Discorso sulla origine, progressi, e stato attuale della musica italiana …

Padua, ‘dalla Tipografia e Fonderia della Minerva’, 1821.

8vo, pp. 173, [3], with loosely inserted errata slip (56 x 76 mm); occasional light foxing, but a very good copy; uncut and unopened in publisher’s blue printed wrappers; spine a little darkened with small chips at head and tail, some minor creasing and dust-staining; ‘duplicato confronto’ in ink to upper wrapper.


US $584€535

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First edition of Majer’s treatise on Italian music, ‘a conservative defence of tradition as part of a backlash against the popularity of Rossini’s reforms’ (Baragwanath, p. 29).

Andrea Majer (1765–1838) was an art and music critic, originally from Venice, who wrote several works directed against new developments in both fields. In this treatise he turns his attention to the decline of music, which had supposedly reached its zenith in the eighteenth century and was in danger of being corrupted by contemporary extravagances. Majer finds this decline best embodied by Rossini’s operatic reforms, which had earned the composer a hero’s welcome on his arrival in Vienna: although he does not mention Rossini by name, he denounces him in a footnote as the ‘Marini of modern Music’ (p. 163 trans.).

See Baragwanath, Italian Traditions & Puccini: Compositional Theory & Practice in Nineteenth-Century Opera (2011); Gallo, Gioachino Rossini: A Research and Information Guide (2010), p. 194.

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