PADUA 1638 -- BARTOLINI, Nicolò Enea. L'ermiona del S.s Marchese Pio Enea Obizzi. Per introduzione d'un Torneo à piedi, & à cavallo. E d'un Balletto rappresentato in Musica nella Citta di Padova l'Anno M.DC.XXXVI. dedicata Al Sereniss. Prencipe di Venetia Francesco Erizo. Padua: Paolo Frambotto, 1638.
4o (268 x 176 mm). 3 letterpress broadside "Argomenti," text printed within typographic borders. Engraved title and 15 engraved folding plates (plates 2 and 3 with repaired tears, tear on pl 6 crossing image). (Glue staining at gutter of final text leaf.) 19th-century vellum-backed boards (minor rubbing). Provenance: bookplate with initials VdG and motto "Je fus sage je fus fou".
A sumptous publication on the tournament at Padua in 1638 that included music, a ballet and a horse tournament for the birthday of FRANCESCO ERIZO, Prince of Venice. "L'Ermonia," the mythological legend of Europe, is a rare example of tournament where the lyric part has the essential importance, instead of having merely the role of commenting on the action or serving as an interlude. The author of the lyric poetry was MARCHESE DEGLI OBIZZI for the first two parts and ABATE TONTI for the third part. The music was composed by FELICE SAME, cantor and later director of the court-chapel at Venice. ALFONSO CHENDA, called Rivarola, built a theater for the tourney and arranged the scenes and appartati for the performance. The scenes are shown in the plates, each of which is shown in the frame of the proscenium that is repeated on each. The letterpress "argomenti" were distributed to the ladies at each action of the tournament, and are extremely scarce.
Obizzi noted the work's influence on Andromeda by Benedetto Ferrari: "According to Pio Enea, the first step toward Andromeda had been taken the previous year in Padua, when a special kind of tournament, entitled Ermiona, was produced, probably on 11 April: "In the year 1636 the generous desire was born in some friends and companions of mine in Padua to arrange a tournament; so I, in order to further dignify it, took up the story of Cadmus, and composed an introduction for it, which was then set to music in the form in which it appeared in print for all to see. For this purpose a spacious place, adjoining Pra della Valle, was enclosed, and with horse-drawn machines, as are seen in these drawings, a magnificent spectacle was effected. The concourse of Venetian nobility, cavalieri from the mainland, and students from the university was great, even though the performance took place in the month of October, which is normally devoted to vacation. Whether because of the good fortune of the cavalieri who composed it, or the merits of those who performed in it, it was universally applauded. ...From this it followed that the next year, under the sponsorship of a number of noblemen, various excellent professional musicians got together, through whose efforts there appeared, in 1637 at the S. Cassiano theater, Andromeda by Benedetto Ferrari, poet, composer, and excellent theorbo player'" (Ellen Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 1990, pp.67-68). Ruggieri 797.