Moscow: P. Yurgenson, 1906. Item #106
255 pp.: music. 30,5x24 cm. Contemporary bright red binder’s cloth with title in gold and decoration in color (art nouveau style) on the front board and blind decorative border and binder’s name on the back board. Original illustrated front cover is preserved. Endpapers are of paper with decorative ornament. Sprinkled edges. Owner’s signature on the title page (1909), publisher’s stamp on the title page, spine tarnished, light rubbing to the corners of the spine, red stain on the lower edge close to the spine. Otherwise a neat clean near fine copy.
This is a two-hand piano reduction of Mikhail Glinka’s (1804-1857) opera Ruslan and Lyudmila with full text by S. Lyapunov. Title-page, contents and text in Russian and German. Original front cover is illustrated by well-known illustrator Ivan Bilibin.
The work on the opera started in 1837 and continued for 5 years. Because of Pushkin’s death Glinka didn’t have a libretto to start to work on opera. The premiere took place in 1842 in St. Petersburg.
Glinka’s works were mostly published by Pyotr Ivanovich Yurgenson (1836-1904) as he was the founder of the biggest and finest Russian music publishing house before the revolution. After composer’s death Yurgenson bought rights to his unpublished and unknown works. In the beginning of the 20th century he was preparing an anniversary collection of Glinka’s compositions, and when he died in 1903 M. Balakirev and S. Lyapunov took over preparations. Into collection they included new reductions, both orchestral and piano (like in this edition). Ivan Bilibin, famous for his distinctive illustrations to Pushkin’s books, was invited to provide art work for editions of Life for the Tsar and Ruslan and Lyudmila.