21 November 2012
PUCCINI, Giacomo (1858-1924). Large portrait photograph (by Giacomo Brogi, Florence) signed and inscribed TO HIS PUBLISHER GIULIO RICORDI, 'al mio carissimo Giulio Ricordi queste prime note Toscane (eh fosser l'ultime!) con affetto vero e duraturo il suo affezionatissimo Giacomo Puccini' ('... these first notes of Tosca (would that they were the last!) ...'), Torre del Lago, 15 October 1896, with a magnificent long musical quotation from the overture to Tosca, comprising thirteen bars in short score, 210 x 280mm (slightly faded, minor abrasions, corners bumped), framed and glazed.
An exceptionally early quotation from Tosca. Puccini had signed the contract for the work in August 1895, and Luigi Illica had produced a first version of the libretto in 1896: a protracted redrafting process, and the composer's preoccupation with performances of La Bohème in 1897, meant that a satisfactory libretto was not completed until the following year -- the opening page of the autograph of Tosca is dated January 1898. As the present quotation indicates, however, the overture was already fully-formed in the composer's mind at a much earlier stage.
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