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Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera

Many know Antonio Salieri only as Mozart’s envious nemesis from the film Amadeus. In this well-illustrated work, John A. Rice shows us what a rich musical and personal history this popular stereotype has missed.

Bringing Salieri, his operas, and eighteenth-century Viennese theater vividly to life, Rice places Salieri where he belongs: no longer lurking in Mozart’s shadow, but standing proudly among the leading opera composers of his age. Rice’s research in the archives of Vienna and close study of his scores reveal Salieri to have been a prolific, versatile, and adventurous composer for the stage. Within the extraordinary variety of Salieri’s approaches to musical dramaturgy, Rice identifies certain habits of orchestration, melodic style, and form as distinctively "Salierian"; others are typical of Viennese opera in general. A generous selection of excerpts from Salieri’s works, most previously unpublished, will give readers a fuller appreciation for his musical style—and its influence on Mozart—than was previously possible.

668 pages | 2 color plates, 51 halftones, 223 musical examples, 2 tables | 6-5/8 x 9-3/8 | © 1998

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
A Note on the Terminology of Italian Operatic Poetry
Kreuzer, Gulden, and Ducats


From Venice to Vienna
Opera in Vienna: 1766-76: Theaters, Management, and Personnel
Goldonian Opera Buffa in Vienna before Salieri
Constructing Le donne letterate
Youthful Exploration and Experiment
Three Goldonian Comedies
Joseph II and the End of the Impresarial Decade
Italy 1778-80
Joseph Singspiel Troupe and Der Rauchfangkhrer
Les Danaides
Joseph's Italian Troupe and the Renewal of Viennese Opera Buffa
Between Paris and Vienna: Tarare and Auxr re d'Ormus
Da Ponte, Ferrarese, and Hofkapellmeister Salieri
Mozart and Salieri
Leopold II, Tomeoni, and the Triumph of Neapolitan Opera Buffa
Withdrawal and Reemergence, 1792-96
Salieri's Last Operas and the End of Viennese Italian Opera

Appendix: A Chronological List of Salieri's Operas
Index of Salieri's Works
General Index


American Musicological Society: Otto Kinkeldey Award

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