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Antonio Salieri
1750 - 1825
Italy / Austria
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A. Salieri
Antonio Salieri (18/08/1750 - 27/05/1825), an Italian musician, componist and preceptor, living and working in Austria, born in Legnano. He studied the violin with his brother Francesco and the harpsichord and the organ with Simoni, an organist of the town village. At the age of 15 he went to Venice under the patronage of the Mocenigo family: he studied singing with Pacini and composition with Pescetti. There he met L. Gassman, a chapel-master, who brought him to Wien , took care of him and gave him a good musical and literary education. He became court composer and conductor of the imperial theatre after Gassman in 1774. Besides being a composer he was a preceptor: among his numerous pupils we remember L.V. Beethoven, F. Liszt, J.N. Hummel, F. Schubert and others. He died in Wien in 1825. In his honour there is in Legnago an Association and a School of Stringed Instruments and the Salieri Foundation whose aim is the divulgation of Salieri's life and work.
Piccolo requiem
Period:Early Romanticism
Composed in:1804
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:27'11''
Label(s):Milan Vlcek Music prod. SY 0008 2 131
PentaTone PTC 5186 359
We have here a cascade of musical ideas, beginning with a virtuoso clarinet and its melancholy expression echoing long, solitary notes, outlining the theme of the "Requiem Aeternam" which is first heard in unison in the orchestra and later as a bass solo, The following solo parts in the clarinet and bassoon, borne on chords played by the trombones, are more reminiscent of a concert symphony. "Te decet hymnus" is - like the "Recordare" - written ia a pastorale style typical for the end of the seventies.
The "Dies irae" is surprising with its powerfully resounding elements of early Romanticism which, guided by the trumpets and trombones, leads into the "Tuba mirum". While the string accompaniment in the "More stupebit" marks out the oppressive tremors with the force of an earthquake, the unison of the spread chords in the first and second violins in the "Liber scriptum" call to mind the liberating Creation by Haydn. The majestic "Rex tremandae" has a remarkably Italian cantabile "Salva me". The "Confutatis" links the attacca to the pastorale "Recordare" and continues, after a change from 3/4 to 4/4 time, to the "Lacrimosa" which is again presented in a modern way; then it is suddenly transformed into a unique Viennese "Huic Ergo".
The "Domine Jesu" is surprisingly almost baroque in nature, elevated by the trumpets to a hymn and followde by the baroque fugue "Quam olim Abrahae". This ingeniously constructed form, typical for this requiem, is again used in the "Hostias". After the dynamically explosive "Sanctus" follows the fugue of the "Hosannah", in the same style. just as in all the previous parts the fusion of solos and choral parts is typical for the "Benedictus". The solo parts are not characteristic for Salieri; they are written by a foreign hand and, in my opinion, they were written in 1842. The "Agnus Dei" closes the circle from a stylistic viewpoint - we finf here not only instrumental solos from the beginning but also a repetition of the main part of the theme. Süssmayr was obedient to the Viennese tradition when, during the completion of Mozart's Requiem he places the composer's initial motif as the foundation of the "Lux aeterna" This requires further research and, after all, Süssmayr was Salieri pupil.
Another specific feature of Salieri's requiem is his marked orientation which is manifested not only in the title but also in the text. Thus Salieri completely chnaged the usual plural "Requiem aeternam dona eis" to the singular "Dona ei". The brass section is identical to Mozart's, whit one exception - in Salieri's work the basset horns have been replaced with the clarinets and two more oboed also appear. The name Piccolo requiem, just like yhe whole title, points to the humble nature of Salieri. The length of the work is virtually the same as Mozart's Requiem.
Author:Andreas Kröper
Requiem in D minor
Period:Early Romanticism
Composed in:1820c
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
This Requiem in C major (1815/1820) for SATB choir and orchestra, is an unfinished work.