Upright folio. 25 pp. A historic presentation copy inscribed by Georges Bizet to the French composer Jules Massenet on the title-page (translated from the French): "To the author of Marie-Magdeleine / with all my admiration and all my heart / Georges Bizet." Additionally, the front wrapper has been addressed to "Monsieur Massenet / 38, rue Malesherbes" in Bizet's hand. Original printed limp green wrappers, front and rear wrappers detached; extremities worn and chipped, repairs along same; toned; damp staining to front and rear wrappers. Title-page detached, damp stained, extremities worn, Bizet's inscription slightly affected by damp; damp staining in all leaves.
In the winter of 1874 French conductor Jules Étienne Pasdeloup (1819–1887) asked George Bizet, Jules Massenet, and Ernest Guiraud (1837–92) to each write an overture to be performed at his Concerts Populaires. Massenet composed an Overture to "Phedre", Guiraud wrote Artevelde, and Bizet wrote the Patrie overture, dedicating it to his friend Massenet. The play Patrie, whose themes are drawn from Act V of Bizet's uncompleted opera Don Rodrigue, is a musical testimonial of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870–71. It was an instant success when first performed on February 15, 1874, and afterwards Bizet turned his full attention to writing Carmen.(20555)