Item #11969 [Greek title transliterated: Ekthesis tes psallomenes leitourgias en te eorte tes Xristoy genneseos…] Sposizione Della Messa Che Si Canta Nella Festa Della Natività Di Cristo. Demetrio. trans Cidonio or Kydones.
[Greek title transliterated: Ekthesis tes psallomenes leitourgias en te eorte tes Xristoy genneseos…] Sposizione Della Messa Che Si Canta Nella Festa Della Natività Di Cristo.
A FUGITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO CHRISTMAS MUSICAL LITERATURE

[Greek title transliterated: Ekthesis tes psallomenes leitourgias en te eorte tes Xristoy genneseos…] Sposizione Della Messa Che Si Canta Nella Festa Della Natività Di Cristo.

Milan, A. Agnelli 1757.

4to (229 x 176 mm.). 104p. Greek-Latin double-column parallel text above double-column commentary, large folding etched and engraved portrait of the dedicatee, Abbot Andrea Malaspina after Ant. de’ Giorgi’s lost original oil painting (387 x 235 mm.; cut by G. Mercoli).

Contemporary red morocco with gilt drawer handles, swags, thistles, lilies and small birds, flat spine gilt (small neat repair), gilt embossed paper endleaves, all edges gilt, green silk marker.

            ONLY EDITION of Kydones’ fourteenth-century Greek translation of the chanted portion of the Ambrosian Rite Christmas Day mass. The Father of Liturgical Hymnody in the West, Saint Ambrose (c. 333-97) established a widely accepted liturgy that influenced Gallican and Mozarabic Rites and resonated with Eastern Christians. It still has millions of adherents in and around Milan.
           Byzantine imperial administrator and diplomat, Kydones strengthened relations with the West during his Italian sojourns between 1355 and 1369. He befriended humanists and promoted Greek culture and the unification of Eastern and Western Churches. He converted to Catholicism and translated numerous works from Latin into Greek, including these psalmelli, which were sung by the congregation or the officiant(s).
            The Milanese scholar Antonio Fumagalli (1728-1804) placed Kydones’ Greek version across from the Latin original, intercalating a running account of the officiant’s actions and instructions for intoning and singing the liturgy. His textual, historical and doctrinal commentary in Italian occupies roughly half the volume. FUMAGALLI HAD THIS COPY SPLENDIDLY BOUND FOR PRESENTATION.
           In 1756 the publisher, Antonio Agnelli, launched a learned journal, Raccolta Milanese, composed entirely of local submissions. Its swift failure left him holding copy, some dozen pieces, which he issued in 1757 as monographs. He made up a few sets under a general title, hoping to find a patron, while selling individual essays back to their authors and to the public. I have located one example of Sposizione in the U.S. (Getty). In fine condition, bookplates of marchese Francesco Malaspina and of the binding collector Arturo Dazza.
¶New Grove2 I: 458; Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur I: 487-9.

Item #11969

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