Antonio Salieri - Biography
Tradition and the love of a good yarn have long cast Antonio Salieri as the murderer of However, if what Mozart's wife Constanze reported was true, there was one incident that might conceivably have sparked a rivalry. Antonio Salieri, Salieri cleverly took advantage of Mozart's fondness for drink, his financial crisis, and his obsession with . day of his death; that patron was Count Franz von Walsegg, who wanted the Requiem to honor his late wife. For example, Mozart appointed Salieri to teach his son 14th , Mozart tells his wife that he collected Salieri and his.
Beginning in the Emperor wished to have new works, in German, composed by his own subjects and brought on the stage with clear Imperial support. This in effect left Salieri's role as assistant court composer in a much reduced position. Salieri also had never truly mastered the German language, and he now felt no longer competent to continue as assistant opera director. A further blow to his career was when the spoken drama and musical Singspiel were placed on an equal footing.
For the young composer there would be few, if any, new compositional commissions to receive from the court.
Salieri was left with few financial options and he began casting about for new opportunities. Upon the suggestion of Joseph II and with the approval of Gluck, Salieri was offered the commission, which he gratefully accepted. Joseph II granted Salieri permission to take a year-long leave of absence later extendedenabling him to write for La Scala and to undertake a tour of Italy.
Salieri's Italian tour of —80 began with the production of Europa riconosciuta Europa Recognized for La Scala revived in for the same opera house's re-opening following extensive renovations. Of his Italian works one, La scuola de' gelosi The School for Jealousya witty study of amorous intrigue and emotion, would prove a popular and lasting international success.
Middle Viennese period and Parisian operas — [ edit ] Upon his return at imperial behest to Vienna inSalieri wrote one German singspiel, Der Rauchfangkehrer The Chimney Sweepwhich premiered in In the Italian opera company was revived with singers partly chosen and vetted by Salieri during his Italian tour;  the new season opened with a slightly re-worked version of Salieri's recent success La scuola de' gelosi.
Salieri then returned to his rounds of rehearsing, composition and teaching. However, his time at home in Vienna quickly ended when an opportunity to write an opera for Paris arose, again through the patronage of Gluck. Salieri traveled abroad to fulfill an important commission. The plot was based on an ancient Greek legend that had been the basis for the first play in a trilogy by Aeschylusentitled The Suppliants. The original commission that reached Salieri in —84 was to assist Gluck in finishing a work for Paris that had been all but completed; in reality, Gluck had failed to notate any of the score for the new opera and gave the entire project over to his young friend.
Gluck feared that the Parisian critics would denounce the opera by a young composer known mostly for comic pieces and so the opera was originally billed in the press as being a new work by Gluck with some assistance from Salieri, then shortly before the premiere of the opera the Parisian press reported that the work was to be partly by Gluck and partly by Salieri, and finally after popular and critical success on stage, the opera was acknowledged in a letter to the public by Gluck as being wholly by the young Salieri.🎥 AMADEUS (1984) - Full Movie Trailer in HD - 1080p
Salieri's first French opera contained scenes of great solemnity and festivity, but overshadowing it all was darkness and revenge. The opera depicted politically motivated murder, filial duty and love in conflict, tyrannicide, and finally eternal damnation. The opera, with its dark overture, lavish choral writing, many ballet scenes, and electrifying finale depicting a glimpse of hellish torture, kept the opera on the stage in Paris for over forty years.
Da Ponte wrote his first opera libretto for Salieri, Il ricco d'un giorno A rich man for a day inwhich was not a success.
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Salieri next turned to Giambattista Casti as a librettist; a more successful set of collaboration flowed from this pairing. In Salieri produced one of his greatest works with the text by Casti, La grotta di Trofonio The cave of Trophoniusthe first opera buffa published in full score by Artaria.
Salieri collaborated with Casti to produce a parody of the relationship between poet and composer in Prima la musica e poi le parole 'First the music and then the words. This short work also highlighted the typical backstage antics of two high flown sopranos. This was intended to be the nec plus ultra of reform opera, a completely new synthesis of poetry and music that was an 18th-century anticipation of the ideals of Richard Wagner.
Late Viennese operas — [ edit ] In Salieri returned to Vienna, where he remained for the rest of his life.
In that year he became Kapellmeister of the Imperial Chapel upon the death of Giuseppe Bonno ; as Kapellmeister he conducted the music and musical school connected with the chapel until shortly before his death, being officially retired from the post in His Italian adaptation of Tarare, Axur would prove to be his greatest international success.
Axur was widely produced throughout Europe and it even reached South America with the exiled royal house of Portugal in Axur and his other new compositions completed by would mark the height of Salieri's popularity and his influence. Just as his apogee of fame was being reached abroad, his influence in Vienna would begin to diminish with the death of Joseph II in Joseph's death deprived Salieri of his greatest patron and protector.
During this period of imperial change in Vienna and revolutionary ferment in France, Salieri composed two additional extremely innovative musical dramas to libretti by Giovanni Casti. Due, however, to their satiric and overtly liberal political inclinations, both operas were seen as unsuitable for public performance in the politically reactive cultures of Leopold II and later Francis II.
This resulted in two of his most original operas being consigned to his desk drawer, namely Cublai, gran kan de' Tartari Kublai Grand Kahn of Tartary a satire on the autocracy and court intrigues at the court of the Russian TsarinaCatherine the Greatand Catilina a semi-comic-semi-tragic account of the Catiline conspiracy that attempted to overthrow the Roman republic during the consulship of Cicero. These operas were composed in and respectively.
Two other operas of little success and long term importance were composed inand one great popular success La cifra The Cipher.
The beginning of Salieri's opera Palmira, regina di Persia As Salieri's political position became very insecure he was retired as director of the Italian opera in He continued to write new operas per imperial contract untilwhen he voluntarily withdrew from the stage.
His late opera based on William Shakespeare 's The Merry Wives of WindsorFalstaff ossia Le tre burle Falstaff, or the three tricks has found a wider audience in modern times than its original reception promised. Life after opera — [ edit ] When Salieri retired from the stage, he recognized that artistic styles had changed and he felt that he no longer had the creative capacity to adapt or the emotional desire to continue. Also as Salieri aged he moved slowly away from his more liberal political stances as he saw the enlightened reform of Joseph II's reign, and the hoped for reforms of the French revolution, replaced with more radical revolutionary ideas.
Mosel noted that these radical changes, especially the invasion and defeat of Austria, and the occupation of Vienna intertwined with the personal losses that struck Salieri in the same period led to his withdrawal from operatic work. Related to this Mosel quotes the aged composer concerning the radical changes in musical taste that were underway in the age of Beethoven, "From that period [circa ] I realized that musical taste was gradually changing in a manner completely contrary to that of my own times.
Eccentricity and confusion of genres replaced reasoned and masterful simplicity. Among his compositions written for the chapel were two complete sets of vespers, many graduals, offertories, and four orchestral masses. During this period he lost his only son in and his wife in Salieri continued to conduct publicly, including the performance on 18 March of Haydn 's The Creation during which Haydn collapsed, and several premieres by Beethoven including the 1st and 2nd Piano Concertos and Wellington's Victory.
He also continued to help administer several charities and organize their musical events. His remaining secular works in this late period fall into three categories: He also composed one large scale instrumental work in intended as a study in late classical orchestration: This simple melodic and harmonic progression had served as an inspiration for many baroque composers, and would be used by later romantic and post-romantic composers. Salieri's setting is a brooding work in the minor key, which rarely moves far from the original melodic material, its main interest lies in the deft and varied handling of orchestral colors.
Uncovered by dust eternity shall bloom for you. In eternal harmonies your spirit now is dissolved. He expressed himself in enchanting notes, now he is floating to everlasting beauty.
Works During his time in Vienna, Salieri acquired great prestige as a composer and conductor, particularly of operabut also of chamber and sacred music. He wrote comparatively little instrumental music; however, his limited output includes two piano concertos and a concerto for organ written ina concerto for fluteoboe and orchestraand a set of 26 variations on La Follia di Spagna As Mozart's music became more popular over the decades, Salieri's music was largely forgotten.
Later allegations gained credence and tarnished Salieri's reputation, although Salieri close to death denied killing Mozart. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, increasing nationalism led to a tendency to transfigure the Austrian Mozart's geniuswhile the Italian Salieri was given the role of his evil antagonist. While Italian by birth, Salieri had lived in imperial Vienna since he was 16 years old and was regarded as a German composer. Salieri saw himself as a German composer, which some of his German letters, operas, cantatas, and songs seem to prove.
In the following year, Mozart once again failed to be selected as the Princess's piano teacher. Thayer believes that the intrigues surrounding the failure of Figaro were instigated by the poet Giovanni Battista Casti against the Court Poet, Lorenzo da Ponte, who wrote the Figaro libretto.
In addition, when da Ponte was in Prague preparing the production of Mozart's setting of his Don Giovanni, the poet was ordered back to Vienna for a royal wedding for which Salieri's Axur, Re d'Ormus would be performed. Obviously, Mozart was not pleased by this. There is, however, far more evidence of a cooperative relationship between the two composers than one of real enmity. For example, Mozart appointed Salieri to teach his son Franz Xaver, and when Salieri was appointed Kapellmeister inhe revived Figaro instead of bringing out a new opera of his own, and when he went to the coronation festivities for Leopold II inhe had no fewer than three Mozart masses in his luggage.
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Salieri and Mozart even composed a song for voice and piano together, called Per la ricuperata salute di Ophelia, which was celebrating the happy return to stage of the famous singer Nancy Storace. This song has been lost, although it had been printed by Artaria in Mozart's Davidde penitente K. It was shortly after he died that rumors first spread that he had confessed to Mozart's murder on his deathbed.
At least one of these three people was with him throughout his hospitalization. Within a few years after Salieri's death inAleksandr Pushkin wrote his "little tragedy," Mozart and Salieri as a dramatic study of the sin of envy, thus beginning an artistic tradition of poetic license based on Mozart's allegation.
Salieri is presented as both in awe and spite for Mozart and his talents, going so far as to renounce God for blessing Mozart, whilst also weeping in disbelief at the sound of the composer's music. Due largely to Shaffer's play and its movie adaptation, the word "Salieri" has entered colloquialization to mean a merely competent artist standing in the shadow of a genius, or worse, an incompetent musician.