(CHANSONS). ~ Recueil d’airs a boire de differents auteurs copiés en 1751. [France]. 1751.
8vo (194 × 124 mm), pp. , 1-70, 75-209, numerous ruled blanks at rear and 6pp. index, wanting 2 leaves (4 pages, 71-4). Text and music, in French. Contemporary calf, gilt panelled spine. Spine worn with joints cracked but secure.
An extensive collection of nearly 100 popular airs à boire whichwere generally light, convivial and frivolous songs on the subject of wine, love and pleasure. They originated in popular plays and opera as well as from more prosaic domestic or coterie contexts. These songs were circulated both in manuscript and print, and represent a real publishing phenomenon, with new songs appearing in print weekly and even daily. Despite this enormous printed output, there was obviously also a place for personalised collections, with individuals putting together manuscript albums like this. The air à boire of the French Baroque should not be confused with the bawdy drinking songs popular among tavern-goers across the English Channel. While certainly playful (in contradistinction to their contemporary counterpart, the air sérieux), and sometimes even suggestive, they were happily performed with decorum by both sexes. This example is apparently set for a single male tenor voice and the melodies are pleasingly ornamented, giving an insight into contemporary performance practice.
The 2 missing leaves result in the loss of parts of 2 songs (whose titles appear in the index).