Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. (1756 - 1791)
Così fan tutte: o sia la scuola degli amanti...Weibertreue oder Die Maedchen sing von Flandern...Im Klavierauszuge von Siegfried Schmiedt. [KV 588]
Leipzig: in der Breitkopfischen Musikhandlung. . First edition.
Erstes [Zweites...Drittes] Heft. [Vocal Score] Three volumes in one: 78, 80 and 82 pages, oblong 4to (c.27 x 31.7cm), type-set music, bookseller's label to titles, without engraved memorial frontispiece, 2 leaves from first volume (pp 41-44) supplied in early (perhaps contemporary) manuscript copy in an unidentified hand. Nineteenth-century brown marbled boards, quarter brown leather with title plate at spine. Scattered foxing, some browning, upper margins trimmed, occasionally affecting paginations, overall a fine copy of this rare score. Haberkamp, pp.333-334; Hirsch, iv 166.
First edition of the piano-vocal score, the first publication of the score in any form (an edition of the full score was not published until 1810, by Breitkopf & Härtel).
The last of Mozart’s collaborations with the Italian librettist Lorenzo da Ponte (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni), the story of two young men who disguise themselves in order to test their fiancées’ fidelity. "Da Ponte’s libretto is a marvel of witty, concise, and symmetrical dramatic construction - a standing rebuttal to those who believe that all opera librettos are fustian and second-rate stagecraft… In the music, all the conflicting strains of mockery and tenderness, of sincerity and inconstancy, are fully reconciled. Delicious in its parody, ravishing in its lyricism, Così holds laughter and sympathy in a perfect equilibrium that, in critic Joseph Kerman’s phrase, celebrates ‘the mystery of feeling itself.’” (Zaslaw & Cowdery, p. 64-65).