Verdi, Giuseppe. (1813–1901)

La Traviata. Melodramma tragico. FIRST EDITION

NAPOLI: Clausetti e C°. [1854]. Melodramma tragico di F.M. PIAVE posto in musica dal Cavaliere G. VERDI. L'Opera intera per Pianoforte solo. Oblong 4to. 122 pp. Engraved throughout. [PN]  1631/1651 - 1666. In original publisher's yellow wrappers, an exceptional and crisp copy. Very slight soiling to cover, else fine throughout. Provenance: Sotheby's 2011, L11402 - 204. 

Extremely rare first edition of the original version of La Traviata.  This edition is published in two forms: the unaccompanied vocal parts ("per canto") sold for 6 ducati, and the reduction for piano without voice ("per Pianoforte solo") sold for 4 ducati. These two scores, the only ones to give the original version of the opera, are very rare. This is the piano reduction ("riduzione di L. Truzzi"), i.e. without the vocal parts published separately, published at the same time as them, and sharing the same title page and first number ("Preludio"). It contains the vocal lines, and part of the sung text, but integrated into the piano part, instead of appearing on a separate staff. The score is entirely engraved on a double staff, and has 16 numbers, with the plate marks 1651-1666. The yellow paper cover announces: "Opera completa"; the title is surrounded by an octagonal border. The Ricordi edition did not appear until 1855, after Verdi had revised the opera for Venice in May 1854 (although Ricordi had prepared ten issues in 1853, there was no complete edition). Thus, "the only printing of [...] the original version of La Traviata was by Clausetti, in Naples" (Fuld).

Very rare: we have traced no copy in British or American libraries. "The only printing of the piano-vocal score of the original version of La traviata was by Clausetti" of Naples (Fuld);. The present piano-solo arrangement, was issued contemporaneously with the vocal score and shares the same title page and first number ("Preludio"). Verdi revised the opera for Venice in May 1854, the version published by Ricordi in 1855.  (21479)

Printed Music