Thirty Years' Musical Recollections
1862. Two volumes complete, rebound in full leather by Potter & Son of York
First edition, two volumes (complete). Rebound in full leather by Potter and Sons of York. Contrasting leather title labels to spine, top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers and pastedowns, with inner gilt dentelles. Frontispiece portrait to both volumes. Each 20 × 12.5cm. xv, 312pp + vi, 323pp.
Not signed but each volume carries the bookplate of a William Lloyd esq.
Thirty Years' Musical Recollections is a year-by-year commentary in two volumes on the European operas, ballets, singers and dancers popular in London from 1830 to 1859. It's author was music critic of The Athaneum for over thirty years, and also wrote book reviews, novels, plays and poems. Starting with his reminiscences of the opera season in 1830, Chorley covers early London performances of works by Rossini, Bellini Donizetti and Verdi, the opening of the Royal Italian Opera, and appearances by famous singers including Maria Malibran, Giambattista Rubini, Madame Grisi, Madame Pasta, Madame Persiani, Rachel Felix, Signor Mario, Signor Ronconi, Madame Pauline Viardot and Mademoiselle Jenny Lind. He also discusses the fabric of theatres and changing trends in public taste. The book is at once a valuable source book and an entertaining eyewitness account of the lively musical scene in mid-nineteenth-century London.
A good set but with some wear. The leather has comprehensive but light rubbing to both volumes. The inner binding to volume one is a little weak with one of the contents pages detached and creased to the edges, and one other page of text (p193/4) working a little loose but all other pages are secure. Volume 2's inner binding is secure. There is foxing to the prelims but the main body of text is clean. Overall, a good condition copy of this scarce first edition.