Lully, Jean Baptiste. (1632–1687) [Isaac-François Guérin d'Estriché. (1636–1728)]
Collection of Airs - WITH INTRIGUING PROVENANCE
Original copyist partbook with airs for various voice types from operas by Lully and drinking songs (airs à boire) by Bertrand de Bacilly (1621–1690), Michel Lambert (ca. 1610–1696), et al. 94 pp, all except title leaf lined with five musical staves in the same size and style. Only fol. 2r-31v (first 60 pages with staves; vocal line only) and fol. 44v and 45v (musical notation in lute tablature) used. In ink throughout; various hands . Inscription to title: "Divers airs par M. Lully. GVERIN". Signature, upside down, to fol. 46r, "Servonet". Damp-stained and browned. Some bleeding. Boards and spine heavily rubbed and chipping, but binding intact. Raised bands. Oblong octavo. 10 x 6.6 inches (24.0 x 16.8 cm).
Contents (by Lully unless otherwise stated):
Fol. 2r-6v: Dialogue de Cadmus et d'Hermione, Act 2, scene 4 from the opera Cadmus et Hermione (1673).
Fol. 7r: "Suite" (=continuation) of Scene 2, "...et laissez régner sur les ondes...", from the comédie-ballet Les Amants magnifiques (1670); libretto by Molière. It appears that some leaves before have been removed.
Fol. 7v: "Pour les plus fortunez, pour les plus malheureux", from the prologue of the opera Thésée (1675).
Fol. 8r: "Sorte qui voudra de la table", drinking song (1686?) by Bertrand de Bacilly (1621–1690).
Fol. 8v: "Doux repos, innocente paix", Act 2, scene 1 from Thésée.
Fol. 9r: "Aymons tous nous y connue" from Act 4, scéne 7 of Thésée.
Fol. 9v-10r: "Que l'on m'assomme à coups de canne", drinking song (1676) by Bertrand de Bacilly.
Fol. 10v-11r: "Je sens un feu qui me dévore", drinking song with attribution to Bertrand de Bacilly; possibly misattributed (there is a song with this incipit by Nicolas Renier (1711)).
Fol. 11v-12r: "Sortez d'ici, chagrin, souci", drinking song (1676) by Bertrand de Bacilly.
Fol. 12v: "Sans le plaisir de la bouteille", drinking song by Bertrand de Bacilly.
Fol. 13r: "Dans nos bois on voit une bergère", drinking song by Bertrand de Bacilly.
Fol. 13v: "Les amants de nos jours", ascribed to "M. le Moine" (unconfirmed).
Fol. 14r: "D'une constance extreme", Act 4, scene 5 from Atys (this and the following identified as "airs de l'opera 1676").
Fol. 14v-15r: "Espoir si cher et si doux", Act 3, scene 8 from Atys.
Fol. 15v-16r: "Quand le peril", Act 1, scene 3 from Atys.
Fol. 16v: "La beauté la plus sevère", Act 4, scene 5 from Atys.
Fol. 17r: "L'Hymen seul ne saurait plaire", Act 4, scène 5 from Atys.
Fol. 17v-18r: "Aimable jeunesse", with ascription, "Air de M. Dandrieu".
Fol. 18v: "Atys est trop heureux", Act 1, scène 4, from Atys.
Fol. 19r: "Charmante nuit", air by Michel Lambert (ca. 1610–1696, with ascription).
Fol. 19v: "Taisez vous murmurans ruisseaux", air anonymously published in Livre d'airs de différents auteurs, 20 (Paris: Ballard, 1677). With ascription, "Air de M. Dandrieu".
Fol. 20r: "En vain sous les ombrages", identified as "2me Couplet" of the above but not included in the above publication.
Fol. 20v: "Printemps que venez nous faire", unidentified.
Fol. 21r: "Mes chers amis tour à tour", drinking song (1677) by Bertrand de Bacilly. With ascription.
Fol. 21v: "N'esperons plus de voir Tircis", drinking song (1678) by Bertrand de Bacilly. With ascription.
Fol. 22r: "Rochers soyez mes confidents", unidentified.
Fol. 22v: "Moy qui suis", with ascription, "Air de M. Lambert".
Fol. 23r-23v: "Non printemps tu n'es plus cette saison si belle", air anonymously published in Livre d'airs de différents auteurs, 21 (Paris: Ballard, 1678). Without ascription; elsewhere ascribed to Honoré d'Ambruis.
Fol. 24r: "Depuis le jour que Tircis m'a su plaire" (published 1678), by Jean Sicard.
Fol. 24v: "Terminez mon repas, puissant maistre du monde", Act 5, scene 1 from Isis (1677).
Fol. 25r: "Ah! deviez-vous m’aimer si tendrement", fragment of Act 1, scene 3 from Phaeton (1683). As the beginning is lacking, it appears that some pages have been removed before.
Fol. 25v-26r: "Ah, Phaeton est-il possible", Act 3, scene 1 from Phaeton.
Fol. 26v-27r: "L'infidelle a changé mon berger", unidentified, with ascription, "Air Souly[?]"
Fol. 27v-28r: "Je ne verrai plus ce que j'aime", Act 1, scene 5 from Roland (1685).
Fol. 28v-29r: "Ah! quel tourment", Act 1, scene 3 from Roland.
Fol. 29v: "Dans no climats", Act 1, scene 6 from Roland.
Fol. 30r: "Vous qui l'avez si bien plaire", with ascription, "air de M. Lambert".
Fol. 30v-31r: "Tandis que nuit et jour", with ascription, "air de M. Lambert", published in Livre d’airs de différents auteurs, 12 (Paris: Robert Ballard, 1669).
Fol. 31v: "O vous dont la douceur est pour moi tant de charmes", with ascription, "air de M. Lambert".
The music assembled here all dates back to the 1660s to 1680s, suggesting date of compilation during Lully's lifetime or soon after his death. Note that the music, and in particular that of the operas, appears in chronological order. The partbook's inscription with the ownership signature "Guerin" raises the highly intriguing possibility that the partbook was prepared for or belonged to the actor-singer Isaac-François Guérin d'Estriché (1636-1728). He made his debut at the Théâtre du Marais in 1672 and ended up at the Hôtel Guénégaud when the troops merged; from March to October 1675, he participated in the performances of "Circe" by M.A. Charpentier, at the Hôtel Guénégaud; he bore both his father's and his mother's name; it is therefore the same person that Charpentier designates by "Des Triches" or by "Guérin" in the ms. of "Circe". In 1677, he married Armande Béjart, the widow of Molière, and who later headed the Comédie-Française.
Lully wrote one tragédie en musique almost every year between 1673 and his death in 1687, most to verse dramas by Philippe Quinault. Unlike Italian opera of the day, which was rapidly moving toward opera seria with its alternating recitative and da capo airs, in Lully's operas the focus was on drama, expressed by a variety of vocal forms: monologs, airs for two or three voices, rondeaux and French-style da capo airs where the chorus alternates with singers, sung dances, and vaudeville songs for a few secondary characters. The intrigue of the plot culminated in a vast tableau, for example, the sleep scene in Atys, the village wedding in Roland, or the funeral in Alceste. Soloists, chorus and dancers participated in this display, producing astonishing effects thanks to machinery. The earliest operas were performed at the indoor Bel Air tennis court (on the grounds of the Luxembourg Palace) that Lully had converted into a theater. The first performance of later operas either took place at court, or in the theater at the Palais-Royal, which had been made available to Lully's Academy. Once premiered at court, operas were performed for the public at the Palais-Royal.