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Cat. No. CHAN 9877 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9877 - Salieri: Symphonies & Overtures
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Available From: 15 January 2001
Antonio Salieri was taught the violin by his brother (a pupil of Tartini). When he and his numerous siblings were orphaned in 1765 a wealthy friend of his father took the young Antonio to Venice. There he attracted the attention of the Bohemian composer Florian Gassmann who, in June 1766, took him to Vienna where he was befriended by Gluck. In 1769 he wrote Le donne letterate, the first of his surviving operas, which was produced in 1770 and marked the beginning of a highly successful operatic career. Between then and 1804 he wrote over forty operas, the great majority of them for Vienna.

During his long life Salieri served under four Habsburg monarchs and held all the major posts in the Viennese musical establishment. He was also a distinguished teacher whose pupils included Beethoven, Hummel, Schubert and Liszt. (There is no foundation for the ‘legend’ that he poisoned Mozart. Although poles apart they were colleagues and shared a double-bill in the Palace of Schönbrunn in 1786.)

In addition to Salieri’s numerous opera overtures there is also a handful of larger-scale concert sinfonie, two of which are recorded here. The first, Sinfonia intitolata Il giorno [o]nomastico, is possibly the only one he listed in the catalogue of his works drawn up in 1818 and was perhaps written to celebrate the name day of one of his patrons. The second, whose imaginary title Sinfonia Veneziana, was the invention of its first modern editor and is a composite work dating from about 1786.

During the last twenty years of his life Salieri composed mostly sacred music for the court chapel, but the most significant exception was a set of Twenty-six Variations on ‘La Folia di Spagna’, which dates from December 1815.
Reviews

"... The London Mozart Players play all this music most winningly, with vigour, polish and charm, and the Chandos recording is state of the art."
The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

‘…outstanding playing and conducting, with sensitive responses to Wesley’s often inventive imagination.’
Gramophone on CHAN 9823 (Wesley)

‘This is a very attractive disc… a very welcome addition to Chandos’ Contemporaries of Mozart series’.
International Record Review

‘The performances are wonderfully idiomatic… the sound is full-bodied and vivid… This disc deserves every success.’
Fanfare on CHAN 9740 (Pichl)

‘…one of the most revelatory discographic projects currently underway… Top-flight performances and demonstration sonics – another major landmark in Bamert’s ongoing series.’
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 9703 (Kozeluch)

‘…this release is commended by committed, clean, and lively playing, not to mention crisp articulation and nicely sprung rhythms.’
Fanfare

 

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