Ópera y Teatro musical

Celos, aun del aire matan

Francesc Bonastre
jueves, 15 de julio de 2004
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Juan Hidalgo (Madrid, ca. 1612/1616-1685) is one of the most prestigious composers of the Spanish musical Baroque of the second half of the seventeenth century1. His musical training initially took place in a family environment and in 1632 he entered the service of the Royal Chapel as a harpist, a post he held until his death. However, Hidalgo’s most important contribution to music–without forgetting his acknowledged talent as an instrumentalist– was to composition, his works encompassing both secular and sacred music as well as stage music. Among the former is romance music and in particular his tonos, which brought him immediate recognition due to their peculiar expressive intensity. This was achieved through the application of rhetoric, and the delicate balance between Italian models –the veritable force behind the birth and expansion of the Baroque throughout Europe– and the experimental and evolutionary capacity of the Spanish music of his time. Period copies of these works, which are generally for solo or duet although there may be as many as four parts, survive in various Spanish and Latin-American archives. An important part of this output are his tonos humanos, which are no different from the tonos “divinos” except for their diversified function; it isn’t surprising to find two versions of the one work.

Very few examples of Hidalgo’s sacred music have been conserved; this comes in stark contrast to the widespread model of the maestro di cappella of the period, who divided his time between the Latin liturgical and Romance repertories. However, it mustn’t be forgotten that Hidalgo initially formed part of the chapel as a harpist, not as a maestro di cappella, although his talent in the field of composition was worthy of both national and international recognition2. The task of liturgical composition fell to the Royal Chapel (and the cathedrals), and in particular the maestro di cappella himself, although in the preceding note referring to the year 1659, F. Bértaut called Hidalgo “chapel master”, a term which had already appeared in a document dating from 1645. Despite only three liturgical works by Hidalgo having been conserved (the rest may have perished in the burning of the Real Alcázar in 1734), the general context of the circulation of his work in Spain and Latin America gives us a clear enough image of the character of his output.

The third category, consisting of theatrical music, is of the utmost importance to both Hidalgo’s music and Spanish music of the second half of the seventeenth century in general. The operas La Púrpura de la rosa (1659, one act) and Celos, aun del aire matan (1660, three acts) preside a long list of works written for the stage: operas, zarzuelas, incidental music for comedies and eucharistic plays. The texts are generally by Pedro Calderón de la Barca3, although Hidalgo also worked with other playwrights of the period including Francisco de Avellaneda, Juan B. Diamante, Fernández de León, Agustín de Salazar y Torres, Antonio de Solís, Juan Vélez de Guevara and Luis de Ulloa.

Hidalgo served as a musician of the Royal Chapel for 53 years, working with maestros Carlos Patiño (active between 1634-75) and Cristóbal Galán (active between 1680-84), as well as the second maestros Diego de Pontac (1653-54), Francisco de Escalada (1661-1680) and Juan Gómez de Navas (1684-1691), who was in charge of the chapel at the time of Hidalgo’s death.

Apart from his dedication to music, Hidalgo also held other posts; some were linked to the Inquisition (familiar of the Inquisition, from 1638, and notary, from 1640), and others related to the court: maestro of the Royal Chamber “thereby in Palace and Buen Retiro”, from 1645, and “coach overseer’s aid” of the royal equerry, from 1666. Highly regarded in both musical and courtly circles, he enjoyed a good reputation until his death, which occurred on 30 March 1685.

The work

At the time Hidalgo composed the opera Celos, aun del aire matan (1660), he was already a composer of acknowledged prestige in the tonos genre. This experience was not only indispensable to the work’s genesis, but to the procedures it employed and its internal organization at the service of the drama. Effectively, the tonos contain a tripartite musical form (ABA’), in which A (the chorus) represents the lively element, while B (the verse) is more inert, due to thematic repetition; moreover, A is always treated rhetorically due to the unity of its text, while in B (strophic arias) this is impossible due to the successive text changes, which are not very compatible with the topoi of the semantic treatment of the text. Hidalgo’s continual experiments in this musical genre (over 100 tonos have been conserved), together with his knowledge of the innovations of Italian music, present in the court of Castile from the early decades of the century4, make him an experienced composer in the new style, who was also able to lucubrate this kind of music, requiring few elements: the majority of the tonos conserved are for solo or duo and continuo, and at a maximum, there were no more than four voices: elements, then, whose material and artistic dimensions made this a ductile form, capable of being adapted to different languages and susceptible to trialing a whole range of rhetorical figures and proposals of the decoratio verborum.

Hidalgo’s first intent at composing opera dates from one year prior to this work, the one-act opera La púrpura de la rosa (with text by Calderón), composed in 1659 and premièred at the Coliseo del Buen Retiro in Madrid on 17 January 16605, for the celebration of peace in the Pyrenees and the royal wedding between Maria Teresa of Habsburg, the daughter of Philip IV and the French King Louis XIV.

Celos, aun del aire matan, opera in three acts, also with a text by Calderón, was composed in 1660; its première was supposed to have taken place on 28 November, but it was delayed until 5 December due to a shortage of rehearsals which threatened the viability of its performance. Other performances of this opera took place on 12 February 1679, 10 December 1684 and 12 February 16976.

Hidalgo employs the knowledge gained from his previous experience; his greatest concern, like that of all the opera composers of the seventeenth century, was to always establish the difficult balance between unity and variety. The form of Celos, aun del aire matan is based on the dramatic compartmentalisation by sections and the use of ritornelli, which give it a tight artistic and formal coherence; the procedure is very similar to that used by Monteverdi (whose music Hidalgo must have been familiar with, judging by the results shown here); these ritornelli are vocal and their presentation and successive series of repetitions are dynamic instead of being static, using the various means which a composer of this period was accustomed to through the variation of language. A monodic ritornello with a dramatic character thus became a polyphonic declaration.

If the unity of these sections is reflected in the use of ritornelli, their internal connection to the different registers of the musical language, and especially, in relation to the character of the text, offers the necessary variety to consolidate the spectator’s interest. It isn’t surprising to encounter, throughout an act, or even from one act to another, the strategic repetition of some of these ritornelli, which, as in Monteverdi’s case, became a cyclic element and increased the dramatic capacity of the performance with the intensity of their symbolism.

Hidalgo uses two types of metres in this work: triple metre (both the proportio tripla minor, which is the most employed, and the maior), and duple metre (C); in general terms, the latter is used in the free recitatives, whose style is closer to that of Italian music, while the use of triple metre (especially the minor) is related to Spanish dance airs. But one of the greatest discoveries in Hidalgo’s music –already present in his tonos–is the application of triple metre as a means of lyric expression, which on some occasions is intensely expressive: this is the case in Procris’s solo Mi bien, mi señor7, or Eróstrato’s Aunque su enojo me dio que dudar8, or in the love duet between Procris and Céfalo, Aunque vengarte del susto9. The use of alternating, non-stereotyped metric variation and with continuous changes of function already appears in his previous tonos and villancicos, and for this reason the idea of Hidalgo’s experimental capacity has been insisted upon, prior to the composition of his larger-scale works such as these two operas.

Disregarding the outward appearance of the resources, Hidalgo establishes the dramatic character necessary for each character or situation: for example, the use of duple metre in the dialogue Rústico, amigo between Rústico and Eróstrato, in which the latter’s arrogance is ridiculed by the caustic irony of the former10; the presence of the tonus lectionis at the time of the burning of the temple of Diana11, or the enjambment of metres, functions and languages in the dialogue between Rústico, Floreta and Diana Furioso va y no sé cierto por qué12.

The choruses comply with the function assigned to them in Baroque opera of this period; their text, which underlines the action, must be easily interpreted, and for this reason a homophonic structure is usually preferred, allowing the text to be clearly perceived due to the use of the same rhythm in all voices; but Hidalgo’s talent proportioned small elements which, beginning with the functionality of his works, bestows them with a higher artistic calibre: for example, the dialogue between an off-stage chorus and an on-stage one (¿Cómo? / De esta manera)13, or the alternation of strict homophony and small-scale counterpoint: Inspire suave el aura de amor14, Que si el aire diere celos15, among others. It is also worth noting the conversion of a choral episode into a responsorial element of a strophic aria: this can be seen in Guarda la fiera16.

Although the polyphonic sections are distributed into four voices, double choruses in eight voices can also be found: Moradores de estos riscos17, ¡Fuego, que me ahogo!18, ¡Que me muero!19; These double choruses always contain dialogue between the two groups, which are differentiated by their tessitura and timbre. Finally, Hidalgo also uses the chorus as Sprechstimme, especially on three occasions, with the cries of ¡Fuego! (Fire!) over a pedal in the basso continuo20.

The use of strophic arias and ostinati in the bass are two of the components that most frequently appear throughout the opera –as well as in Italian opera of the period–. This is a result of the search for formal unity, as mentioned above, which is necessary in all musical composition, but even more so in a work of this magnitude; on the other hand, the repetitive elements lend themselves to timbral and thematic variation, with which variety could be achieved within unity, following the aesthetic of Horatio.

In Celos, aun del aire matan, the application of rhetorical resources is a constant that is manifested in all its possibilities; in response to Calderón’s voices, Hidalgo firstly organises the tectonics of the macro-form with the aid of ritornelli and similar procedures; secondly, the elements making up the dramatic form are coordinated and finally, Hidalgo uses rhetorical figures in the relationship between the text and the music, both those of a mimetic and abstract nature, as well as the decoratio verborum and the various topoi which constituted the stile rappresentativo during this period.


Act one. Scene one

Aura was taken by surprise in the arms of the shepherd Eróstrato, leading Diana, the eternal enemy of love, to sentence her to death. Procris, Aura’s best friend, and the nymphs take her prisoner to Diana’s temple, intending to kill her. Aura complains and curses Procris, asking Venus to make her suffer for love, like her. Aura’s laments are heard by a young foreigner, Céfalo, who was on a trip through the mountains with his servant Clarín. He intervenes between the nymphs and Procris to save Aura from death. His intervention gives Venus time to take Aura to heaven, transformed into air.

Furious, Diana plans to kill the intruder, but just as she prepares to launch her spear, her hand trembles and she kills the sacred deer. The defeated goddess departs, overcome by an unidentified emotion. Céfalo attempts to carry off the spear as a trophy, but Procris tries to prevent him from doing so, wounding her in one of her hands with the blade of his spear. On seeing the blood, she feels overcome by a strange sensation and flees in a state of terror.

Scene two: Eróstrato goes off in search of the gardener, Rústico, to learn what has become of Aura. When the latter tells him of her tragic fate, Eróstrato becomes furious. Diana questions Floreta, Rústico’s wife, as to who opened the sacred garden gate to the nymph’s lover, and Floreta confesses it was her husband. Diana thus punishes him, converting him into a series of different wild animals. Without realising his appearance has changed, Rústico tries to approach his wife, who become frightened, as does Procris when she comes to her aid. Hearing their cries, Céfalo and Clarín finally approach, chasing off the disorientated and unrecognisable Rústico. Céfalo and Procris meet again, while Clarín flirts with Floreta. In revenge, Aura infuses a “soft whift of love” over Céfalo and Procris, making them fall in love.

Act two. Scene one: A chorus of country folk visit Diana’s temple bearing offerings under a full March moon. Among them is Eróstrato, who is planning his revenge, and Céfalo and Clarín, who also join the pilgrimage, bearing a bouquet of flowers that Clarín had gathered. He also captures Rústico, who appears in the form of a dog.

Scene two: Diana and her nymphs prepare to receive the offerings condemning love. Eróstrato gives her a bow, Céfalo gives her the flowers and they exchange a few ambiguous words, while Clarín offers her the dog, who is really Rústico. Aura, invisible to all, descends and crosses the stage singing the praises of love. Her words reverberate throughout the temple, the sacrilege enfuriating Diana, who orders the closure of the temple and departs with her nymphs. All leave except Céfalo, who is left alone with Procris and confesses his love for her. She tells him this feeling is unknown to her, but the invisible Aura infuses her with the “soft whift of love”.

Scene three: Floreta meets Clarín and Rústico attacks them. Céfalo comes to Clarín’s aid, and they both see a blazing light in the distance and hear cries of “Fire!” It is Eróstrato, taking his vengeance by setting fire to Diana’s temple. From the heavens, Aura fuels the fire with strong winds.

Scene four: Céfalo comes to the aid of the victims. Amid the ruins he finds Procris, who is about the faint. Making the most of his opportunity, he flees with her in his arms.

Act three. Scene one: Diana commends her vengeance to the three furies: Mejera will force Eróstrato to flee from mankind, pursued like a “human beast”. Alecto will instill the asp of jealousy in Procris and Tesifone will perturb Céfalo’s mind. By contrast, she decides to put an end to Rústico’s punishment.

Scene two: Procris is now Céfalo’s contented spouse, although she complains of his constant absences due to his love of hunting. When Céfalo goes out in search of an “unknown beast” that is terrorising the locals, Procris question Clarín about her husband, learning that he goes to a hidden place in the thick forest, where voices calling out “Laura” can be heard. When Procris is alone with Floreta, an invisible Alecto enters, arousing suspicions of jealousy. According to Alecto, Céfalo goes off in search of a new love. Who can that “Laura” be, if not Aura herself, finally taking her revenge? Floreta replies that Aura is nothing but air, but this does not ease Procris, who pronounces the following words: “if the air brings jealousy, jealousy, even of the air, kills”.

Scene three: Eróstrato, dressed in furs and with a non-human appearance, believes the echos of the chorus repeating Procris’s words are referring to him as the lover of someone who is only air. Crazily searching for these voices, he comes upon Rústico, who has reverted to his human form, and is frightened by this vision of Eróstrato.

Alone in the forest, Céfalo confesses to Clarín that he has come to the hideout in search of the intoxicating breeze sent by Aura, whose absent voice confirms this. Bidding farewell to Clarín, he continues on his search. Meanwhile, Procris, hidden away with Floreta, has heard part of her husband said, believing her suspicions to be confirmed. She decides to follow him to find out who is Laura.
Rústico sees his wife approaching with Clarín, and believing he is still an animal, tries to frighten them. A chorus of hunters cry out “beware of the beast” and Clarín and Floreta flee in fear while Rústico is convinced it is becauase of him.

Céfalo invokes Aura and is increasing affected by her narcotic perfumes. The pursued “beast”, Eróstrato, appears. He is almost unrecognizable as a man. Céfalo prepares to kill him but Eróstrato begs him not to spill human blood and Tesifone intervenes, further confusing Céfalo. Eróstrato throws himself off the rocks and Aura carries him off into the air. Céfalo continues to look for him in the forest. Procris, who remained hidden, wants to come out and noticing the movement Céfalo throws his spear. As Aura begins to regret her vengeance, the knight draws nearer to finish off the beast, discovering a moribund Procris. A tender dialogue takes place between them. She consoles him, admitting that she would prefer “to die by better arms” than jealousy. Even though they were of Aura, transformed into air: “jealousy, even of the air, kills”. Procris dies.

Tesifone, Alecto and Megera invoke Diana, who in turn calls the nymphs to celebrate her triumph. All sing the hymn in praise of the goddess, when they are interrupted by Aura from above: by the intercession of Aura and Venus, Jupiter commands that “the tragedy be lessened, without the horror of tragedy”. Céfalo and Procris pass on to an everlasting life in the heavens.

Critical edition of the music

The music to the opera Celos, aun del aire matan, is conserved in two manuscripts: the earliest of the two pertains to the library of the Duke and Duchess of Alba (1927), and is housed at the Palacio de Liria, Madrid; and from here onwards will be referred to as manuscript A; the second manuscript source consists of three sketchbooks, pertaining to the Evora Public Library (Portugal); and will be referred to using the letter E.

Manuscript A was discovered by José Subirá in the course of his research into music in the House of Alba, which resulted in his well-known study on the subject21; he later published a musical transcription, accompanied by a very interesting prologue and a short section on literary and musical variants22.

Description of Ms. A

Call number C 174-21 of the Library of the Palacio de Liria. Notebook consisting of 25 folios rectos measuring 250 x 375 mm, originally numbered in ink from 1 to 25, plus one unnumbered folio for the front cover (a) and another for the back cover (b). The manuscript could date from around 1670. It is a copyist’s manuscript, with 10 staves and four vertical lines crossing them on each page. Under each of the staves is a line possibly etched with an engraver’s chisel for the text. The music is normally laid out in two-stave systems, the upper staff for the voice and the lower for the basso continuo. Where more than one voice is required, there is no standard layout, and thus each case to be described separately.

Description of Ms. E

Call number CL 1/2-1 of the Evora Public Library (Portugal)24. The manuscript consists of three volumes of oblong paper, bound in cardboard; each sketchbook corresponds to one act or jornada; at least two different copyists have worked on the manuscript and they do not pertain to the same period. The manuscript was discovered in 1942 by Luis Freitas Branco and its text was published with a preliminary study and critical notes in 1981 by Matthew D. Stroud24.

1. Act one: Notebook containing 40 oblong pages and four unnumbered endpapers, two at the beginning and two at the end; the cover is made of cardboard and measures 290 x 218 mm while each page measures 285 x 214 mm. The front cover reads: “No. 3 / Zelos aun del Ayres matan / Comedia de D. Pedro Calderón / Muzica de ‹Juan Hidalgo›25/ voz / 1ª Jornada”. The first endpaper (f.I) is blank; the second (f.II): “Musica de la Comedia / Zelos aun del ayre matan / (decorative flourish) / 1ª Jornada”. Underneath, in pencil, ‹Musica de / Juan Hidalgo›, was added later; the verso of this endpaper is blank.

The literary style and musical notation correspond to the first quarter of the eighteenth century, although the rhythmic systems of the proportio tripla retain the specific features of the previous century. The pages are numbered using two complementary systems: the original, conserving the ink numeration of groups of four pages and goes by four, and the modern, in pencil, which correlatively fills in the gaps between each new series; both numbers are located in the upper right-hand corner.

The manuscript was guillotined some time after it was copied and in some cases, the cut reaches the musical notation. The music is usually grouped into systems consisting of two staves, the upper staff for the voice and the lower the continuo. Each page contains 10 staves; there are no previously-traced bar lines, rather the internal spaces have been designed after both the text and music have been written in. From f.21 to 39, a horizontal line has been drawn, probably using a lead engraver’s tool, underneath the vocal staff for the text.

2. Act two: Notebook containing 50 oblong pages and four unnumbered endpapers, two at the beginning and two at the end; the cover is made of cardboard and measures 292 x 212 mm while each page measures 280 x 207 mm. The front cover reads: “No. 4 / Zelos aun del Ayre Matan / Muzica de (blank) / voz / 2ª Jornada”. The first endpaper (f. I) is blank; the second (F. II): “Musica de la Comedia / Zelos aun del ayre matan / (decorative flourish) / 2ª Jornada”; the verso of this endpaper is blank.

The literary style and musical notation correspond to the last third of the seventeenth century; the colour of the ink is very faint and evidently the copyist is from that of the manuscript of Act one. The numeration is modern and is found on the recto of each page. As in the previous case, the manuscript was guillotined after it was copied and in some cases the first staff is almost cut off.
Each page contains nine staves; the first is normally left blank and the other eight contain the music in various combinations of two (voice and basso continuo) and four (four-part chorus or double chorus in eight parts).

3. Act three: Notebook containing 59 oblong pages and four unnumbered endpapers, two at the beginning and two at the end; the cover is made of cardboard and measures 298 x 212 mm while each page measures 285 x 211 mm. The front cover reads: “No. 5 / Zelos aun del Ayre Matan / voz / 3ª Jornada”. The first endpaper (f. I) is blank; the second (f. II): “Muzica de la Comedia / Zelos aun del ayre matan / (decorative flourish) / 2ª Jornada”; the verso of this endpaper is blank.

The literary style and musical notation correspond to the first quarter of the eighteenth century, despite retaining paleographic details from Spanish seventeenth-century notation –in a copy post-dating this period–, especially in the blackening of notes of the proportio tripla ; the colour of the ink is darker than in the previous manuscript and the copyist seems to be the same as that of the Act one manuscript. There are two systems of numeration; the original, in ink, corresponds to groups of four pages, as in the first manuscript; the modern numeration, in pencil, is correlative from 1 to 59 and is found on the recto of each page. As in the previous case, the manuscript was guillotined after it was copied and in some cases the first staff is almost cut off.

Up to f.24, each page contains ten staves; from f.25 onwards, the tone of the paper is lighter, and a horizontal line for the text has been traced with an engraver’s tool; normally, the model of four systems each containing two staves is used, one for the voice and the other for the continuo, with the outer staves left blank. Other combinations will be commented on in the following description.

Editorial criteria

The publication of the critical edition of the music to the opera Celos, aun del aire matan has involved an in-depth study of the sources, so as to be to reflect the real musical values of the period to the greatest degree possible. For this reason, the original clefs, metres and semitonia have been established, as have the rhythmic systems and the foliation of the manuscript sources, reordering the fragments which were dispersed or out of order, and reinserting omissions in the voice and basso continuo.

The two manuscript sources used as the basis for this edition do not appear to be the primary source of the work; not only in the sense that they are not Juan Hidalgo’s autograph manuscripts, but they could include variants relating to some of the known performances of the opera (1660, 1679, 1684 and 1697) –this is especially true of the Evora mss.–, as can be seen in Act I26, the only act for which there are two sources. However, this is exceptional, because mss. A and E clearly coincide in many respects, to the point that E can be considered a direct copy of A, with some minor discrepancies: in the section devoted to the description of the manusccripts, it was already mentioned that ms. A contains some vertical lines which predate the musical notation, something which at times hinders the comprehension of the rhythm; by contrast, ms. E is well laid out and the barlines more even, especially in C mensuration.

As has already been seen, in E there are at least two different hands and periods at work; in fact, the only features which the three notebooks of ms. E have in common in regard to their formal scriptorial solidity are their binding, cutting and the titles of the frontespieces and endpapers27. There is also an interesting indication given on the frontespiece of each of the three notebooks of ms. E: after “Musica de…” and prior to “Jornada”, the term “voz” (voice) is used to highlight the fact that it is a score which only contains the vocal part and the continuo accompaniment. This peculiarity, which is also an element of formal unity between the three E manuscripts, not only defines the precision of the score, but in contrast to other opera scores from the middle of the seventeenth century, the use of this term which, during the first quarter of the eighteenth century –the period in Acts I and III were probably copied; Act II predates them– reflects the obseleteness and strangeness of operatic music without the addition of an instrumental ensemble in the new century.

The music has been transcribed down a fourth when the basso continuo was written in C4: the note values are the same as they were at the time the work was composed. Blackened notation has also been added in the proportio tripla minor and maior, in order to facilitate references to the original rhythmic systems. In Act I, this notation is sometimes presented in two versions: the uppermost is that found in ms. A, the rest being the result of a general combination of the two manuscripts, which normally coincide. The notes are cited with their original value, unless otherwise stated.

The following nomenclature has been used:

A Ms. of the Palacio de Liria (Duques de Alba), Madrid
B Bass   
BC Basso continuo
E Ms. of the Evora Public Library (Portugal) 
T Tenor 
Ti Tiple (treble)
V Voice

The text

In 1981 Matthew D. Stroud published the text to the opera Celos, aun del aire matan28, basing his edition on the text conserved in the three manuscripts held in the Evora Public Library (Portugal). Stroud considered these manuscripts as a unique source since they were the only ones containing the entire text29. Stroud’s completed his edition with a comparative study of all the other printed and manuscript sources, noting where there were variants; he also translated Calderón’s libretto into English. Stroud’s work is excellent, both for its laboriousness and its honesty; the reader will find that it contains the critical apparatus on which his textual option is based.

The starting point for this edition is the fact that there is no primary source for the text, which is only conserved in two music manuscripts, neither of which are autograph manuscripts. It is very likely that Juan Hidalgo’s original text was held at the Real Alcázar, where it would have been fuel to the flames, like the whole music archive of the court at the time of the 1734 fire. However, it has been shown that musically, manuscript A and that of Act I of manuscript E are closely related, to the point that it can be affirmed (see the study of the critical edition of the music) that the latter is a direct copy of the former.

On the other hand, Stroud clearly gives documentary value to manuscript E since it is the only source to contain the entire text of the opera. But other considerations must also be taken into account, some of which have been expounded in the previous section.

a) The fact that the Evora manuscripts were copied by at least two different hands; Acts I and III were possibly written out by the same copyist, and their paleographic characteristics would seem to correspond to the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The manuscript of Act II was copied by a different hand and for the same reasons (especially musical ones) it can be dated from the last third of the seventeenth century.

b) Consequently, there is no one guiding thread between the three Evora manuscripts, both from a musical and literary point of view; in reference to the latter, certain morphological solutions lead to the conclusion that the copyists –not necessarily Portuguese– did not have a very good knowledge of the Spanish language.

c) The opera, premièred on 5 December 1660, was restaged on at least three occasions in Madrid, in 1679, 1684 and 1697. It is very risky to venture that there were no musical or textual changes made for these restagings and today it is impossible to say which of the numerous variants found in the manuscripts pertained to which performance/year.

d) The Evora text itself is incomplete and contains gaps in each of its three acts.

e) The documentary legitimacy of a manuscript is not superior, per se, to that of a printed score, especially if they are contemporary with the complex of the operatic performance, in which text and music make up a necessary unit.

The edition of the text is complex since there are coincidences between various sources in regard to its establishment, reception and subsequent changes: firstly, the score, which contains the literary document which the composer worked on; secondly, the literary text itself, which, in successive editions from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, gradually lost its pristine relation to the original music which gave it its own meaning, both aspects –literary and musical– constituting one aesthetic and conceptual potentiality.

Two traditions –the musical and the literary– have gradually grown apart, losing the link which not only united them at the time of the first performance but conditioned and moulded its formal identity in the interests of a common higher identity; the libretto Calderón created in 1660 to be set to music and performed was gradually convirted into a text to be read from the end of the seventeenth century (following its last staging in 1697) and into a subject for philological study from the middle of the seventeenth century to the twentieth century, with the discovery of Act I by José Subirá in 1933 and the subsequent location of the Evora manuscripts by Luis de Freitas Branco in 1942, which have led to this reflection on its present situation.

The aim of this edition is to recuperate Calderón’s text as the opera’s libretto, reflecting the original literary reality of the work as closely as possible, not only in relation to the author’s original conception of the text but its conversion into a text set to music. As the composer, Hidalgo not only had to add the music, but to propose some changes, whether in virtue of the euphony of the thematic layout, or for the sake of the balance between text and music, and especially in relation to the use of musical rhetoric. The result of this musical intervention (for which Calderón wrote his verses) thus contains its own value, at times distanced from the purely literary transmission of the text of Celos, aun del aire matan from the mid-eighteenth century.

This edition thus aims to give a textual option which is more in keeping with the reality of the period and especially with its original function as the libretto, basing itself on the documents themselves, that is, on the two manuscript sources and the printed editions that most closely resemble the performance of the work in an operatic format, without overlooking the value of Stroud’s study.
The criteria adopted for the transcription of the text required the standardising the punctuation, the use of upper- and lower-case letters, and the phoneme b / v / u, c / q, ç / z , g / j, silent / aspirate h, h / g, i / y, s / ss, x / j.

Arcaisms and solecisms in Calderón’s text have been retained (above all the use of la as an indirect object), especially those which would otherwise lead to the loss of the musical metre and others which make up part of the language of some of the characters (Rústico, Floreta, Clarín). Superfluous texts have been eliminated, errors and improprieties in the text have been pointed out and where there is sufficient space, changes have been justified.

In reference to stage directions, the first printed edition of the text has been used (Madrid, 1663, source C), for its documentary value in relation to the first, 1660 performance; only significant changes have been incorporated or annotated.

The division of Calderón’s text into scenes was not used in both the manuscripts and the printed editions dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; this division was later made by Juan Hartzenbusch, for the 1849 BAE edition. Here, the scenes are inserted in square brackets because they are very useful in the interpretation of the music, as well as because they make up part of the history of the transmission of the texts of Calderón’s dramas.

The omission of text from the musical manuscripts has been recorded together with the way of making up for them; likewise, comments have also been made in relation to details contained in these manuscripts which could help to better understand or enrich the text.

Nomenclature used

a) Manuscript sources
A Ms. C-1764-21, Biblioteca del Palacio de Liria (Duques de Alba), Madrid. (Act I)
E Ms. CL 1/2-1, Evora Public Library, Portugal (Acts, I, II, III).

b) Printed sources (according to Stroud’s nomenclature)
Parte diez y nueve… Domingo Palacio y Villegas. Madrid, Pablo del Val, 1663.
Parte quarenta y una… Joseph del Espiritu Santo. Pamplona, ca. 1672/1676
Septima parte… Juan de Vera Tassis y Villarroel. Madrid, Vda. de Blas de Villanueva, 1683.
Jardín ameno… (XXVI), Madrid, 1704.
Septima parte… newly corrected… Juan de Vera Tassis y Villarroel. Madrid, Juan Sanz, 1715.
Comedias del célebre poeta español… Juan Fernández de Apontes. Madrid, Vda. de M. Fernández, 1763.
Comedia famosa. Barcelona, Francisco Suria y Burgada, imp., ca. 1758/1778.
Comedias de don Pedro Calderón de la Barca. Parte III, Vol. XII. Ed. Juan Hartzenbusch BAE. Madrid, Rivadeneyra, 1849.
Celos aún del aire matan. Opera del siglo XVII. Texto de Calderón y música de Juan Hidalgo, by José Subirá. Barcelona, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Biblioteca de Catalunya, 1933.
A (i) Obras Completas de Calderón de la Barca. Celos aun del aire matan, Vol. I. Ed. Angel Valbuena Briones. Madrid, Aguilar, 1959.

Francesc Bonastre,
Creixell, July 2000
(English translation by Yolanda Acker)


The most recent biography of Juan Hidalgo can be found in Begoña Lolo: “Juan Hidalgo”, Diccionario de la Música Española e Hispanoamericana, ed. E. Casares, Vol. VI, Madrid, SGAE, 2000, pp. 282-285.

L. Jambou summarises François Bertaut’s testimony of his trip to Madrid in 1659, when he met Patiño and Hidalgo at the court: “Je vis aussi les deux Maîtres de la Musique du Roy, Patiño qui est celui de la Chapelle, and Jean Hidalgo celuy de la Chambre, qui fait des airs très agreables and qui jouë très bien de la Harpe. Il m’en donna quelques-uns”. See L. Jambou: “Les répresentations de la musique espagnole dans des écrtis français du XVII siècle: de la statistique à la métaphore”, in Échanges musicaux franco-espagnols, XVIIe-XIXe siècles, Klincksie, Les recontres de Villecroze. Académie Musicale de Villecroze, 2000, p. 37.

See M. Querol: La Música en el Teatro de Calderón, Barcelona, Diputació de Barcelona, Institut del Teatre, 1981.

The evidence put forward by L. Stein is very interesting in this respect, from the presence of Italian composers in the court of Philip III and IV, to the confirmation of the knowledge and practice of the new style there. See L. K. Stein: Songs of Mortals, Dialogues of the Gods, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1993, pp. 191-196.

L. Stein: Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco y Juan Hidalgo. La Púrpura de la Rosa. Fiesta Cantada, ópera en un acto. Critical edition by… Col. Música Hispana, Madrid, ICCMU, 1999.

L. K. Stein, Songs of Mortals…, p. 348.

Act III, bb. 97-128.

Act II, bb. 896-919.

Act I, bb. 1065-1367.

Act I, bb. 568-578.

Act II, bb. 1512-1518 (Bass, II Choir), 1518-21 (I Soprano, I Choir).

Act I, bb. 821-973.

Act I, bb. 339-340.

Act I, bb. 1378-82.

Act III, bb. 716-723.

Act II, bb. 1405-1406, 1452-53, 1461-1462, 1465-66.

Act II, bb. 1487-1532.

Act II, bb. 1547-1554.

Act II, bb. 1598-1620.

Act II, bb. 1409, 1425, 1468-1470.

J. Subirà: La música en la Casa de Alba, Madrid, 1927.

J. Subirà: Celos aun del aire matan. Ópera del siglo XVII. Texto de Calderón y música de Juan Hidalgo, por…, Barcelona, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Biblioteca de Catalunya, 1933

The measurements of the pages oscilate between a width of 243/250 mm and a height of 356/375 mm.

The first description of the manuscript is found in J. A. Alegría: Biblioteca Pública de Évora. Catalogo dos Fundos Musicais, Lisbon, Fundaçao Gulbenkian, 1977, p. 64: “71. Musica de la Comedia / Zelos aun del ayre matan. Tres cadernos cartonados correspondientes às três Jornadas / dos quais nào consta o nome do autor. O copista limitou-se a escrever na capa de cada caderno:” Muzica de…”. Foi todavia, identificada em 1942 por Luis de Freitas Branco / como a primeria zarzuela espanhola conhecida”. / Cota: Cód. CL1./2-1. 3 Vols”. Another later description can be found in Matthew D. Stroud: Pedro Calderon de la Barca. Celos aun del aire matan. An Edition with Introduction, Translation, and Notes by… Foreword by Jack Sage, San Antonio, Trinity University Press, 1981, pp. 41-43.

jambien in the ms.

Bars 504-542 of the present edition (what Hartzenbusch calls “Scene VII”, Eróstrato’s solo, are very different in mss. A and E; both in terms of mensuration (proportio tripla maior in A; 3/4 in E); and the music itself, especially the basso continuo. See version A in the appendix of this edition.

More details, including a concrete description of each manuscript, can be found in the preceding section.

M. D. Stroud: Pedro Calderón de la Barca. Celos aun del aire matan. An Edition with Introduction, Translation, and Notes by… San Antonio (Texas), Trinity University Press, 1981.

“As such, it [the Evora mss] does not necessarily represent the ‘best’ edition of the play but the one that most nearly adheres to the only complete handwritten version in existence”. Ibid, p. 45.

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