12 June 2009
FERRARA 1638 -- PIO, Ascanio. L'Andromeda. Ferrara: Francesco Suzzi, 1639.
2o (302 x 208 mm). Etched title-page and fifteen folding plates after FRANCESCO GUITTI (5, 6, 9 with short tear and some dampstaining, 10 with some small losses in upper margin). (Some occasional pale dampstaining along foremargin.) Later vellum, edges uncut.
FIRST EDITION. MICHELANGELO ROSSI composed this opera for Carneval at Ferrara in 1638 at the behest of the Ferrarese nobility, to celebrate the arrival of the cardinal legate, CIRIACO ROCCI (1581-1651) and the marriage of CORNELIO BENTIVOGLIO and COSTANZA SFORZA. Rossi was perhaps the leading contemporary of Frescobaldi and one of the primary composers to give the toccata its final form. Brief comments in the libretto refer both to the excellence of his music and the delicacy of his playing, "for which he is celebrated not only in Italy and in Rome, but in those other parts of Europe where the truly angelic melody of his violin has reached," which may suggest he spent time abroad (p.5). The set designs were the work of Francesco Guitti, a student of Alleotti, who had restored the Intrepid Theater in Ferrara. In the superb plates, the frame of the proscenium is repeated on each, with the changing scenes printed from separate plates within the frame. See Brian Mann, The Madrigals of Michelangelo Rossi, Chicago, 2003, pp.5-6. VERY RARE.
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