Price: $800.00



Autographed and inscribed example of the first revised edition of the Hector Salomon arranged piano-vocal score of Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette”, 1867 dedicated to the legendary Belgian tenor Victor Warot. 

Frontispiece: A Monsieur Warot Souvenir amical Ch. Gounod (autograph and dedication)/ROMÉO/ET/JULIETTE/Opéra en 5 Actes/de/J. BARBIER et M. CARRÉ/MUSICQUE DE/CH.GOUNOD/PARTITION CHANT & PIANO/Arrangée par/H. SALOMON/Paris, CHOUDENS Editeur/Rue St. Honoré, 865, Près l’Assomption/BARBIZET lith./Propriété pr tous pays/Traduction réservée/Déposé selon les Traités Internationaux/Imp Arauy Paris/Choudens (hand stamp)

The frontispiece is followed by a blank page on the verso and that is followed by the dedication page, “A la Majeste CHARLES XV Roi de Suède & de Norvège.”  The verso of the dedication page is blank and is followed by the cast page and index page listing the original singers from the World Premiere performance. This page is numbered 1.  Music begins with the overture on page 2 and the opera is complete on page 269.  On page 270, is an original aria for Juliette, rejected by Caroline Miolan Carvalho the original Juliette and Gounod wanted retained.  It is described as “SUPPLEMENT SCÈNE ET AIR. (1) “Dieu! Quel frisson court dans mes veines?” added for 10 additional pages beginning on page 270 and ending on page 280.The score is a bespoke binding with red pebbled Moroccan and smooth leather spine with gold title and decoration. 

The scholarship of the history of the piano-vocal editions of Gounod’s (1818-1893) biggest success of his lifetime is lacking and the one article available on the topic is problematic, as it’s assumption in the title is wrong and it descends from there.  Unfortunately, there is no authoritative thematic catalog and Choudens, the publisher did not make it easy in this and many of his editions to determine order.  So armed with our exemplar, also contained within the Harvard Loeb Music Library, we reviewed multiple iterations of the score.  The one article by the French musicologist Joël-Marie Fauquet is entitled, “Quatre versions de Roméo et Juliette” was published in 1982 in the journal “L’Avant Scéne Opera”.  His entire premise is that there are four versions of the opera.  He claims Hector Salomon wrote two editions, the first and the last, however, the first was released at the time of the first performance on April 27, 1867 and the last he claims was issued in 1888 at the time of the Opéra de Paris premiere in 1888.  Salomon (1838-1906) was the repetiteur at the Théâtre Lyrique at the time of the premiere of “Roméo et Juliette” and was also Gounod’s vocal score arranger from the premiere of his “Philemon et Baucis” in 1860. (Delibes and Bizet among others wrote the vocal scores for other operas.)  He claims the Opera Comique score for their 1873 premiere was written by Antoine Bérel.  Now it makes sense that a Comique version would be written by someone else, as the work was revied to include the spoken word due to the rules of the theatre.  Finally, there was another version which does not bear the name of the arranger.

We have looked at six period scores including the first edition which features a purple frontispiece and is available for review in total on the Harvard Loeb Library site as well as our edition.  Fauquets’ argument becomes flawed immediately, as our score is identical to the first edition except for a change to the color of the frontispiece and the index and of course the cuts which Gounod made after the first performance.  According to T. J. Walsh in his seminal book Second Empire Opera, The Théâtre Lyrique Paris 1851-1870, discusses the cuts on the first page of his book. (page 222) Though even Walsh is incorrect about the cuts as he claimed they were in the first act which is not so.  In our edition, the first two acts remained untouched with identical pagination. In Act III, the opening cavitana for the bass role of Frère Laurent and chorus, “Dans un Ciel pur que rien n’altére” was cut from the beginning of Act III and the revised aria for Juliette, “Mon père, Dieu vous garde!” was inserted. The rest of the Act remained intact. In Act IV, the afore mentioned aria, “Dieu! Quel frisson court dans mes veines?” was placed as a supplement in our edition for reasons previously stated.  At the end of the Act, the “Cortége Nuptial”, “Epithalame” and “Choeur et Danse” are broken into three parts in our edition, in the original edition they were concentrated into two parts.  Act V remained untouched.  The first edition was 303 pages, our edition is 269 pages plus a 10 page supplement of the aria, “Dieu! Quel frisson court dans mes veines?” ending on page 280.  Interestingly, this is the same version which is presented today.

The 1888 Salomon edition, which Fauquet claims was the second arrangement by the arranger bears three major differences.  First, it bears the legend “Théâtre National” at the top of the frontispiece, bears only the Opéra de Paris premiere cast and has the first Act ballet which was written for that Premiere by Gounod as it was a requirement of that theatre.  Then there is another Salomon version which Fauquet misses which dates to 1873 which bears the same cuts as our version, but bears the names of the original “Théâtre Lyrique” cast to the left and the original “Opera Comique” cast to the right, also, the dedication to King Charles XV of Sweden is missing and Choudens inserts a page of his notes regarding performance copyrights; otherwise it is the same. 

So at this point we know of six versions between the 1867 Lyrique premiere and the 1888 Opéra premiere, not four as Fauquet claimed in his 1982 article.  Our volume which is printed on the same paper as the first edition, bears the original plate number, dedication and the cuts stands to reason was issued by Choudens shortly after the cuts were made in 1867.  After all, the opera was significantly changed in Acts III and IV and the public would be given a revised version.  Interestingly, Choudens fills the original 303 pages with 23 pages of advertisements of other publications, none of the works shown in those advertisement are later than 1867. 

Next, the dedication to tenor Victor Warot (1834-1906) is interesting.  Gounod was never satisfied with the tenor Pierre Jules Michot at the World Premiere at the Lyrique.  They had searched for a tenor in Italy, tried to buy out Victor Capoul’s Opera Comique contract to perform the role at the Lyrique as well as several other tenors and settled on Michot as no other tenor was available.  Plagued by vocal problems, the opera succeeded despite his performances.  Warot in 1867 was a leading dramatic tenor at the Opéra de Paris.  The tenor has created leading roles for, Meyerbeer (Harvester in “Dinorah” 1859).  Donizetti (Pepe in “Rita”, 1860), Massé (Tebaldo in “Le Mule de Pedro”, 1865), Meyerbeer again (Don Alvaro in “L’Africaine”, 1865) at both the Comique and Opéra.  He then went to Brussels in 1868 where he begun to sing Wagner roles, but we have learned in our research, he sung Roméo in 1874 in Marseilles.  In 1888 after his retirement he became a revered vocal professor at the Paris Conservatoire where he taught among others, soprano Lucienne Breval, tenor Edmond Clement, soprano Jeanne Hatto, tenor Fernand Gautier and soprano Lina Pacary. 

A most important volume of Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” as it is the first edition of the revised opera which we know today.  The autographed dedication makes the score, despite some expected light scattered foxing most unusual.

Text Box: Composer autographs

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