The Complete Rameau
The Rameau Complete Edition (Opera Omnia) has just issued the first volume in its new publishing arrangement: the opera Anacréon. Since 2003 the Société Jean-Philippe Rameau has been involved in a close working relationship with the House of Bärenreiter, which has now added Rameau to its impressive catalogue of complete editions.
After languishing in oblivion, the music of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) witnessed a renaissance at the beginning of the 20th century. Rameau, one of the towering figures of the Baroque age, left behind a voluminous oeuvre, large parts of which remain unpublished to the present day. An initial attempt to issue his music in print was made in the 18th century by Jacques-Joseph Marie Decroix. The task was then taken up at the beginning of the 20th century by Camille Saint-Saëns, whose edition for Durand was likewise destined to remain incomplete.
In 1991 the editor-in-chief of the Opera Omnia, Sylvie Bouissou, founded the Société Jean-Philippe Rameau and began systematically to prepare the way for a complete edition. Starting in 1996, the first volumes were issued by Billaudot with financial support from Musica Gallica. In 2003 the Société took over the task of publishing the Opera Omnia and entrusted its worldwide distribution to Bärenreiter.
The Opera Omnia is the first edition to present all of Rameau's musical works in accordance with the demands of scholars and performers alike. Every musical, literary, and iconographic source is catalogued, examined, and annotated. Moreover, each volume opens with an extensive historical and scholarly introduction by the editor in both French and English.
The Complete Edition is divided into six series: 1) Instrumental Music, 2) Sacred Vocal Music, 3) Secular Vocal Music, 4) Stage Works, 5) Fragments, Incomplete Works, and Works of Doubtful Authenticity, and 6) Study Volumes (not included in subscription). The largest subcategory is taken up by the stage works, with 31 volumes. Each volume in this series is accompanied by a piano-vocal score (for purchase) and performance material (for hire).
The first volume to be issued in the new working relationship between Paris and Kassel is Anacréon, the sixth of at least seven operas that Rameau wrote in conjunction with the librettist Louis de Cahusac. It probably received no more than three performances during the composeršs lifetime. The next volumes scheduled for publication are Platée (June 2005), Hippolyte et Aricie (late 2005), and Dardamus (2006).
Further information can be found at http://jp.rameau.free.fr.