Ruggero Leoncavallo

Leoncavallo, Ruggero

Komponist (1857–1919). Choice AMQS on an off-white 7.25 x 5 album page, signed “R. Leoncavallo“. Berlin. 1 S. Qu.-8vo.
$ 989 / 850 € (127)

Leoncavallo pens five bars from the third act of his famous opera Zaza. In fine condition.


Leoncavallo, Ruggero

Komponist (1857–1919). Signed cabinet photograph. n. p. n. d. 170 : 110 mm.
$ 2,094 / 1.800 € (73644)

Nice head and shoulders portrait of the composer to his left. - Minor smudging to his signature. Gilt edges.

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Leoncavallo, Ruggero

Komponist (1857–1919). Autograph letter signed (“R Leoncavallo”), in French. o. O. u. D. 8vo. 2 pp. Leicht gebräunt. Französisch.
$ 2,909 / 2.500 € (80465)

Leoncavallo writes to an unnamed friend: „Enclosed is the letter for you. I think it is appropriate.At the same time, you will receive the book recommended [to you]. Please erase the blue pencil marks I had made for my studies. I am not surprised about Puccini! But there are composers and there are composers! Make him fork over a nice sum, as it’s not the rst time he has tried this kind of carrying-on!!...Good-bye -and be gutsy!“ There was a compositional race between Leoncavallo and Giacomo Puccini, which Ruggero Leoncavallo lost.

Puccini's “La Bohème” was staged in 1896, Leoncavallo's work of the same name was produced only over a year later. Puccini's “Bohème” soon conquered opera houses around the world. Leoncavallo's work never stood a real chance against this successful opera. The libretto to Leoncavallo's “Bohème” is considered to be the more interesting and critical one. Leoncavallo, who was also a librettist, had made Puccini aware of the subject, the episodic novel "Scènes de la vie de bohème" by Henri Murgers, and offered him a draft of the libretto for setting to music. Puccini initially showed no interest in Murger's milieu study, but then thought better of it and commissioned his house librettist with a stage version of the novel - of course without informing Leoncavallo about it. He had long since started setting the material to music. Leoncavallo produced numerous operas and other songs throughout his career it is his opera Pagliacci (1892) that remained his lasting contribution, despite attempts to escape the shadow of his greatest success. Today he remains largely known for Pagliacci, one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the opera repertory. His other well-known compositions include the song "Mattinata", popularized by Enrico Caruso, as well as the symphonic poem La Nuit de mai..

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Leoncavallo, Ruggero

Italian opera composer (1867-1919). Autograph Letter Signed, „Leoncavallo," to the Marquis d'Ajeta, in Italian. Viareggio. 4to. 1 p. Onionskin paper; folds.
$ 2,094 / 1.800 € (80587)

With this letter signed „Leoncavallo,“ to the Marquis d'Ajeta („Caro Marchese“), in Italian, dramatically thanking for the gift of cassata [Sicilian sponge cake], hoping that the Marchioness is feeling better and that he might meet her tomorrow, and, in a postscript: „My little she-dog is really of superior intelligence. She licked all the dishes where the portions of cassata were served." The letter in detail: „[...] An unexpected and great event has stunned the world. Would you guess it to be the submarine warfare? No, not that; something bigger! The United States’ declaration of war on Germany? No, something greater! A slice of spumoni (cassata) has providentially arrived at the Castler Amerigo Vespucci! Profound emotion! Tears of joy! Indeed, Sicily is such a wonderful place! Whereas people are fighting everywhere for one hectogram of sugar, Sicily is able to produce cassate and ship them across the seas, all packaged in foil, and the torpedoes retreat licking ...

their shells. They shout: ,No! We will never dare to strike you, except with a munch!’ This generous gesture on the part of the Marquis of Ajeta will be registered in the Golden Book, and the greatful people will shout hosanna! We hope that Madam, la Marquise, is feeling better and that tomorrow, under the spring sun, (I am speaking about tomorrow because the sun today is hidden), we will meet there in front of the dark place where the paintings of Beautiful Apollo, The Prostitute, The Gaunt Velia, and the Child measuring one meter ninety reside. My women slaves send you their best. Yours, Leoncavallo. My little she-dog is really of superior intelligence. She licked all the dishes where the portions of cassata were served.“ The tone of the letter is in stark contrast to the reality of war. The American entry into World War I, which Leoncavallo refers to in his letter, came on April 6, 1917, the unrestricted submarine warfare was first introduced in early 1915. Ruggero Leoncavallo, who came to fame with the opera Pagliacci, which represented a reaction against Richard Wagner and against Romantic Italian opera. It substituted for the quasi-historical plot a sensational story from everyday life. Pagliacci was composed in the verismo, or realistic, style of Mascagni. Produced in Milan in 1892, it was an immediate success. Leoncavallo’s La Bohème (1897) suffered from comparison with Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Zazà (1900) was more successful, but Der Roland (1904), commissioned by Wilhelm II to glorify the Hohenzollerns, was a failure. A number of later works achieved passing success. For most of his operas Leoncavallo was his own librettist and showed a distinct literary ability and a flair for theatrical effect..

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Leoncavallo, Ruggero

Portraitphotographie m. e. U. u. Notenzeile
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Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857–1919), composer. Portrait photograph with autogr. dedication signed, Bayreuth, 28 July 1894, 10.6 x 16.4 cm. Slightly waterstained; slight damage to left edge. Half-length portrait of the composer with arms folded. With dedication to the Wagnerian tenor Wilhelm Birrenkoven (1865–1955), “mon exellend Canio ou celèbre Artiste” and autogr. musical quotation (two bars from the aria “Vesti la giubba”, from Act I of the opera “I Paglacci”). – Birrenkoven became well known as an interpreter of Wagner roles at the 1894 Bayreuth Festival as Lohengrin and Parsifal. He gave guest performances at most great European and U.S. opera houses and performed concerts and songs.