SPLENDID COPY - EXTREMELY RARE - PRACHTEXEMPLAR - EXTREM SELTEN -
Extremely rare first printing of the original edition in a magnificent copy. Only 2 copies traceable for us in trade since 1950! This first printing is recognizable by the typography of the preface, which is printed only half-page over 6 pages, and the final page (p. 233) without the note "il Fine". - In the famous preface, Gluck summarizes the principles of his opera reform and his artistic intentions. He was convinced that he could best present his reform ideas on material that was well known to the audience. Previously, the myth of the Alcesti had already been set to music by J.-B. Lully and G. F. Handel. "Gluck was concerned with renewing the musico-dramatic and theatrical potential of the dramma per musica. ... Crucial is the concentration on the main plot ... [he] intended a new, universally valid genre renewal, which aimed at overcoming the shortcomings of the dramma per musica as well as the tragédie lyrique and at a supranational opera type" (Schneider/Wiesend, Oper im 18. Jhdt., p. 183f.) The premiere at the Vienna Burgtheater was not very successful, since the opera meant "the open declaration of war against the convention of opera" (Einstein p. 147). - Hopkinson 37 A; RISM G (G) 2661; Hoboken 5,2 (here EA 2nd printing); Hirsch II, 261.