Printer’s waste, in D major

Posted on 14th May 2012 by simonbeattie

This is the first edition of the libretto, by Eugenio Giunti, for the theatricals which took place in Munich to celebrate the recent marriage of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II (‘the Musical King’, Mozart’s patron) and Maria Josepha of Bavaria.  The music was by Pietro Pompeo Sales, Kapellmeister to the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg, and the cast featured Regina Mingotti, the ‘perfect mistress of her art’ (Burney), as Venus and the tenor Domenico Panzacchi, ‘a great favourite with the Munich audiences’ (New Grove), as Jupiter.

The binding fascinated me.  I have never seen music printer’s waste used on in this way.  Recycling medieval manuscripts in binding, yes; printed music, no.  Neither had any librarian I mentioned it to.  As to the piece itself?  Moveable type at this time suggests someone like Breitkopf in Leipzig, but a couple of features (the quaver rests are slightly different, Breitkopf only used directs if a line was broken mid-bar) point elsewhere.  If you recognise it, please let me know!

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