MARCELLO’S PSALMS, IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS
MARCELLO, Benedetto. Salmi di Davide. Parafrasati da Ascanio Giustiniani e posti in musica da Benedetto Marcello con Accompangnamento di Piano della composizione di Francesco Mirecki, Pollacco, e rivisto dal Maestro Cherubini. Firenze: Giuseppe Lorenzi, . Four volumes. Folio, original printed gray paper wrappers, uncut, unbound as issued. $950.
Nineteenth-century printing of Marcello’s Psalms, fully engraved.
A native of Venice, Marcello’s first published compositions, a series of 12 concertos, appeared in 1708. “But it was his vocal works, both secular and sacred and in both large-scale and intimate forms, which were to constitute the core of his output and build his reputation. He attained a truly European fame with the composition of settings in cantata style of the first 50 psalms in Italian paraphrases by his friend G. A. Giustiniani” (New Grove 11:649). Incorporating elements of traditional Jewish melodies, both Sephardic and Ashkenazi, Marcello’s Psalms are important today for the light they shed on the history of Jewish music and our knowledge of the Jewish music tradition. “Marcello’s music, varied in style, is always characterized by imagination, originality, and a sparkling technique. His gallant sensibilities are demonstrated in the later concertos and sinfonias… his more conservative, contrapuntal leanings achieve appropriate expression in the church music. Both tendencies are represented in the chamber cantatas and duets, which are by turns ingenious, dramatic, pathetic and even humorous to a degree rarely matched by his Italian contemporaries” (New Grove). This set includes the first part only of each of the four books, which were each issued in three parts. With Psalms 1-5, 15-17, 26-28, 36-40.
Interior fresh and bright, with very little foxing; only light wear to original paper wrappers. A near-fine copy.