCIPE DI POLONIA E DI SUEZIA NELLA VILLA IMPLE DELLA SERENISSMA ARCIDSSA D'AUSTRIA GRAN DUCHSA DI TOSCANA, FLORENCE: PIETRO CECCONCELLI, 1625
45 pages, 4to (c.24 x 18cm), signed A-F4 with final blank, engraved title and 5 folding plates by Alfonso Parigi, showing the first performance at the Villa Poggio Imperiale and the four main scene changes ("Imperiale Villa della Sereni[ssi]ma Archiducessa di Toscana", "Prima scena dove interviene Nettuno", "Isola d'Alcina seconda muta delle scene", "Isola d'Alcina ardente terza muta delle scene" and "Quarta muta dove escono delle grott' i cavalieri e dame, dopo escono i cavalieri a cavallo"), UNCUT, unbound still with the original manuscript title-flag ("liberazne di Ruggiero"), modern red calf folding box, browning to title, stitching renewed
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Literature

STC (Italian), p.822; not in Sonneck or Watanabe-O'Kelly & Simon (but cf 1273); for the 36-page issue, see USTC 4007119, ICCU\MUS\0007138 and Berlin Kataloge 4113

Catalogue Note

FRANCESCA CACCINI (1587-c.1637) WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO COMPOSE AN OPERA; FOR WHICH THIS IS THE FIRST EDITION OF THE LIBRETTO. There are five engraved folding plates, including an illustration of the first performance before Prince Ladislao of Poland at the Villa Poggio Imperiale in Florence. Francesca was the daughter of Giulio Caccini (Romano), the composer of the first surviving opera (L'Euridice) in 1600; she worked for the Medici family for nearly four decades (1600 to 1637).  This "balletto rappresentata in musica", is characteristic of early seventeenth-century Florentine opera, with its mix of elaborate scenery, singing and dancing, including the final "Ballo a cavallo", shown in the first engraved plate.  

There are two separate issues of Ferdinando Saracinelli's libretto; USTC lists ten copies in all, without distinguishing between them. This is the longer of the two issues, 45 pages, signed A-F4, of which there are copies in the British Library (11715.cc.20.) the Houghton Library at Harvard (Theatre Collection, TS 8385.598 1625) and the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris.  In fact, the standard bibliographies only mention the shorter 36-page issue.  This issue does not contain Andrea Salvadori's sonnet in praise of Saracinelli (page 4 has a cast list instead), but priority has yet to be established.  Francesca Caccini's music was also published at this time (RISM C 3 (five copies)), the only opera by her to survive.

La liberazione di Ruggiero was first performed on 3 February 1625 at the Villa di Poggio Imperiale in Florence, in honour of the visit of the Polish Prince Wladislaw ("Ladislao"), the future King Sigismund IV of Poland (1595-1648).  Watanabe-O'Kelly & Simon do not record this opera but only a shorter piece given to celebrate the same event, Salvadori's La precedenza delle dame with music by Jacopo Peri.   Ferdinando Saracinelli's feminist libretto was praised for the beauty of the sirens' songs, Francesca Caccini's music for her distinction between male characters, who sing in sharp keys, and female characters, who sing in flat keys. The engraved plates are of special note, in particular the first plate showing part of the villa itself, destroyed in the 18th century.

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