ROUSSEAU Jean-Jacques (1712-1778).

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ROUSSEAU Jean-Jacques (1712-1778).
autograph musical manuscript, Le Duo des roses; 6 oblong pages in-fol. (23 x 30.5 cm) on 2 bi-fold, with autograph dispatch on the 8th page (fold mark). Musical manuscript of a duet by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which will be collected in Les Consolations des misères de ma vie. This duet for two voices (Sylvie and Tirsis) with basso continuo counts 166 measures; the voices are notated in C clef, the bass in F clef. In D major, the duet begins Largo, at 3/4; then, at the 21st bar, it continues Andante at 2/4, then Andante meno, and after a brief Adagio, again at 3/4 Larghetto amoroso, before ending Andante at 3/8. The manuscript, in brown ink on watermarked paper by Johannot d'Annonay dated 1742, with 12 staves per page, comprises 21 systems of three staves; it presents some small corrections by scratching. The last leaf bears this autograph dispatch: "This Duo de mon petit faiseur is to [...] for [...] and not otherwise", but the names of the dedicatees have been scratched out. The explanation of this "little maker" is given in the "Avis de l'éditeur de ce recueil" of the Consolations des misères de ma vie (p. 2): "his little Faiseur; an expression he used in jest to allude to the most ridiculous and absurd of imputations", as he was accused of being the "prête-nom" of the real composer of his works (notably the Devin du village): he then humorously and modestly referred to himself as "the little faiseur", a fiction maintained in his "Extrait d'une réponse du petit faiseur à son prête-nom, sur un morceau de l'Orphée de M. le chevalier Gluck" (Œuvres complètes, Bibl. de la Pléiade, t. V, p. 461-465). The Duo des roses was engraved and collected in 1781 in Les Consolations des misères de ma vie, ou Recueil d'airs, romances et duos, a posthumous subscription edition prepared by Rousseau's friends, among them the Marquis de Girardin. It appears in the volume as No. 82 (pages 165-172), with a few variants, the indication: "Sylvie must have before her a bunch of roses", and the name of the lyricist: "Paroles de M. de Laire"; journalist, diplomat, future Conventional, Alexandre DELEYRE (1726-1797) remains one of the endearing figures of the Enlightenment, he frequented Diderot and d'Holbach, collaborated in the Encyclopédie (article "fanatisme"), worked with the Abbé Raynal, and, full of admiration for Rousseau, maintained a long epistolary relationship with him. It is Tirsis who begins: "Do you see the moon shining on me through this old elm tree. If I ever become light, let it shine on my tomb"... Another manuscript of this Duo des Roses appears in the Recueil de nouveaux airs sur d'anciennes chansons avec accompagnement, a collection of musical manuscripts found in Rousseau's papers after his death and deposited at the Bibliothèque royale in 1781 (BnF, Musique, Rés. Vm7 .667, fol. 293-301, pagination by Rousseau 132-140).
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