Antonio Salieri  
Antonio Salieri
Antonio Salieri, (born Aug. 18, 1750, Legnago, Republic of Venice [Italy]—died May 7, 1825, Vienna, Austria), Italian composer whose operas were acclaimed throughout Europe in the late 18th century.

At the age of 16, Salieri was taken to Vienna by F.L. Gassmann, the imperial court composer and music director (Hofkapellmeister), and was introduced to Emperor Joseph II. During the same period, Salieri also fostered important friendships with both Pietro Metastasio and Christoph Gluck. Salieri’s first opera, Le donne letterate, was produced at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 1770. Four years later, the emperor made him the court composer, and in 1788 he became Hofkapellmeister, a position Salieri held for 36 years. During his official career he composed operas not only for theatres in Austria but also for companies in France and Italy. From 1783 he was an influential supporter of—and frequent collaborator with—Lorenzo Da Ponte, who also became Mozart’s most important librettist. His best-known work was the French opera Tarare (1787), translated by Da Ponte into Italian as Axur, re d’Ormus, which the Viennese public preferred to Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Salieri’s last opera was performed in 1804, and he then devoted himself to composing sacred music. He was an important teacher as well; among his students were Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Franz Liszt.

Throughout his life Salieri remained friendly with Joseph Haydn and with Ludwig van Beethoven, to whom he had given lessons in counterpoint and who dedicated the Three Violin Sonatas, Op. 12 (1797), to him. Salieri’s relationship with Mozart has been the subject of much speculation. There is, however, little evidence for Salieri’s supposed intrigues and damaging remarks against Mozart; indeed, Mozart himself commented in a letter on Salieri’s favourable reception of The Magic Flute. There is also no foundation for the belief that Salieri tried to poison Mozart—a legend that was the basis of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Mozart et Salieri (1898), itself based on the Pushkin short story of 1830. The relationship between the two composers received further speculative treatment in Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus (1980; filmed 1984).

Encyclopædia Britannica



During his time in Vienna, Salieri acquired great prestige as a composer and conductor, particularly of opera, but also of chamber and sacred music. Among the most successful of his 37 operas staged during his lifetime were Armida (1771), La fiera di Venezia (1772), La scuola de' gelosi (1778), Der Rauchfangkehrer (1781), Les Danaïdes (1784), which was first presented as a work of Gluck's, La grotta di Trofonio (1785), Tarare (1787) (Tarare was reworked and revised several times as was Les Danaïdes ), Axur, re d'Ormus (1788), La cifra (1789), Palmira, regina di Persia (1795), Il mondo alla rovescia (1795), Falstaff (1799), and Cesare in Farmacusa (1800).
In November 2009 at the Teatro Salieri in Legnago occurred the first staging in modern times of his opera Il mondo alla rovescia, a co-production between the Fondazione Culturale Antonio Salieri and the Fondazione Arena di Verona for the Salieri Opera Festival.

Sacred works

Salieri's earliest surviving work is a Mass in C major. He would write four major orchestral masses, a requiem, and many offertories, graduals, vesper settings, and sacred cantatas and oratorios. Much of his sacred music dates from after his appointment as Hofkapellmeister in 1788.

Instrumental works

His small instrumental output includes two piano concerti, a concerto for organ written in 1773, a concerto for flute, oboe and orchestra (1774), and a set of twenty-six variations on La follia di Spagna (1815).
Antonio Salieri - Sinfonia Veneziana
Antonio Salieri - La Passione di Gesù Cristo (1776)
Libretto: Pietro Metastasio

Recitative: Dove son? Dove Corro? (Pietro)
Recitative: Ingratissimo Pietro (Pietro)
Aria: Giacché mi tremi in seno, esci dagli occhi, almeno (Pietro)
Recitative: Ma qual dolente stuolo s'appressa a me? (Pietro)
Chorus: Quanto costa il tuo delitto?
Recitative: Maddalena, Giovanni, Giuseppe, amici (Pietro)
Aria: Vorrei dirti il mio dolore (Maddalena)
Recitative: O più di noi felice Pietro (Giovanni, Giuseppe d'Arimatea)
Aria: Torbido mar, che freme (Giuseppe d'Arimatea)
Recitative: Barbari! O crudeli! (Pietro, Maddalena, Giovanni)
Aria: Come a vista di pene sì fiere (Giovanni)
Recitative: E la Madre frattanto in mezzo all'empie squadre (Pietro, Giovanni, Maddalena)
Aria: Potea quel pianto (Maddalena, chorus)
Recitative: Come inventar potea (Pietro, Giuseppe d'Arimatea, Giovanni)
Aria: Tu nel duol felice sei (Pietro)
Recitativ: Dopo un pegno si grande d'amore (Giovanni)
Duett: Vi sento, oh Dio, vi sento (Pietro, Maddalena)
Chorus: Di qual sangue, o mortale, oggi fa d'uopo

Part II
Recitative: Ed insepolto ancora e l'estinto Signor? (Pietro, Giuseppe d'Arimatea, Maddalena, Giovanni)
Aria: Ritornera fra voi (Giovanni)
Recitative: Qual terribil vendetta sovrasta a te (Giuseppe d'Arimatea)
Aria: All'idea de' tuoi perigli, all'orror de' mali immensi (Giuseppe d'Arimatea)
Recitative: Le minacce non teme il popolo infedel, perche di Dio (Pietro)
Aria: Se la pupilla inferma non puo fissarsi al sole (Pietro)
Recitative: Pur dovrebbe in tal giorno (Maddalena, Giovanni)
Aria: Dovunque il guardo io giro (Giovanni)
Recitative: Giovanni, anch'io lo so: per tutto e Dio (Maddalena)
Aria: A' passi erranti dubbio e il sentiero (Maddalena)
Recitative: Non senza guida, o Maddalena, e soli (Pietro)
Aria: Se a librarsi in mezzo all' onde in comincia il fanciulletto (Pietro)
Recitative: Ah, del felice marmo presto risorga! (Maddalena, Giovanni, Giuseppe d'Arimatea, Pietro)
Coro finale: Santa Speme, tu sei ministra all'alme nostre

Pietro: Florian Mock
Maddalena: Melba Ramos
Giuseppe d'Arimatea: Hanno Muller-Brachmann
Giovanni: Franziska Gottwald

Chorus: Cologne Musicus Choir

Orchestra: Das neue Orchester

Conductor: Christoph Spering

Antonio Salieri - Requiem in C-minor (1804)
Soprano: Arianna Zukermann
Mezzo-soprano: Simona Ivas
Tenor: Adam Zdunikowski
Baritone: Luís Rodrigues

Cor anglais: Alice Caplow-Sparks

Chorus: Coro Gulbenkian

Orchestra: Orquestra Gulbenkian

Conductor: Lawrence Foster

Salieri - Variations on 'La Follia'
Orchestra Della Filharmonica Nationale Moldavia - Silvano Frontalini, conductor
Antonio Salieri - Emperor mass in D-major (1788)
Emperor mass in D-major (1788)

Chorus: St. Florianer Sängerknaben

Orchestra: Leondinger Symphonieorchester

Conductor: Uwe Christian Harrer

Antonio Salieri - Prima la Musica, e poi le parole (1786)
Prima la Musica, e poi le parole, divertimento teatrale in one act, first performance 7 February 1786, Orangerie Schönbrunn, Wien.

Libretto: Giovanni Battista Casti

Sinfonia 00:00
Duett: Signor Poeta mio (Poeta, Maestro) 02:10
Recitativo accompagnato: Non dubitar, verro (Parody of Sarti) (Eleonora) 06:47
Aria: La tu vedrai chi sono (Eleonora) 07:48
Terzetto: Cari oggetti (Eleonora, Poeta, Maestro) 10:30
Aria: Via largo, largo, largo (Tonina, Poeta, Maestro) 15:30
Cavatina: Cucuzze! Che concorso (Tonina) 20:35
Finale: Se questo mio pianto il cor non ti tocca (Eleonora, Tonina, Poeta, Maestro) 21:51

Eleonora: Roberta Alexander
Il Poeta: Thomas Hampson
Maestro: Robert Holl
Tonina: Julia Hamari

Orchestra: Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam

Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Antonio Salieri - La grotta di Trofonio (Harmoniemusik)
La grotta di Trofonio (Arr. by Johann Nepomuk Went for Harmoniemusik)

Sinfonia 00:00
Introduzione 03:10
Larghetto 06:20
Cantabile 09:52
Andantino 13:31
Finale. Un poco adagio 15:21
Finale. Allegro assai 19:24

Ensemble: Dieter Klöcker (clarinet) & Consortium Classicum

Antonio Saleri 2 Piano Concertos, Andreas Staier & Concerto Koln
"Les Danaides" - 1784

John William Waterhouse. Danaïdes (1904)
Les Danaïdes is an opera by Antonio Salieri, in 5 acts: more specifically, it is a tragédie lyrique. The opera was set to a libretto by Leblanc du Roullet and Baron Tschudi, who in turn adapted the work of Ranieri de' Calzabigi (without permission). Calzabigi originally wrote the libretto of Les Danaïdes for Christoph Willibald Gluck, but the aged composer, who had just experienced a stroke, was unable to meet the Opéra's schedule and so asked Salieri to take it over.

The plot of the opera is based on Greek tragedy and revolves around the deeds of the mythological characters Danaus and Hypermnestra.

Emperor Joseph II assured that Salieri wrote the music "almost under the dictée of Gluck," in a letter (dated 31 March 1783) to Count Mercy-Argenteau, the Austrian ambassador in Paris. Then Mercy told the directors of the Opéra that Gluck had composed the first two acts, and Salieri supplied the third act's music (Mercy did not realize the opera was in five acts). Even when the libretto was published, Gluck and Salieri shared billing as the composers.

Though flattered, Gluck was not foolish enough to risk too close an association with young Salieri's work and diplomatically informed the press: "The music of Danaïdes is completely by Salieri, my only part in it having been to make suggestions which he willingly accepted." Gluck, who had been devastated by the failure of his last Paris opera, Echo et Narcisse, was concerned that Les Danaïdes would suffer a similar fate. He wrote to Roullet the same day that the opera premiered, crediting Salieri with the entire work, and the press noted this confession. Salieri made a positive twist on Gluck’s statement, claiming that he was "led by [Gluck’s] wisdom and enlightened by his genius".

Performance history
The opera was first performed at the Académie Royale de Musique (Paris Opéra) on the 26th April 1784 and was, at the time, so great a success that the theatre commissioned two more works from Salieri. It was subsequently staged by the Paris Opéra over 120 times up to the 1820s, and in the rest of Europe, as well, in no less than four different editions, some of which reduced to four acts instead of the five ones usual at the Opéra, and translated into different languages such as German. On 22 October 1817, in particular, the fourth edition of the opera was directed by Gaspare Spontini, for the Académie Royale de Musique, in the Salle Montansier of the rue Richelieu, with the addition of a "Gran Bacchanale" written by himself and of other music by Louis-Luc Loiseau de Persuis, Henri-François Berton and Ferdinando Paër. It must have been a revival of this edition (or of a similar one) that delighted, some years later, shortly after his arrival in Paris, the young Berlioz, who would later reveal that he had been, at the same time, exceptionally “excited and disturbed” by Spontini's additions.


Act I
Danaus and his fifty daughters, the Danaïdes, vow loyalty to their enemy Aegyptus, Danaus's brother. Aegyptus dies and is succeeded by his eldest son, Lynceus (Lyncée). He and his brothers each agree to marry one of the Danaïdes; Danaus instructs his daughters to take revenge by killing their husbands on their wedding night.

Act II
Lynceus's wife Hypermnestra (Hypermnestre) is alone in refusing to obey her father's order, even after Danaus confronts her with the prophecy that he will be murdered himself if she fails to satisfy his lust for vengeance.

After the wedding ceremony, Hypermnestra manages to escape with Lynceus, just as his brothers are being killed.

Act IV
Danaus is enraged when news of Lynceus's escape reaches him, but he is distracted from his anger when Lynceus storms the city, killing all fifty of the Danaïdes except Hypermnestra and burning the palace to the ground.

Act V
The Danaïdes are sent to Hades where their father is seen chained to a rock, his entrails being torn from him by a vulture. The Furies promise an eternity of suffering.

Salieri's use of trombones to delineate infernal moments in the drama has often been viewed of as a precedent for Mozart's similar orchestration in Don Giovanni. Stylistically, Salieri combined the direct simplicity of Gluck's innovations with the concern for melody of Italian composers, though the frequent use of chorus owes much to French traditions, as did the munificent staging, which much impressed Berlioz.

Hypermnestra's soprano, which dominates the opera in a manner that anticipates the soprano-centered opera of Luigi Cherubini and Gaspare Spontini, is technically well written, but, typical of the opera as a whole, Salieri often seemed incapable of developing the basic material beyond the formulas inherited from Gluck. But the fine soprano role, the tremendously grim finale, and the brevity of Les Danaïdes (ten minutes under two hours) have ensured that the opera has made it onto CD.

Salieri was certainly aware of his role in continuing the Gluckian tradition of the tragédie lyrique, with the attention to the relationship between text and music. The orchestral recitatives, choruses, and ballets also follow the model for French opera supplied by Gluck. Furthermore, the music itself is infused with the 'noble simplicity' that characterizes the older composer's reform operas.

At the same time, Les Danaïdes marked a progression from number opera to the dramatically more consequent through-composed scenic opera. A lyricism associated with Niccolò Piccinni and Antonio Sacchini, who also composed for Paris, can also be heard in Les Danaïdes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antonio Salieri: Les Danaides
Antonio Salieri composed three French operas for France. "Les Danaides" was one of the most famous operas in Paris during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was praised by numerous individuals, including the famous Berlioz, who mentioned that this was one of the musical works that made him abandon medicine and dedicate to music. This French tragedie lyirique premiered in the Opera Comique of Paris in 1784 to instant success. Its violent libretto, based on the Greek myth of the Danaids, tells the story of Hypermnestre, the only Danaide who refuses to murder her husband after her father, Danaus, orders his daughters to do so to avenge himself on his brother, whose sons are the doomed grooms of the Danaides.
'Adagio' by Antonio Salieri
Salieri Piano Concerto C Major Heeguin Kim Amadeus Chamber Orchestra
2012. 12. 25 Seoul Art Center IBK Chamber Hall
Amadeus Chamber Orchestra - YONGHO Choi 최용호
Piano - Heeguin Kim 피아노 김희균
Allegro Maestoso
A. Salieri: Chamber concerto for oboe, 2 violins, viola & violoncello in G major / Paolo Pollastri
Chamber concerto for oboe (or flute), two violins, viola and violoncello in G major

I. Allegro spirituoso - 0:03
II. Un poco adagio - 5:44
III. Menuetto - 9:34
IV. Presto - 11:47

Paolo Pollastri (classic oboe)
Juan Carlos Ribyn (violin I)
Alberto Martini (violin II)
Enrico Balboni (viola)
Zoltan Szàbo (violoncello)

Quartetto Amati


Cecilia Bartoli Sings "Alfin Son Sola," from Antonio Salieri's La Cifra
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