Item #11416 Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue. Henri Dumont.
Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue.
Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue.
Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue.
Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue.
Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue.
Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue.
“A GREAT TALENT, A STRONG PERSONALITY” — GARROS

Motets A Deux Voix, Avec La Basse-Continue.

Paris, R. II Ballard 1668.

Three volumes. 4to (235 x 177 mm.). Altus— [i], [2], 34 leaves; Tenor— [i], [2], 26 leaves; Bassus— [i], [2], 37 leaves. PRINTED MUSIC THROUGHOUT, title-pages in typographic frames.

Blind and gilt-ruled 19th-century black morocco (Holloway), corner fleurons, front panels with the title and part gilt-lettered, spines gilt, all edges gilt.

First Edition, AN IMPORTANT STEP IN FRENCH SACRED MUSIC. “HIS ROLE IN RELIGIOUS MUSIC IS QUITE COMPARABLE TO THAT OF HAYDN TO SYMPHONY AND STRING QUARTET” (Garros, tr.). Favored with high private and official appointments to both the king and queen of France, Dumont dominated religious court music for three decades as an instrumentalist (organ and harpsichord) and as a composer, serving for twenty years as Deputy Master of the Royal Chapel. All three volumes are dedicated to Louis XIV.

            With this collection Dumont created the fashion in France for the dialog motet, a recitative piece inspired by opera in which each voice is assigned to a specific character — sinners and angels, a sinner and his soul, bride and groom…. Suitable for royal masses and cloister liturgy, performed in small chapels, modest churches and convents, Dumont’s petits motets combine “italianate chains of suspensions, light polyphony, ‘affective’ melodic and harmonic intervals, echo effects…and word-painting…with…rhytmic organization corresponding to popular French dances” (New Grove2). They “provided the model for the motets that all French composers were to write for almost two centuries” (Quittard, tr.).
            Another of Dumont’s widely influential innovations was the publication of the instrumental accompaniment or basso continuo as a separate part. To aid the musicians with pieces occupying more than a single opening in both the Altus and the Bassus volumes, the pages’ lower right corners are marked Tournez (turn the page), a practice I have not previously encountered.
            I have identified three other complete sets (BnF with the volumes from disparate sources, Ste. Geneviève, Royal College of Music). In good condition, from the libraries of merchant banker Henry Huth (1815-78; bookplate), his son Alfred Henry Huth (1850-1910) and New Yorker John Whipple Frothingham (1878-1935; bookplate).
¶RISM, Einzeldrucke vor 1800 (A/I/2) D 3704; Quittard, Un Musicien en France au XVIIe siècle: Henri Du Mont passim; Garros, “La Musique religieuse en France de 1600 à 1750” in Histoire de la musique ed. Roland-Manuel I: 1591-1613,1596-98; New Grove2 7: 699-700 & 17: 219-20; Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart 3: 934-35; The Huth Library II: 458 (this ex.); Huth, Catalogue (15-20.XI.1911) 2552  “extremely rare”.

Item #11416

Price: $22,000.00