RACINE. — MOREAU (Jean-Baptiste).

Lot 15
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2500 - 3000 EUR
RACINE. — MOREAU (Jean-Baptiste).
Musical interludes from the tragedy of Esther. Proper for Religious Ladies, & all other persons. Paris, Christophe Ballard, 1696. In-4, granite calf, spine ornamented, fawn title-piece, old handwritten labels at the head and tail, red speckled edges, modern burgundy half-maroquin folder and slipcase (Binding of the period).
Second edition of the ChOeurs music composed by Jean-Baptiste Moreau (1656-1733) for Racine's penultimate tragedy. Printed line for line on the very rare original edition of 1689, it has a new title and does not, however, contain the introductory leaves.
A precious copy from the Collège royal de Saint-Cyr, with the engraved bookplate bearing the fleurdelisé cross and the mention CJ (for classe jaune).
It is known that Racine wrote Esther in 1688 for the young ladies of the Maison royale de Saint-Cyr, a boarding school created in 1686 by Louis XIV at the initiative of Madame de Maintenon. The school welcomed young girls of the poor nobility who entered the establishment from the age of seven and stayed there until they were twenty, never leaving except for rare and special permissions: they were grouped, according to their age, into four classes, each referring to a particular colour (red, green, yellow and blue classes); the girls in the yellow class were between fourteen and sixteen years old and studied mainly the French language, religion, music and dance (cf. Théophile Lavallée, Madame de Maintenon et la Maison royale de Saint-Cyr, 1862, p. 164).
On the last page are 5 handwritten staves of the period which give the text and music of a piece omitted by the editor and which was to be printed on p. 64; this one begins with J'admire un Roy victorieux que la valeur conduit triomphant en tous lieux... A copy in the Pierpont Morgan Library has the same feature.
From the libraries of Mortimer L. Schiff (I, 1938, no. 516) and Paul Baudoin (1978, no. 105), with their bookplates.
Browning on the endpapers, caused by the return of the skin on the back covers.
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