CUI’S OPERA SARATSIN, INSCRIBED BY THE COMPOSER TO THE ORIGINAL DYUNIA
CUI, Cesar. Saratsin. Opera in Four Acts. Moscow: Jurgenson, (1899). Quarto, contemporary half dark brown morocco. $2600.
First edition of the piano-vocal score, inscribed by the composer on the title page to the Russian bass Smirnov, the original Dyunia, in Russian: “To the ‘brave knight Dyunia’ in fond memories, 1899, C. Cui.”
In the mid-19th century, Cui became associated with a group of composers that became known as the moguchaya kuchka, or “Mighty Handful.” Centering on Balakirev, the group included Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Mussorsky. A strong partisan of nationalism in Russian music, his extensive music criticism advocated the use of Russian themes and the rejection of foreign influences in Russian music. Yet Cui’s own music often used foreign sources, and showed the influence of composers such as Meyerbeer: the libretto for Saratsin, for instance, is based on Dumas’ story “Charles VII chez ses grands vassaux.” Text and inscriptions in Russian. A previous owner has penned on the cast list page: “Performed for the first time in the Mariinsky Theatre, November 2nd, 1899 in Petersburg,” and also written the original Russian singer’s names next to their respective printed roles. Performance notations in pencil on two pages.
Interior fine, light wear to extremities of marbled boards. An extremely good inscribed copy.