THE AUTOGRAPH WORKING MANUSCRIPT OF THE OPERA-BOUFFE LES BRIGANDS, A SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETE EARLY VERSION DIVERGING CONSIDERABLY FROM THE PUBLISHED VOCAL SCORE

Lot Number 239
Author OFFENBACH, JACQUES
Title THE AUTOGRAPH WORKING MANUSCRIPT OF THE OPERA-BOUFFE LES BRIGANDS, A SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETE EARLY VERSION DIVERGING CONSIDERABLY FROM THE PUBLISHED VOCAL SCORE
Year Published
Place Printed
Printed By
Description OFFENBACH, JACQUES THE AUTOGRAPH WORKING MANUSCRIPT OF THE OPERA-BOUFFE LES BRIGANDS, A SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETE EARLY VERSION DIVERGING CONSIDERABLY FROM THE PUBLISHED VOCAL SCORE, INCLUDING FOUR NUMBERS AND OTHER SHORTER SECTIONS NOT PUBLISHED the full orchestral score in three acts, written in brown ink on up to twenty-four staves per page, with autograph titles (some including sketches) written on bifolio-wrappers for most of the numbers ("1re acte Les Brigands/ no .1..."), with extensive deletions, revisions, alterations and corrections, including to the vocal lines, some pages crossed through and smaller details scratched out by the composer, and some passages revised on separate sections of manuscript paper stitched or pinned into the score, the repeated sections frequently indicated by numbers and cues, together with notes by the composer to the copyist ("...Je prie le copiste d'écrire le chant dans la partie de Clarinettes...", and for the performers ("...Tout le monde coi soprani doit prononcer à demie voix et sur le rythme musicale...", several short sketches, and other autograph memoranda, and also with a few additional markings ("Rideau"), many instrumental designations (to the Act 1 finale) and bar-numbers added in another hand c. 430 pages, including autograph titles, together with blanks, oblong folio, 24-stave paper by Lard-Esnault of Paris, the bifolia numbered by the composer within each section, unbound and uncut, modern green morocco folders gilt, [Paris, c.1869], lacking about four numbers at the end, some tears to margins and dustmarking to titles
Comments LITERATURE CATALOGUE NOTE This is Offenbach's composing manuscript, showing many upublished details of his original version of the opera. The score is heavily revised and in places rewritten, with notes to the copyist from which a final version was prepared. However this manuscript contains over fifty pages of music that was not included in the vocal score published in 1870. Moreover, the full orchestral score of the opera is unpublished. Les Brigands, Offenbach's last great success under the Second Empire, was first given at the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris on 10 December 1869. It was quickly taken up by opera houses throughout Europe and North and Latin America. It has been performed regularly ever since and has never really fallen from the repertory. The male romantic lead, Fragoletto, is a trouser role, taken in the first production by the soprano Zulma Bouffar, the composer's mistress. Fragoletto is captured by Falsacappa (tenor) and his brigands, and falls for Falsacappa's daughter Fiorella (soprano); Falsacappa, however, tries to pass her off as Ginevra, Princess of Granada, in order to marry her to the Prince of Mantua. The action is supposed to take place on the mountainous (and improbable) border between Mantua and Granada. The manuscript shows early stages in the composition of the work and contains radical revisions, including to the opening of Fragoletto's saltarello in Act 1, and especially, to the lengthy Act 1 finale. There are also a number of sketches preserved on some of the bifolios which Offenbach used as wrappers for the separate sections. There is evidence of successive reorganizations of the opera, shown by the revisions to the numbering of the title pages. Offenbach seems to have re-used paper from another opera La Princesse de Trébizonde (1869); the composer was almost certainly working on both scores simultaneously. The manuscript falls into the following twenty-three sections: 1) "Brigands/ Ouverture", 12 pages, including title 2) "Ire acte Les Brigands/ no 1", the introduction for soloists and chorus, beginning “Le cor dans la montagne”, 36 pages 3) "no 2", beginning "Au chapeau je porte un aiguette", written in A major, with a note to the copyist "transpose en la " [the published version is in A], 6 pages 4) "no 3", for chorus, beginning "Nous avons pris ce petit homme", 15 pages, with important revisions 5) Couplets beginning "Quand to me fis l'insigne honneur", 6 pages 6) "No.5", Fiorella's rondó "Après avoir pris à droite", 15 pages 7) "No.6", beginning "Ce petit est un vrai luron", including Fragoletto's saltarello "Falsacappa voici ma prise" 20 pages 8) "Final", beginning "Pour cette ceremonie", 56 pages 9) “Entr’acte du 2d A[cte]”, 4 pages on 22-stave paper 10) “Les Brigands 2d Acte No .1’’, beginning ‘’Les fourneaux sont allumés’’ 7 pages 11) “No.2…Canon”, beginning “Soyez impitoyables”, 8 pages 12) “No.3 [deleted: bis]”, beginning “Hela hela chère petite” [in the printed edition: “Hé la! Hé la! Joli notaire”], 16 pages 13) “No.3 [added: bis]”, beginning with Falsacappa’s “Voyez la bas ce pauvre voyageur”, then “arête-toi donc je t’en prie”, 34 pages, the first three pages deleted 14) “No.3 bis”, 3 pages 15) “No.4”, beginning with Falsacappa’s “A nous, hola” [in the published score: sung by Fragoletto], 16 pages 16) “No.5”, the chorus beginning “Entrez la”, 15 pages 17) “No.7”, beginning with Fiorella’s “Vraiment, je n’en sais rein, Madame”, 4 pages, the title renumbered 18) “Final du 2d Acte”, beginning “Tous sans trompette ni tambour”, 48 pages 19) “Les Brigands 3em Acte/ No 1”, beginning with the chorus “L’aurore parait”, 52 pages, lacking the conclusion 20) “Les Brigands/ differentes Melodies”, the old title deleted “La Princesse [?de Trézibonde]/ no 6”, the characters named as “Prince” and “Ginevra”, beginning with the Prince’s “Qui donc est tu”, 21 pages, marked “Coupé Brigands” 21) “2d Acte No 7”, for “Ginevra” and “Fragoletto”, beginning “Beau page mon beau page”, 25 pages, marked “Coupé” 22) “No 3 2d Acte”, Fiorella’s couplet “Apres une telle promesse”, 4 pages 23) “1er Acte les Brigands/ No 4”, beginning “Pendant que tu faisais main bas”, 4 pages
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Estimated Price GBP 100,000.00 - 150,000.00
( USD 168,000.00 - 252,000.00 )
Actual Price GBP 133,250.00 ( USD 213,200.00 )

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Sothebys
Website http://www.sothebys.com/
Auction Name Musical Manuscripts and Continental Books
Sale Number #L12406
Auction Date November 28, 2012 - November 28, 2012
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