Paris: Chez Christophe Ballard, seul Imprimeur du Roy pour la Musique, rüe Saint Jean de Beauvais, au Mont-Parnasse, M. DC. XCV. . Typeset music and text, woodcut head and tailpieces, and initials. In contemporary leather. Spine and edges gilt. Red title vignette on spine. Marbled endpapers. Green silk bookmark ribbon. Ownership stamp (on title page and some random pages) of “Francoeur”, a member of the distinguished French musician family. Coll.: ã4 a–f4 A–Z4 Aa–Ll4 M2; Pag.: 8, [i]–xlvii  275  p. [Some pages misnumbered: pp. 46–7 as 49–49, pp. 190–1 as 198–9.]. Contemporary musical note in ink on p. 272. A small wormhole at the lower outer corner throughout the first third of the book, broaden between 2b–4c, affecting the print space. Trace of crease to the first pages. Extremities somewhat worn, corners bumped, foxing throughout. Otherwise in fine condition.
Extremely scarce first edition of Collasse’s opéra-ballet La Naissance de Vénus.
La Naissance de Vénus by Collasse is an early example of an opéra-ballet the genre of French Baroque lyric theatre combining elements of opera and ballet, it’s music is mostly newly composed but also includes inserted excerpts of Lully’s 1665-court ballet of the same name. (Cowart 2014)The present first edition of the score was published already in 1695, while the opera was premiered only on May 1, 1696.
Pascal Collasse (1649–1709) was a French Baroque composer, who learned music from Jean-Baptiste Lully and became his favorite disciple, later an assistant, and main collaborator. Besides composing some ten operas, Collasse assisted in the composition of Lully's works for the intermediate parts and harmonization and completed Lully’s unfinished work Achille et Polyxène. Lully helped him to obtain a position as a musician at the Court, Collasse was one of the four Masters of the Chapelle Royale from 1683 to 1704. His later years were devoted to alchemy.
Scarce, we could trace copies in institutional holdings in France (BnF, Université de Strasbourg, Sorbonne) and the UK (BL). No auction records on RBH.
Literature: Cowart G. (2014). The Triumph of Pleasure: Louis XIV and Politics of Spectacle. University of Chicago Press, p. 164.