Antonio Salieri (1750-1825)

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The much maligned Antonio Salieri, mainly remembered today for supposedly poisoning Mozart through jealousy of the younger composer's talent, is the focus for this week's Composer of the Week.

This rumour of murder has travelled over two hundred years, inspiring verse by Alexander Pushkin, an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov, to Peter Shaffer's film "Amadeus".

But is it right that this once highly celebrated composer should be remembered for an unsubstantiated rumour? Salieri was at one time the most famous composer in all Europe, with the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II as his patron.

He received offers of work from the King of Sweden, and even dedicated one of his works to Marie Antoinette.

He composed over forty operas, including a work premiered for the official opening in Milan of La Scala opera house.

Amongst Salieri's students, which he always taught for free unless they came from wealthy backgrounds, were Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and even Mozart's son Franz Xaver.

In the first programme, Donald Macleod looks at Salieri's formative years, including the loss of his parents early on, and the miracle when he was discovered by the composer Florian Leopold Gassmann, and taken from Venice to Vienna.

We hear a specially made recording by the BBC Singers of the Missa stylo a cappella, documented as being one of Salieri's first compositions - and one which was never performed in the composer's lifetime.

Overture from Der Rauchfangkehrer (1781)

Manheim Mozart Orchestra

Thomas Fey - conductor

De profundis clamavi (1815)

West German Radio Chorus

West German Radio Orchestra

Helmuth Froschauer - director

Overture from L'amore artigiano, by Florian Leopold Gassmann

English Chamber Orchestra

Richard Bonynge - conductor

Missa stylo a cappella (1767)

BBC Singers

Andrew Carwood - Conductor

Concerto Piano and Orchestra in C major (1773)

Aldo Ciccolini - piano

I Solisti Veneti

Claudio Scimone - Conductor.

Donald Macleod charts Salieri's formative years, focusing on the loss of his parents.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the much-maligned Antonio Salieri, mainly remembered today for supposedly poisoning Mozart through jealousy of the younger composer's talent. Is it right that this once highly-celebrated composer and teacher should be remembered for an unsubstantiated rumour?

He charts Salieri's formative years, focusing on the loss of his parents, and good fortune of being discovered by the composer Florian Leopold Gassmann and taken from Venice to Vienna. Including a specially-made recording by the BBC Singers of the Missa stylo a cappella, documented as being one of Salieri's first compositions - and one which was never performed in the composer's lifetime.

Overture (Der Rauchfangkehrer - 1781)

Mannheim Mozart Orchestra

Thomas Fey (conductor)

Hanssler Classic CD98.506 Tr 8

Helmuth Froschauer (director)

Phoenix Edition 112 Tr 9

Overture (L'amore artigiano, by Florian Leopold Gassmann)

Richard Bonynge (conductor)

Decca 466434-2 Disc 2 Tr 7

Andrew Carwood (conductor)

BBC Recording

Concerto in C for piano and orchestra (1773)

Aldo Ciccolini (piano)

Claudio Scimone (conductor)

Warner Fonit 8573 84439-2 Trs 4-6

This episode is available until 10.00am on 11th September as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

022009090720100713

In the second programme Donald Macleod surveys Salieri's beginnings as a composer in Vienna.

Whilst employed as Composer for the Imperial Chamber, Salieri would have been responsible for writing suitable chamber music, and we hear the Cassazione that was likely to have been performed during royal banquets.

Salieri, working with his mentor Gassmann at Vienna's opera house, was also offered the opportunity to compose an opera.

Opera was to be the arena in which he made his biggest mark, and we hear two extracts from his early works Armida, and La fiera di Venezia.

Veni Sancte Spiritus

West German Radio Chorus

West German Radio Orchestra

Helmuth Froschauer - director

Overture from Armida (1771)

Michael Dittrich, conductor

Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Vi sono sposa e amante, from La fiera di Venezia Act III Scene 3 (1772)

Cecilia Bartoli - mezzo-soprano

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Adam Fischer - conductor

Cassazione (cassation) in C major

Ensemble Italiano di Fiati

Paolo Pollastri - director

Concerto for Flute and Oboe in C major (1774)

Aurèle Nicolet - Flute

Heinz Holliger - Oboe

Academy of St Martin-in-the fields

Kenneth Sillito - director.

Donald Macleod explores Salieri's work as composer for the Imperial Chamber in Vienna.

02*20090901

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the much-maligned Antonio Salieri, mainly remembered today for supposedly poisoning Mozart through jealousy of the younger composer's talent.

He surveys Salieri's beginnings as a composer in Vienna, where he was employed as composer for the Imperial Chamber for the Emperor and would have been responsible for writing suitable chamber music; we hear the Cassazione that was likely to have been performed during royal banquets. Salieri, working with his mentor Gassmann at Vienna's opera house, was also offered the opportunity to compose an opera, a field in which he would make his biggest mark.

Veni Sancte Spiritus

West German Radio Chorus

West German Radio Orchestra

Helmuth Froschauer (director)

Phoenix Edition 112 Tr 3

Overture (Armida - 1771)

Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Michael Dittrich (conductor)

Marco Polo 8.223381 Tr 11

Vi sono sposa e amante (La fiera di Venezia - Act 3, Sc 3 - 1772)

Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo-soprano)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Adam Fischer (conductor)

Decca 475100-2 Tr 3

Cassazione (cassation) in C

Ensemble Italiano di Fiati

Paolo Pollastri (director)

Tactus TC751902 Trs 21-26

Concerto in C for flute and oboe (1774)

Aurele Nicolet (flute)

Heinz Holliger (oboe)

Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Kenneth Sillito (director)

Philips 416359-2 Trs 1-3

This episode is available until 10.00am on 11th September as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Donald Macleod explores Salieri's work as composer for the Imperial Chamber in Vienna.

032009091420100714

Donald Macleod traces Salieri's successful career in the world of opera.

Donald Macleod in this third programme traces Salieri's highly successful career in the world of opera.

On the recommendation of Gluck, Salieri was invited to Milan to compose L'Europa riconosciuta for the official opening of La Scala.

During his tour around Italy, he also got time to compose other works, and we'll hear his Piccola Serenata written at this time.

Later, Salieri was offered another notable opera commission, again on the advice of Gluck - a work for the Paris Opera.

Once in Paris, he journeyed to Versailles to perform for Marie Antoinette.

The programme ends with part of the final act of Les Danaides, which was dedicated to the French Queen.

Overture from Il Talismano (1779)

Michael Dittrich, conductor

Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Numi, respiro...Ah, lo sento from L'Europa riconosciuta (1778)

Diana Damrau - soprano

Le Cercle De L'Harmonie

J退r退mie Rhorer - director

Or ei con Ernestina...

Ah sia gia from La scuola de' gelosi Act II Scene 14 (1779)

Cecilia Bartoli - mezzo-soprano

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Adam Fischer - conductor

Piccola Serenata in B flat major (1778)

Otto Winter & Hartmut Festerling - oboes

Elizabeth Kulenkampff & Wolfgang Braun - horns

Gustavo Nuñes - bassoon

Ich denke dein (I think of you)

Ann Murray - mezzo-soprano

Graham Johnson - piano

Ma vengeance est-elle rempile until end of Act 5 (Scenes 2-9) from Les Danaides (1784)

Sophie Marin-Degor (Hypermnestre) & Kirsten Blaise (Plancippe) - Soprano

Christoph Genz (Lync退e) & Wolfgang Frisch (P退lagus) - Tenor

Hans Christoph Begemann (Danaűs) & Jűrgen Deppert (Officer 3) - Baritone

Sven Jűttner (Officer 1) & Daniel Sűtö (Officer 2) - Bass

Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele Chorus

Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele Orchestra

Michael Hofstetter - conductor.

03*20090902

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the much-maligned Antonio Salieri, mainly remembered today for supposedly poisoning Mozart through jealousy of the younger composer's talent.

He traces Salieri's highly successful career in the world of opera. On the recommendation of Gluck, Salieri was invited to Milan to compose L'Europa riconosciuta for the official opening of La Scala. During his tour around Italy, he also had time to compose other works, including the featured Piccola Serenta.

Later, Salieri was offered another notable opera commission, again on the advice of Gluck - a work for the Paris Opera. Once in Paris, he journeyed to Versailles to perform for Marie Antoinette.

Overture (Il Talismano - 1779)

Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Michael Dittrich (conductor)

Marco Polo 8.223381 Tr 1

Numi, respiro...Ah, lo sento (L'Europa riconosciuta - 1778)

Diana Damrau (soprano)

Le Cercle de L'Harmonie

Jeremie Rhorer (director)

Virgin Classics 0094639525027 Tr 3

Or ei con Ernestina...Ah sia gia (La scuola de' gelosi - Act 2, Sc 14 - 1779)

Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo-soprano)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Adam Fischer (conductor)

Decca 475100-2 Tr 2

Piccola Serenata in B flat (1778)

Otto Winter, Hartmut Festerling (oboes)

Elizabeth Kulenkampff, Wolfgang Braun (horns)

Gustavo Nunes (bassoon)

Campion RRCD1330 Trs 11-14

Ich denke dein (I think of you)

Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano)

Graham Johnson (piano)

Hyperion CDJ33051/3 disc 1 Tr 7

Ma vengeance est-elle rempile until end of Act 5 (Scs 2-9) - Les Danaides (1784)

Hypermnestre....Sophie Marin-Degor (soprano)

Plancippe....Kirsten Blaise (soprano)

Lyncee....Christoph Genz (tenor)

Pelagus....Wolfgang Frisch (tenor)

Danaus....Hans Christoph Begemann (baritone)

Officer 3....Jurgen Deppert (baritone)

Officer 1....Sven Juttner (bass)

Officer 2....Daniel Suto (bass)

Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele Chorus

Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele Orchestra

Michael Hofstetter (conductor)

OEHMS Classics OC909 disc 2 Trs 11-17

This episode is available until 10.00am on 11th September as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Donald Macleod traces Salieri's successful career in the world of opera.

0420090909
04*2009090320100715

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the much-maligned Antonio Salieri, mainly remembered today for supposedly poisoning Mozart through jealousy of the younger composer's talent.

Donald discusses Salieri's first public competition against Mozart, initiated by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.

Both composers had to write a short opera in their own language, and these would be presented side by side as part of the 1786 carnival season in Vienna.

Salieri's work Prima la Musica, Poi le Parole, won favour over Mozart's composition.

In addition to this, there was another opportunity to travel back to Paris to compose two more works, where he collaborated with the notorious Beaumarchais.

Back in Vienna, Salieri was now appointed director of music to the Imperial Chapel.

He was the most influential composer in all Europe, and with this came a change in direction from opera, to sacred music and teaching.

Imperial Fanfare

The Art of Trumpet, Vienna

Leonhard Leeb (director)

Naxos 8.555879 Tr 1

Non dubitar, verro (Prima la Musica, Poi le Parole - 1786)

Donna Eleonora....Roberta Alexander (soprano)

Poeta....Thomas Hampson (baritone)

Maestro....Robert Holl (bass)

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor)

Teldec 8.43336 Trs 3-5

Organ Concerto (1773)

Anton Gansberger (organ)

Leonding Symphony Orchestra

Uwe Christian Harrer (conductor)

Koch Schwann 3-1288-2 Trs 3-4

Overture (Axur, Re d'Ormus - 1788)

Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Michael Dittrich (conductor)

Marco Polo 8.223381 Tr 6

Sanctus (Emperor Mass in D - 1788)

St Florian Boys' Choir

Koch Schwann 3-1288-2 Tr 8

26 variations on La folia di Spagna (1815)

London Mozart Players

Matthias Bamert (director)

Chandos CHAN9877 Tr 2

This episode is available until 10.00am on 11th September as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Donald Macleod on how Salieri began to look more to teaching and composing sacred music.

In the fourth episode Donald Macleod discusses Salieri's first public competition against Mozart, initiated by Joseph II.

Back in Vienna, Salieri was appointed Director of Music to the Imperial Chapel.

To end the programme we hear his Twenty-six Variations on La Folia di Spagna, which could be seen as an instructive guide to orchestration for his students.

Leonhard Leeb, director

Non dubitar, verro, Scene 2 from Prima la Musica, Poi le Parole (1786)

Roberta Alexander (Donna Eleonora) - soprano

Thomas Hampson (Poeta) - baritone

Robert Holl (Maestro) - bass

Nikolaus Harnoncourt - conductor

Anton Gansberger - organ

Uwe Christian Harrer - conductor

Overture from Axur, Re d'Ormus (1788)

Michael Dittrich, conductor

Sanctus from Emperor Mass in D (1788)

Twenty-six variations on 'La folia di Spagna' (1815)

Matthias Bamert - director.

0520090910
05 LAST2009091020100716

In the final programme, we follow the last years of Salieri's life, when sick in body and mind he confessed to killing Mozart.

Donald Macleod discusses whether there is any truth in the rumour, and traces the impact Salieri had on the world of music.

The Requiem composed by Salieri, has been specially recorded by the BBC Singers and BBC Concert Orchestra for this programme.

It was first heard at Salieri's own funeral, where the entire musical establishment turned out to pay homage to the great man.

Voi lusingate invano.

Misera abbandonata from Act II Scene 6, Palmira, regina di Persia (1795)

Cecilia Bartoli - mezzo-soprano

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Adam Fischer - conductor

Overture from Falstaff, ossia Le tre burle (1799)

London Mozart Players

Matthias Bamert - director

Requiem (1804)

Elizabeth Poole - soprano

Margaret Cameron - mezzo-soprano

Christopher Bowen - tenor

Edward Price - bass

BBC Singers

BBC Concert Orchestra

David Hill - conductor

Adagio, (2nd mvt) from Piano Concerto in B flat major (1773)

Aldo Ciccolini - piano

I Solisti Veneti

Claudio Scimone - Conductor.

Donald Macleod follows the last years of Salieri's life.

05 LAST*20090904

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the much-maligned Antonio Salieri, mainly remembered today for supposedly poisoning Mozart through jealousy of the younger composer's talent. Is it right that this once highly celebrated composer and teacher should be remembered for an unsubstantiated rumour?

He follows the last years of Salieri's life when, sick in body and mind, he confessed to killing Mozart. Donald asks whether there is any truth in the rumour, and traces the impact Salieri had in his lifetime on the world of music. Featuring Salieri's Requiem, specially recorded by the BBC Singers and BBC Concert Orchestra. It was first heard at Salieri's own funeral, where the entire musical establishment turned out to pay homage to the great man.

Voi lusingate invano...Misera abbandonata (Palmira, regina di Persia, Act 2 Sc 6 -1795)

Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo-soprano)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Adam Fischer (conductor)

Decca 475100-2 Tr 4

Overture (Falstaff, ossia Le tre burle - 1799)

London Mozart Players

Matthias Bamert (director)

Chandos CHAN9877 Tr 14

Requiem (1804)

Elizabeth Poole (soprano)

Margaret Cameron (mezzo-soprano)

Christopher Bowen (tenor)

Edward Price (bass)

BBC Singers

BBC Concert Orchestra

David Hill (conductor)

BBC Recording

Piano Concerto in B flat (2nd mvt) - 1773

Aldo Ciccolini (piano)

I Solisti Veneti

Claudio Scimone (conductor)

Warner Fonit 8573 84439-2 Tr 2

This episode is available until 10.00am on 11th September as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Donald Macleod follows the last years of Salieri's life.