1) on the right-hand page, with an extended working draft in A major for Edmond and the students (at Figure 52), an instrumental passage immediately preceding the love duet for Manon and Des Grieux, with one word of text ("Davvero?", not included in the final version) comprising about forty-three bars, an eight-bar revision for strings, inserted and marked with cues ("Vi...de"), and with significant differences from the final version of this passage (cf full score pp.147-148), together with
2) on the left-hand page (marked "Finale Atto Io"), a continuation of the music in a series of six short sketches, including the melodies of Des Grieux's celebrated aria 'Donna non vidi mai' and the accompaniment for the love duet 'La queta casetta', (Figure 55), in particular the violin accompaniment that soon comes to dominate the musical texture, the manuscript replete with extensive annotations and commentaries, including ideas for composition, descriptions of the lovers' carriage as they elope, an allegro scherzoso for the chorus and a motive for the trombones (see the detailed inventory below, a-f), one idea rejected as being "too like Tannhäuser"
2 pages laid open (overall size: c.38 x 52cm), 24-stave paper ("Proprietà del R. Stabilimento Tito di Gio Ricordi--Milano"), no place or date, but probably c.1889-1890, rather worn, but legible, laid down, obscuring the verso, a few minor repairs
Although without any libretto, Puccini eloquently expresses the dramatic situation, where Des Grieux has seen Manon for the first time and expresses his ardour in 'Donna non vidi mai' (cf stave 8). On the right-hand page, "an orchestral montage provides a transition to the final 'area', whose centre-piece is the love duet", sketched on the left-hand page (cf Budden p.114). It culminates in the lyrical violin theme (cf stave 9), dominating Manon's vocal line, supported by the whole orchestra, and leads to the lovers' elopement (cf. Figure 57).
The left-hand page contains the following six discrete sketches, all related to this love duet:
(a) top stave: Andantino in 9/8, a sketch on three staves that, together with sketch (d), prefigures the transition to B-flat major, described by Budden as "a recollection of the turmoil, infused with fragments of Manon's motif", here a single line marked for violins, but played by the flutes, oboes and clarinets in the final version (cf pp.149-150 of the full score, played by the flutes, oboes and clarinets)
(b) staves 6- 8: a sketch on three staves of the melody for 'Donna non vidi mai' (first appearance at Fig 27, p.73), the opening four bars marked for flute, with elaborate accompaniment figures deleted and dismissed by the composer as "Troppo Tannhäuser"
(c) staves 9-11: a sketch on three staves of the accompaniment for the duet 'La questa casetta risonava', in 6/8 time, the violin theme that eventually dominates the climax of this duet-finale (cf Fig 55: p.156),
(d) staves 14-15: a sketch on two staves, in 9/8 time, of the four bars, eventually preceding sketch (a) and concluding with the beginning of Des Grieux's 'Donna non vidi mai" (p.149, which, used like a leitmotif, "proceeds to unfold in the cellos, horn and bass clarinet").
(e) staves 18-19, a sketch on two staves of a chord in divisi strings, possibly following on from sketch (d)
(f) staves 22-23, a sketch on three staves, marked "Finale Io / al[le]gretto Rec[itativo] duetto per Manon", not identified but presumably intended for the end of the duet sketched in (c)
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