Ópera y Teatro musical

Acis y Galatea

Luis Antonio González Marín

jueves, 8 de julio de 2004

Today, together with Torres and few others, Antonio Literes is considered one of the most important Spanish composers of the first third of the eighteenth century. He was undoubtedly the indisputable maestro of theatrical music, chronologically separating the composers Sebastián Durón and José de Nebra. Although his output is gaining popularity through performances and even recordings that are generally of a fragmentary or incomplete nature, there has been little research undertaken in relation to Litares and his works, especially those composed for the theatre, which are often praised but remain unpublished.

In its time, Acis y Galatea was more than successful. From its courtly première on 19 December 1708 (Madrid, Coliseo del Bueno Retiro), to celebrate the 25th birthday of Philip V, the work went on to be performed in the public theatres of Madrid by the Garcés Company in January 1710 (Teatro del Príncipe). At least five restagings of the work can be documented in the capital (in 1713, 1714, 1721, 1725 and 1727, as well as 22 performances in Valencia1 and several in Lisbon). It can therefore be unequivocally affirmed that it was one of the most popular zarzuelas in Madrid during the first half of the eighteenth century. The work’s excellent reception during the period, together with the dissemination of some fragments from the work during the twentieth century (particularly the goldfinch’s arietta Si de rama en rama) since its publication by Pedrell and Mitjana2, have had a significant influence on the choice of Acis y Galatea as the first theatrical work with music by Litares to be presented in a critical edition.

The composer3

Antonio Literes Carrión was born in Artá, Majorca, on 18 June 1673. At age 13, he entered the Real Colegio de Niños Cantorcicos de Madrid in 1686, leading to the conclusion that he had studied music previously. At the College he devoted the larger part of his efforts to the viol and was taught by José de Torres, among others, though he was just a few years his senior. In 1693 he obtained a position as a violist at the Royal Chapel, which was led by Diego Verdugo and where Sebastián Durón’s fame had grown at a dizzy speed. From a very young age, Literes revealed his talent and was acknowledged as an instrumentalist and composer. There is evidence of his participation as a violist in theatrical productions from at least 1697 onwards, where he would have the opportunity to familiarise himself with the traditional Hispanic style dating back to the generation of Hidalgo, as well as the novelties introduced by Durón.

Apart from the composition of Los Elementos, which is yet to be dated with precision and was destined for a noble household (the Duchy of Medina de las Torres), Literes’s first opportunity came in the field of courtly theatre as a consequence of Durón’s exile. Following his Austrian indiscretion, the Archduke Carlos’s troops momentarily expelling Philip V from Madrid. Durón probably moved to France at the end of 1706, and from then on Literes went on to replace him as a composer to the court. This is the context in which Acis y Galatea was premièred.

Thus, a few months after the first performance of Händel’s serenata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo in Naples (July 1708), the same story was performed at the Coliseo del Buen Retiro, this time with a libretto by the Madrilenian playwright José de Cañizares (1676-1750)4 and music by Antonio Literes. Companies directed by José Garcés and Juan Bautista Chavarría were brought together for the première (18 December)5. One of the surviving librettos contains a cast list that Cotarelo associated with the première. However, it seems to pertain to a restaging of the work in the public theatres of Madrid in 17106. The cast featured: Paula María de Rojas (Acis), Teresa de Robles (Galatea), José Garcés (Polifemo), María Teresa la Dentona (Glauco), Sabina Pascual (Doris), Beatriz Rodríguez (Momo), Paula de Olmedo (Tisbe), Juan Álvarez (Tíndaro) and Pedro Carrasco (Telemo); the cuatros were sung by “la Cisneros and her sister”, Paula de Olmedo, who played two parts, and “another new girl”, and like Zagales, Cárdenas and another four characters. Thus, only one of the four main parts (Polifemo) involving singing and acting (except the tenors or basses of the cuatros) were performed by a man, as part of the tradition of Spanish music theatre of the previous century.

The fact the work was restaged on several occasions, together with other details, make the dating of the majority of the extant sources even more difficult. This therefore complicates the task of establishing an original (literary and musical) text similar to the version of the work that was premièred in 1708. There is a possibility that none of the libretti known today correspond to the première, but to later productions. In fact, a seemingly insignificant detail could put their date in doubt: some of Momo’s verses seem to be a clear allusion to the title of a comedy by Cañizares himself. At the beginning of Act II, an amusing dialogue is established between Momo and Tisbe, the comic characters. Tisbe, disguised as divinity, sings some very short recitatives while Momo replies in speech, taking the old convention of La plática de los Dioses (Dialogues of the Gods)7 as a joke. The scene seems to remind Momo of a similar scene from another comedy and leads to the quote: MOMO: “Hola, pasito, ¿tenemos / de nuevas armas de amor / entre los graciosos puestos?”

The date accepted as the première of Las nuevas armas de amor, a zarzuela with a libretto by José de Cañizares and music by Sebastián Durón is the 25 November 17118. If this is so, the libretti must be posterior and pertain to some of the numerous restagings of Acis y Galatea.

In 1709 Literes was still composing music for the court theatre (Con música y por Amor, in collaboration with Juan de Navas and set to a libretto by Cañizares and Antonio de Zamora). But from then on, Literes seems to have reserved his dramas for open-air and public theatres, with works such as Antes difunta que ajena (1711), El estrago en la fineza (1718) and Celos no guardan respeto (1723), once again becoming great successes and begin restaged at least until 1734. Furthermore, instead of declining, his activity in the royal house, which he served as violist in the Royal Chapel until his death, actually increased, especially following the fire that destroyed the Alcázar of Madrid on Christmas Eve, 1734 and with it, the music archive of the Royal Chapel. After Torres and together with Nebra, he was commissioned to rebuild the chapel’s repertory.

Antonio Literes died on 18 January 1747, barely six months after the death of Philip V. In times of bitter though bloodless struggles and musical polemics, he found one of his strongest defenders in Feijoo. The Galician Benedictine didn’t hesitate in labelling his music as “very mild” and setting him up against Durón –who was already deceased– and whom he reviled9. Since Feijoo, Literes has been considered a composer untouched by Italianism; precisely referring to the music of Acis y Galatea, Cotarelo wrote:

“In view of what occurs previously [the presence of recitatives and ariettas], one could believe that Literes was already more or less influenced by Italian music. However, in various places in this zarzuela, whose music is conserved, he appears to be a naïve composer absorbed in his own inspiration, not ungrateful and impregnated with a certain pleasant tenderness. He would have admitted the terms “recitative and “arietta” as now commonly-used terms to refer to certain musical numbers”10.

 There is no doubt that some of words Cotarelo used to describe Literes are correct, but today, upon analysing and comparing some of Literes’s and Durón’s works, it is difficult to agree with Feijoo’s confrontation of their music, or with Cotarelo’s idea in regard to Literes begin contrary to Italianism. Literes simply took another step in the direction that Durón had previously mapped out, that is, in creating a Spanish style that cleverly combined traditional elements with novelties taken from the international style that was imposed around 1700 in Europe, of an Italian origin but combining notable French influences11.

The Libretto

The storyline of Acis y Galatea is taken from book XIII of Ovid’s Metamorfosis, but at least partially stripped of the solemnity of the classical myth. This process of adaptation is frequently found in Spanish mythological theatre of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in which the pagan gods and other inhabitants of Olympus and Arcady take on roles approaching the comedia nueva. For its precedence and this process of adaptation, the characters are thus often based on archetypes and have little personality of their own. However, some of them have been endowed with a characterisation that is not entirely trivial. The most significant case is, precisely, that of Acis, whose intended superior quality –fineza or refinement– is converted into a kind of legacy or deviation from the model created by Guarini: thus el pastor fino (the refined shepherd) is thus derived from il pastor fido12.

Covarrubias13 defines the term fino as follows:

Fino. Something perfect and complete in its kind, that has achieved its goal to a greater or lesser degree… Refinement signifies… in courtly terms, a certain gallantry and a man possessing the condition of bravery and honesty… To border, houses being next door to each other, or a plot of land adjacent to another, which is called alindar, to adjoin or be adjacent, and from there lindo, which is used both as complete and perfect and which has been extended to splendour and beauty”.

From there:

Lindo. Everything that appeals to the eyes, is beautiful and well proportioned… To call a man lindo is to call him effeminate, although we do say lindo hombre. The term lindo can be applied to everything with natural proportions, splendour and beauty”.

And the Diccionario de Autoridades14 completes the definitions:

Fino, na, adj. Perfect, pure, and contains the goodness and intrinsic worth corresponding to its species… It is also employed as delicate, exquisite and subtle… It also means amorous, safe, constant and faithful: as in an amigo fino, etc. Lat. Fidus. Constans. Palom. Mus. pict. lib I. cap. 4. ∫. 10. Leaving his heart, like an amante fino (refined lover), as a token of his absence. SALAZ. Com. También se ama en el abysmo. Act I: “Porque en tan heróico intento, / Sepan que muero de fino, / Y no de infelice muero…”

Acis spends the much of the zarzuela trying to demonstrate that he is an amante fino, although his deeds and attitudes don’t always ratify this. The character’s ambiguous perception is also matched by an ambiguous perception of love, the driving force behind the drama, and its consequences throughout the work. In the storyline there are debates as to the different concepts of love as effeminacy, destruction and salvation, all of which come under the comparison of love as the alteration of normality. Polifemo declares “Ya en mi pecho / trocó el amor las costumbres”, ridiculously dressed, while he is called a “bearded monster” and an “angel from hell”.

The first of them –love as effeminacy–, with a long tradition (Fieras afemina amor) is evident in Polifemo’s words (“oh, afeminada caterva / de infelices prisioneros / de Amor, esa deidad ciega / … / envueltos os hallo en torpes, / en mujeriles, en necias / supersticiones de amor…”) and is manifest in presentation of the character of Acis, who is clearly effeminate –especially in contrast to the brutal Polifemo– on various levels. Firstly, an actress plays this role and secondly, in the drama, he does not always behave bravely and shows some signs of vulnerability, a quality the misogyny of the epoch considered typically feminine. Acis behaves like a frightened boy, always disposed to hiding or escaping, not like a brave lover. Doris (the maximum example of love as destruction, by means of jealousy) thinks she knows him well and thus asks Polifemo to frighten him away from Galatea (“A impedir / su cariño con su miedo”). The burlesque seguidillas sung by Momo and Tisbe in Act II (Qué demonios es esto), amid diverse culinary allusions (“almondiguilla” –meatball–, “bocado” –mouthful–, “postres” –desserts–, “manjar blanco” –blancmange–), are further proof of Acis’s fear (MOMO: “Acis viene corriendo / por esta parte”, TISBE: “Bien sabe Acis en eso / lo que se hace”, and later: MOMO: “Este miedo [Acis’s] es primo hermano / del nuestro”, TISBE: “Llámale tío / …”), when Acis has just escaped from Polifemo, leaving Galatea at the mercy of cyclops. But, still lacking courage, Acis declares himself fino and is recognised as such; in his first appearance Momo already laughs at the shepherd for “amar / con muchísima fineza / una mujer”, and Acis himself, in his first aria in Galatea’s presence (Ten, ninfa, piedad) calls himself fino. At the last moment, Acis is at his most dignified and deserves to be praised for his fineza. Seeing that there is no escape from Polifemo’s anger, he shows bravery by confronting him, out of necessity, and ends up being buried. In Momo’s words, he was converted into a “rational tortoise” who was nothing more than a “poor boy” and now, swearing eternal love for Galatea (and saved by her love), he is converted into a festive, but sad, fluvial figure. Acis is able to appropriate himself of bravery and fidelity, necessary components of fineza, in the last analysis.

The libretto is perfectly constructed and employs certain dramaturgical resources of some effect, such as prefiguration, anticipation and parallelism. Acis enters with a lament that recalls that of Aura in Celos aun del aire matan15 and which, being a consciously used quote, is perhaps a premonition of the ending due to Doris and Polifemos’ jealousy. Moreover, this lament is ironically paraphrased by Momo, the comic character, in his dialogue with Tisbe at the beginning of Act II (“Ay de mí, majadero, / que si parlo o no parlo siempre muero”). Anticipation is made patent on many occasions: thus, the end of Acis is clearly foreshadowed in Polifemo’s threats (“arrancando aquella peña / de su asiento… / te sepultare con ella…”) long before he becomes jealous. Galatea’s first aria (Muda copia) is also anticipated by some lines by her adversary, Doris (“…tu copia, en que mudamente…”). Another parallelism clearly perceptible to the spectator is the repetition of dramaturgical situations, as occurs, for example, with the dialogues between a character that sings and another that acts. In Act II there are two dialogues with similar structures, but different contents: a burlesque dialogue between Tisbe and Momo and a serious one between Glauco and Doris. In both cases the divine character (Glauco; or supposedly divine, in Tisbe’s case) contrasts with the human (Doris, Momo) and in both there is a component of mystery or deceiving the senses (Tisbe’s disguise, Doris’s confusion).

The music

In regard to the setting to music, and leaving aside the frequent opinions and controversies about the quantity of music or the proportions between sung and spoken texts, I am simply going to allude to one element in the planning of the composition as a whole: the use of the modes and their possible symbolic nature16.

All of Act I is composed in tonalities containing flats. The act begins and ends in what is today known as F Major (the sixth mode according to the modal terminology of the period, which can be found in Nassarre, the theorist closest in time), Valls or Rabassa. It oscillates between F Major (sixth mode), Bb written with one flat (the segundillo, or second mode with a Bb), G minor with one flat (second mode) and D Dorian without the flat (first mode). They are related modes that proportion a similar tonal colour.

Act II continues along the same lines: once again it begins in the sixth tone and moves in the same terms until no. 25 inclusive, passing through the first mode and the segundillo. Suddenly in no. 26 (the part of Acis) there are two sharps (D Major – B minor), which are maintained until no. 31 inclusive (the death of Acid), as a tone of defiance, fear and destruction. After Acis’s death, the first mode returns, with gentle world without accidentals or, at most, with one flat in the key signature (traditional notation), so that the final numbers (32 and 33) are set in the sixth mode and the segundillo: everything returns to the initial calm as if nothing has happened.

The limited choice of key signatures (without accidentals or with one flat) is a tradition in Spanish seventeenth-century composition. This limitation was overcome by artful composers with the use of the tonus commixtus, with recollections of other modes, etc. Moreover, this was a limitation of the eight (or 12) modes, but, in practice, these modes could be transposed using different means. On paper there might be a key signature with only one accidental, but the audible result could include many more in virtue of the transposition, which was very simple for vocalists –because of solmisation, which from our point of view involves continuous transposition– and trained instrumentalists. In the case of the theatre, I think the phenomenon should be interpreted differently. The transposition of certain numbers of the works wasn’t excluded: the possibilities and convenience of some singers perhaps required this. Some sources of theatrical music of the seventeenth century frequently include pieces notated in high-pitched clefs that required transposition, which was fixed at a fourth lower from at least the middle of the seventeenth century. This is not the case in the musical sources of Acis y Galatea, which do not differ in regard to transposition, nor do they contain high clefs; all the music has been notated at its real pitch (leaving aside the matter of the diapason, natural mode or reference pitch). Going back to this monotony in the musical construction of Acis y Galatea, which shouldn’t be considered as a mere representative of traditional and conventional notation –although undoubtedly it is– or as a technical impossibility. Above all, it is an example of obeying a different tradition that can be seen in earlier Spanish music theatre: that of the tonal planning of the piece as a whole and the symbolic use of the modes, surpassing the conventional theory of ethos and the power of music but conserving some of its elements. The surprise caused by the pieces with an abundance of sharps (II, 26 to II, 31) is enormous, precisely because of the economy of their use. This is evident not only visually in the score, but also from the position of the listener or spectator, whose ears are now accustomed to a very different tonal colour, accentuated by the use of an unequal temperament in the instruments. A similar resource is found, for example, in El robo de Proserpina, by F. Coppola (Naples, 1678) in which the fifth mode (C Major) is a used as a neutral and narrative vehicle, characterising normal situations, while A minor (or the Aeolian mode) represents the turbulence caused by Love17.

And given the presence of El robo de Proserpina in this text, it is worth making a final reflection. The conception of this work, in which tradition Spanish forms (coplas, estribillos, tonadas) are juxtaposed with traditional Italian forms (recitatives, arias) subsist in Acis y Galatea and in many other examples of Spanish music theatre from the first half of the seventeenth century. Italianism was present prior to Literes and even prior to Durón, intelligently adapted and adopted, in theatrical music produced in the Spanish territories. This tradition, which combines diverse traditions, forms a chain whose links are gradually being unveiled, although there are still some important ones missing (for example, that which links El robo de Prosepina to Durón’s early dramas set to music).

The edition: general considerations and critical notes

The preparation of a critical edition of Acis y Galatea, and at the same time a practical one, has been a laborious and complex task, more so than in other similar cases given that there are sources from a diverse precedence which contain numerous discrepancies.

Two main musical sources are known of to date, both manuscript sources:

The manuscript18 of the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid (E:Mn M-2210), which from here on will be called M. It is titled Zarzuela nueba q[u]e Se izo asus Mag[esta]des en su Real Palazio el año de 1709 = Intitulada Hazis, y Galatea / de / Don Antt[oni]o Literes. It is an oblong volume consisting of 70 folios, bound in parchment, containing the zarzuela in full score. Given that there is no evidence of the performance of the work in 1709, but in 1708 (at the court) and 1710 (in public theatres), and taking into account that the manuscript contains a finale alluding to the celebration in homage to Philip V, one could conclude that the dating of the manuscript is erroneous and that it is fact associated with the work’s première. It proceeds from the Royal Library, as various seals bear witness to, and can be considered the closest source to the première in terms of space and time. On the other hand, it is not a commemorative manuscript, as is reflected in its carelessness and sloppy calligraphy. It could have had direct links with performance, but I am inclined to believe it was copied, without taking any great care, exclusively for its conservation.

The manuscript19 of the Public Library of Evora, Portugal (P: Evp Cod. CLI/2-5 ), which from here on will be called E. It consists of three sketchbooks, the first of which contains the vocal parts and the continuo, though these are considerably disordered and presented differently from the format typically used by the composers and copyists of the seventeenth century. Bound in cardboard and paper, it consists of 40 folios and is titled as follows: Assis, y Galatea / Zarzuela de D. Joseph de Cañizares / Muzica de D. Antonio Literis / Voz y Acompañamiento / 1ª y 2º Jornada (binding) and Muzica de la Comedia / Assis, Y Galatea. / de / D.n Antonio Literis. / 1º. Y 2º. Jornada (title page). The other two sketchbooks, also bound in cardboard, contain the first and second violin parts, respectively: Assis, y Galatea / De Cañizares / Rabeca primeira / De Litteris // 1ª y 2º Jornada (binding) and Violín 1º. / [flourish] / de Assis, y Galatea (title page); Assis, y Galatea / De Cañizares / Rabeca segunda / de Litteris // 1ª y 2º Jornada (binding) and Violín 2º. / [flourish] / de Assic, y Galatea (title page). The notation is extremely careless, especially in the short vocal score, with clefs and key signatures frequently being misplaced. It was possibly made for a performance of the work in Portugal, and I believe it is directly linked to a performance for various reasons. Firstly, the violins are copied on separate parts, facilitating their use; furthermore, despite the manuscript being an unclean copy, certain errors found in M have been corrected here (especially accidentals not given in M).

There are also other musical sources of some value, although it is only fragmentary: a printed edition made by Torres and presumably authorised by Literes. A copy is held at the Cathedral of Guatemala (referred to from here on as G) and was cited by R. Stevenson (Renaissance and Baroque Musical Sources in the Americas, p. 88). Its frontispiece reads: TONADA DE LA COMEDIA / Intitulada / AZIS, I GALATEA. / DIVINA GALATEA, & c. / D. ANTONIO LITERES. / CON PRIVILEGIO / EN MADRID. / En la Imprenta de MVSICA / 4 Papeles. Num. 593. There are also other secondary sources, such as the vocal chamber version of the Glauco’s tono, Al ameno silencio (conserved in an incomplete compilation held in Madrid and attributed to Durón20), and the Cuatro para la Comedia de la 2ª parte de Galatea (for 4 voices SSAT, 2 violins and accompaniment) Venid valencianos, venid a lograr, attributed to José Pradas21 and catalogued by J. Climent in Fondos musicales de la región valenciana. I. Catedral Metropolitano de Valencia, Valencia, Institución Alfonso el Magnánimo, 1979, p. 395 (catalogue number 2859). It is not unlikely that further copies of other fragments from the zarzuela could be conserved in other Spanish and Latin American archives, whose contents have yet to be revealed to the scholarly world. Even so, the present edition is valid, in that it is based on materials that can be considered first hand.

The following librettos have been used for the edition of the text:

E:Mn MS/14605 nº 6, replete with errors, irregularities and carelessness.

E:Ms MS/15207, tidier and more carefully written out in general.

Both the textual and the musical sources have undergone careful revision, resulting in a large number of variants. The majority of these have been listed below after the previous selection of original material worth including in the (musical and literary) text presented here. Other variants, however, have required different solutions owing to their magnitude. These include double versions (inserting the “better” version in the edition itself, more interesting from a musical and dramatic point of view, and including the alternative version in the appendices) or the occasional inclusion of two accompaniments (one proceeding from M and the other from E) when there are considerable differences between them.

In order to provide a global idea of the drama, even necessarily doing away with the scenographic apparatus, which in this case consists of directions in the libretti, the main body of the edition gives a succession of musical and dramatised parts as reflected in the libretti. That is, the texts have been inserted between the musical numbers in the appropriate places. The work can thus be read (text and music) from the beginning to the end from the score. This is necessary in order to comprehend the work in its totality and especially certain scenes in which there are dialogues between characters that sing and others that act22. In any case, a separate, annotated edition of the text (based on the above-mentioned libretti) has also been included. The combined edition of the text and music has been emptied of critical notes relating to the text.

The criterion adopted in the transcription of the text has been to modernise spelling, although some archaisms have been retained to provide local colour. Punctuation has also been discreetly added and altered, but only where this has been considered strictly necessary for a better comprehension of the text. Both in the dialogues and the scene directions and characters’ names, abbreviations have been written out in full. Occasionally, texts that are repeated several times (as in the case of the duet Ay qué cadena in Act I) contains slight variants, which I have retained, in contrast to the widespread practice among musicologists and musicians of complete standardisation. These slight variants bring new details to repetitions, series of coplas, etc. that are always welcomed by performers and listeners.

The music has been divided into numbers, my definition of “numbers” being any musical fragment, independent of its length, which is separated from the others by spoken text. Each number is characterised by a Roman numeral (I or II) which indicates the act, and an Arabic numeral indicating the order of each fragment in the succession or course of the act, separated by a comma (for example, II,3 = Act II, number 3). The use of square brackets ([]) indicates the editor’s intervention or a new location (repetition) of a fragment (or number) which has appeared previously or which will appear further on in an identical, reduced or extended state. Each number contains its own bar numbers.

In reference to the transcription of the music, M has normally been taken as the main source and the variants found in E have been noted, except in specific cases that are listed below. The criteria adopted follows that commonly used in this kind of edition:

With respect to the key signatures in the manuscripts, although the original clefs differ from those commonly used today (C-clef on the first line for the sopranos, C-clef on the fourth line for the tenors), these have been modernised (treble clef for the sopranos and treble clef an octave lower for the tenors). Both manuscripts present the violin parts in the modern way, invariably using the treble clef in its normal position, except in Acis’s last recitative (Queda en paz). Its low tessitura has led to its notation using the alto clef on the third line, as frequently occurs in Spanish music of the period with third violin parts, which could also be played by a violetta; in this case the C-clef on the third line has been retained.

With respect to rhythmic values of the figures, which are not reduced in any case, even though the signs used to indicate triple metres have been modernised. Thus, the proportio menor or proporcioncilla has been notated as 3/2 and the semiminims given in white quavers has been transformed into blackened notes in this edition. A discontinuous line has been used in the instrumental parts to indicate the original union of semiminim plicas in proportio menor (so as not to give false expectations to the string players) and an ordinary slur used in the vocal parts. In some numbers, the presence of hemiola has resulted in bars in proportio menor being grouped in twos (that is, the space between metrical bars really takes up two bars or two perfect semibreves). In these cases the bar numbering does not refer to the real value, duration or bars, but to the units contained between two bars.

In some phrase or fragment endings there are discrepancies between the duration of the different vocal or instrumental parts, that is, some end on a certain figure and others on a different duration. These phrases have not been standardised and are transcribed in the manner in which they are given in the sources. Although these could be possible errors, certain intentions on the composer or copyist/arranger’s part should not always be dismissed.

Accidentals written in before a note effect this note and all of its repetitions within a bar. Accidentals given in brackets before a note do not appear in M but are given in E (in this way the precedence of each accidental is clear) and once again apply to the whole bar. As is customary, suggested accidentals are place above a note and only apply to that note.

Figured accompaniments, very scarce, have been preserved without modernisation or standardisation. They are given below the accompaniment staff to avoid possible confusion with suggested accidentals.

All the verbal instructions given in the musical sources have been preserved (stage directions, breathing marks, etc…). The critical notes give their precedence in each case. If this occurs both in M and E, the text from M is noted first, followed by the text from E in parenthesis (see II, 10). Scene directions given in the libretto that are not found in the musical sources are given in brackets in my transcription.

The use of brackets indicates an editorial addition.

[In the critical edition, a list of the critical apparatus used in the musical edition is provided]

English translation by Yolanda Acker


See Antonio Martín Moreno: 'Historia de la música española. 4. Siglo XVIII', (Madrid, Alianza, 1985), p. 387.

Felipe Pedrell: 'Teatro lírico anterior al siglo XIX', (La Coruña, Canuto Berea, 1897-1898) and Rafael Mitjana: 'Historia de la música en España' (translation of the corresponding volume of the 'Encyclopédie de la Musique et Dictionnaire du Conservatoire', edited by A. Lavignac, Paris, Delagrave, 1920), ed. a cargo de A. Álvarez Cañibano, (Madrid, INAEM, 1993). See also Emilio Cotarelo y Mori: 'Orígenes y establecimiento de la ópera en España hasta 1800', (Madrid, Tipografía de la Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Museos, 1917), p. 42 and 'Historia de la Zarzuela, o sea el drama lírico en España', (Madrid, Tipografía de Archivos, 1934), pp. 76-77 (facsimile edition edited by Emilio Casares, Madrid, ICCMU, 2000).

For an excellent biographical synthesis of the composer’s life, as well as abundant bibliography, see Andrés Ruiz Tarazona: “Literes”, in the 'Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana, 6', (Madrid, Fundación Autor, 2000).

In regard to Cañizares see: L. Iglesias de Souza: “Cañizares Suárez de Toledo, José de”, in the 'Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana, 3', (Madrid, Fundación Autor, 1999) and A. Martín Moreno: 'Sebastián Durón – José de Cañizares: “Salir el Amor del Mundo”, (Málaga, Sociedad Española de Musicología, 1979), pp. 45-77. Cañizares would continue his close collaboration as a librettist, not only with Literes, but also with Durón, Sam Juan, José de Nebra, Corradini and others.

The exact date of the première has already been published in E. Cotarelo y Mori: 'Historia de la Zarzuela', pp. 76-77 and ratified by J. E. Varey and N. D. Shergold: 'Comedias en Madrid: 1603-1709. Fuentes para la historia del teatro en España, IX', (London, Tamesis Books, 1989), p. 48. For a long time the year 1709, which is indicated on the frontispiece of one of the extant music manuscripts, was cited.

E: Mn, MS. 14605 nº 6: “se hizo esta el año de 1710” (this was performed in the year 1710).

This Calderonian convention of expressing the divinities in courtly mythological theatre has been sufficiently explained by L. K. Stein in 'Songs of Mortals, Dialogues of the Gods. Music and Theatre in Seventeenth-Century Spain', (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1993), and in other previous studies. Similarly, the ironic use of his procedure, involving comic characters, from some of Calderón’s own works ('Andrómeda y Perseo') was demonstrated in my paper “Recuperación o restauración del teatro musical española del siglo XVII”, read at the International Conference “La ópera en España e Hispanoamerciana: una creación propia”, (Madrid, ICCMU, 29 de noviembre al 3 de diciembre de 1999), forthcoming.

E. Cotarelo: 'Historia de la Zarzuela', p. 78; A. Martín Moreno: 'Sebastián Durón…,' p. 71.

These well-known words of praise (for Literes) and condemnation (for Durón) are found in the address Música de los Templos. See A. Martín Moreno: 'El padre Feijoo y las ideologías musicales del XVIII en España', (Orense, Instituto de Estudios Orensanos “Padre Feijoo”, 1976).

E. Cotarelo: 'Historia de la Zarzuela…', p. 77.

See W. M. Bussey: 'French and Italian Influence on the Zarzuela 1700-1770' (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Michigan, 1980) and R, Kleinertz, ed.: 'Teatro y música en España (siglo XVIII)', (Kassel, Reichenberger, 1996), especially the “Introduction”, pp. 1-11.

It is not a case of analysing or evaluating the penetration of Guarini’s work in Spain. There is a luxuriant tradition of the pastoral in the literature of the Iberian Peninsula, from Gil Vicente and Juan del Encina onwards (Montemayor, Cervantes himself, Góngora with his 'Fábula de Polifemo y Galatea'…). The pastoral world was precisely the framework in which dramas labelled zarzuelas were set.

S. de Covarrubias y Orozco: 'Tesoro de la Lengua Castellana, o Española', (Madrid, Turner, 1984) (1st ed., 1611).

'Diccionario de la lengua castellana, en que se explica el verdadero sentido de las voces…', (Madrid, Imprenta de la Real Academia Española (Viuda de Francisco del Hierro), 1732) (facsimile, Madrid, Gredos, 1969).

The tradition of this type of lament composed of two heptasyllabic and hendecasyllabic lines, forming a chorus that frames the verses, was transmitted through 'El robo de Proserpina' and other works. See L. A. González: F. Coppola-M. García Bustamente: “El robo de Proserpina” (1678), (Barcelona, CSIC, 1996).

This is not the first occasion that conclusions of this type can be reached in the context of Spanish music theatre of the Baroque. See L. A. González: op. cit., pp. 28-29.

See the previous note.

Cited in H. Anglés and J. Subirá: 'Catálogo musical de la Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid, I', (Barcelona, CSIC, 1946), p. 364, in which the manuscript is described.

Cited by J. A. Alegría: Biblioteca Pública de Evora: 'Catálogo dos fondos musicais', (Lisbon, Fundación Gulbenkian, 1977), p. 68, in which the manuscript is superficially described.

E: Mn, Ms. M 2618.

This is not the first occasion a work has been doubly attributed to Literes and Pradas, as this occurs with the cantata 'Ah del rústico pastor' –Literes– and 'Ah del célebre confín' –Pradas–, which have been studied by A. Martín Moreno.

This convention of Calderonian traditions causes concert versions and recordings of works of this type, devoid of the spoken parts, to lose much of their meaning. Once again I remit the reader to my article “Recuperación o restauración del teatro musical español del siglo XVII”, op. cit.


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