A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Antonio Salieri

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August 18, 1750: Antonio Salieri is born in Legnago (on present Via Disciplina), Republic of Venice, the eighth of eleven or twelve children born to Antonio Salieri, an agricultural businessman.
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June 15, 1766: Florian Leopold Gassmann (37) arrives in Vienna from Venice with a young Italian protégé who is to further his education in the city: Antonio Salieri (15).
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July 1, 1766: This is the approximate date that Florian Leopold Gassmann (37) introduces his protégé Antonio Salieri (15) to Emperor Joseph II in Vienna.
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August 12, 1767: A Missa a cappella in C by Antonio Salieri (16) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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January 10, 1770: Le donne letterate, a commedia per musica by Antonio Salieri (19) to words of G. Boccherini, is performed for the first time, at the Vienna Burgtheater. It is his first opera.
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January 6, 1771: This is the probable date of the first performance of Don Chisciotte allenozze di Gamace, a divertimento teatrale by Antonio Salieri (20) to words of Boccherini, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna. Emperor Joseph II is in attendance.
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June 2, 1771: Armida, a dramma per musica by Antonio Salieri (20) to words of Coltellini after Tasso, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna.
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January 9, 1772: Emperor Joseph II writes to his brother, Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany, proposing that Antonio Salieri (21) write an opera for some house in Italy.
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January 29, 1772: La fiera di Venezia, a commedia per musica by Antonio Salieri (21) to words of Giovanni Gastone Boccherini, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. It is a great success.
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May 12, 1772: Antonio Salieri’s (21) intermezzo Il barone di Rocca antica to words of Petrosellini is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. It is well received.
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October 21, 1772: La secchia rapita, a dramma eroicomico by Antonio Salieri (22) to words of Giovanni Gastone Boccherini (brother of the composer) after Tassoni, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna.
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June 8, 1773: La locandiera, a dramma giocoso by Antonio Salieri (22) to words of Poggi after Goldoni, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna.
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January 20, 1774: 22:00 Florian Leopold Gassmann dies at Stadt No.206 (Strauchgasse 3), the home of Count Kraft Ernst von Oettingen-Wallerstein, in Vienna, Archduchy of Austria, aged 44 years, eight months and 15 days. He is succeeded as Austrian court composer and conductor of the Italian opera by his young protege, Antonio Salieri (23).
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February 7, 1774: Antonio Salieri (23) is appointed Imperial Court Chamber Composer and director of the Italian Opera.
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October 11, 1774: La calamita de’ cuori, a dramma giocosa by Antonio Salieri (24) to words of Goldoni, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna.
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September 9, 1775: La finta scema, a commedia per musica by Antonio Salieri (25) to words of De Gamerra, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. The composer finds the singing substandard and will write that “this music was esteemed more than it was applauded.”
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October 10, 1775: Antonio Salieri (25) marries Theresia Helferstorfer, whose father (now deceased) once worked in the Austrian court treasury, in St. Stephens Cathedral, Vienna.
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March 23, 1776: Emperor Joseph II gives instructions about the management of the Nationaltheater, Vienna. Only one composer is mentioned by name: Antonio Salieri (25). He is to be paid an annual salary of 200 ducats.
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July 29, 1776: Daliso e Delmita, an azione pastorale by Antonio Salieri (25) to words of De Gamerra, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna.
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April 8, 1778: Antonio Salieri (27) departs Vienna to return to Italy for the first time in twelve years.
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August 3, 1778: L’Europa riconosciuta, a dramma per musica by Antonio Salieri (27) to words of Verazi, is performed for the first time, for the opening of Teatro alla Scala, Milan. The audience reaction is mixed. The theatre has been built to replace the Royal Ducal Theatre which burned down two years ago. It is named after Regina della Scala who built a church here in the 1300s.
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December 27, 1778: La scuola de gelosi, a dramma giocosa by Antonio Salieri (28) to words of Mazzolà, is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Moisè, Venice. The work achieves great success.
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August 21, 1779: Il talismano, a dramma giocosa by Antonio Salieri (29) to words of Goldoni, is performed for the first time, at the opening of the Teatro Cannobiana, Milan. Only Act I is performed today. Acts II and III, with music by G. Rust and words by da Ponte, will be first performed on 10 September 1788.
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December 22, 1779: La partenza inaspettata, an opera by Antonio Salieri (29) to words of Petrosellini, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Valle, Rome. It is a complete triumph.
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March 18, 1780: After two years in Italy, Antonio Salieri (29) departs Naples for Vienna.
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April 8, 1780: Antonio Salieri (29) returns to Vienna after two years of travel in Italy, fearful that Emperor Joseph is unhappy with him.
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April 30, 1781: Der Rauchfangkehrer, oder Die unentbehrlichen Verräther ihrer Herrschaften aus Eigennutz, a musikalisches Lustspiel by Antonio Salieri (30) to words of Auenbrugger, is performed for the first time, at the Burgtheater, Vienna, a year after it was commissioned by Emperor Joseph. It is Salieri’s first singspiel.
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February 15, 1783: Emperor Joseph II decides to reopen the Italian opera in Vienna. The singers and instrumentalists are chosen by the Emperor personally, along with Antonio Salieri (32).
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April 22, 1783: An opera buffa company assembled by Emperor Joseph II makes its debut in Vienna with a production of Antonio Salieri’s (32) La scuola de’ gelosi.
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May 7, 1783: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27) writes to his father from Vienna. “Our poet here is now a certain Abbate da Ponte. He has an enormous amount to do in revising pieces for the theatre and he has to write per obbligo an entirely new libretto for Salieri (32) (Il ricco d’un giorno), which will take him two months. He has promised after that to write a new libretto for me. But who knows whether he will be able to keep his word--or will want to? For, as you are aware, these Italian gentlemen are very civil to your face. Enough, we know them! If he is in league with Salieri, I shall never get anything out of him.” (Anderson, 848)
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January 5, 1784: Antonio Salieri (33) and the poet François-Louis-Gaud Lebland Du Roullet sign a contract with the Paris Opéra to produce Les Danaïdes.
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April 26, 1784: Les Danaïdes, a tragédie lyrique by Antonio Salieri (33) to words of DuRoullet and Tschudi after Calzabigi, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. In an attempt to encourage attention and sales, Salieri is listed as co-composer with Christoph Willibald Gluck (69). Gluck will eventually announce publicly that he had nothing to do with the work. See 16 May 1784.
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May 16, 1784: A letter from Christoph Willibald Gluck (69) appears in the Journal de Paris. He names Antonio Salieri (33) as the sole author of Les Danaïdes and says that he had nothing to do with its composition. See 26 April 1784.
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December 6, 1784: Antonio Salieri’s (34) dramma giocosa Il ricco d’un giorno to words of da Ponte, is performed for the first time, at the Burgtheater, Vienna. It will receive only six performances.
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October 12, 1785: La grotta di Trofonio, an opera comica by Antonio Salieri (35) to words of Casti, is performed publicly for the first time, at the Burgtheater, Vienna. It has been performed already at the Castle of Laxenburg.
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February 7, 1786: For a festival given by Emperor Joseph II in the Orangerie (a hothouse) of Schönbrunn Palace to honor Archduchess Marie-Christine, Governor-General of the Austrian Netherlands and Duke Albert of Sachsen-Teschen, two new stage works are performed. Der Schauspieldirektor K.486, a singspiel by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (30) to words of Stephanie is premiered at one end of the room, followed by Prima la musica e poi le parole, a divertimento teatrale by Antonio Salieri (35) to words of Casti at the other.
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April 28, 1786: Leopold Mozart (66) writes to his daughter Nannerl from Salzburg, “ Le nozze di Figaro is being performed on the 28th (sic) for the first time. It will be surprising if it is a success, for I know that very powerful cabals have ranged themselves against your brother. Salieri (35) and all his supporters will again try to move heaven and earth to down his opera. Herr & Mme Duschek told me recently that it is on account of the very great reputation which your brother’s exceptional talent and ability have won for him that so many people are plotting against him.” (Anderson, 897)
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December 2, 1786: Antonio Salieri’s (36) tragédie lyrique Les Horaces to words of Guillard after Corneille is performed for the first time, at Versailles. The work is liked by singers and players but is a complete disaster with the audience and critics.
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June 8, 1787: Tarare, an opéra by Antonio Salieri (36) to words of Beaumarchais, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. It is a definite success, partly owing to an intense lobbying and pamphlet campaign by Beaumarchais.
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October 7, 1787: Antonio Salieri (37) writes angrily to Lorenzo da Ponte requesting that he return immediately to Vienna and complete the libretto of Axur, Re d’Omus. Da Ponte is in Prague for the upcoming opening of Don Giovanni. Da Ponte will comply and miss the premiere. See 29 October 1787 and 8 January 1788.
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November 15, 1787: Christoph Willibald Gluck dies at his home "Zum silbernen Löwen" at 4, Wiedner Haupststraße 32 in Vienna, Archduchy of Austria after suffering his fourth stroke, aged 73 years, four months, and 13 days. Among those attending is Antonio Salieri (37).
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November 17, 1787: A setting of De profundis by Christoph Willibald Gluck is performed for the first time, at the composer’s funeral in Vienna. It is conducted by Antonio Salieri (37) to whom Gluck gave the score shortly before his death. Gluck’s earthly remains are laid to rest in the cemetery of Matzleinsdorf.
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January 8, 1788: Axur, Re d’Ormus, an opera tragicomico by Antonio Salieri (37) to words of da Ponte after Beaumarchais, is performed for the first time, at the Burgtheater, Vienna. The production is to celebrate the marriage of Archduke Franz, nephew of the Emperor, to Princess Elizabeth Wilhelmine of Württemberg. It is a great success.
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February 12, 1788: Emperor Joseph II orders that Hofkapellmeister Giuseppe Bonno be retired at full pay. He further orders that the position be filled by Antonio Salieri (37). The Hofkapelle is put under the jurisdiction of theatre director Count Franz Xaver Orsini-Rosenberg.
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September 10, 1788: Il talismano, a dramma giocoso by Antonio Salieri (38) (Act I) and Giacomo Rust (Acts II&III) to words of Goldoni and da Ponte, is performed completely for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. It is a great success. See 21 August 1779.
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February 11, 1789: Il pastor fido, a dramma tragicomico by Antonio Salieri (38) to words of da Ponte after Guarini, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. It will receive only three performances, will be substantially revised by the composer, and presented again in October.
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December 11, 1789: Antonio Salieri’s (39) dramma giocoso La Cifra to words of da Ponte after Petrosellini is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna.
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April 22, 1790: Owing to the large number of complaints, Royal Kapellmeister Antonio Salieri (39) is ordered to tell the musicians of the theatre orchestra that they must carry out their duties with greater diligence, and not allow substitutions by unqualified players.
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September 19, 1790: Three royal weddings take place in Vienna: Archduchess Marie Clementine marries Prince Francesco of Naples (by proxy), Princess Maria Teresa of Naples marries Archduke Franz of Austria and Princess Lodovica Louisa marries Grand Duke Ferdinando of Tuscany. In the evening, Antonio Salieri (40) conducts a concert in the Redoutensaal during the public banquet, including a symphony by Joseph Haydn (58).
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January 25, 1791: Tired of the constant quarrelling at the Italian opera company in Vienna, Emperor Leopold II sacks Lorenzo da Ponte and the theatre director Count Orsini-Rosenberg. The music director, Antonio Salieri (40), has resigned before he can be dismissed.
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April 16, 1791: Antonio Salieri (40) conducts an orchestra of 180 in the Burgtheater,Vienna. It includes a symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (35), possibly K.550.
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July 8, 1791: The impresario Domenico Guardasoni signs a contract with the Bohemian estates to produce an opera for the coronation festivities of Leopold II as King of Bohemia. He will ask Antonio Salieri (40) to write it, but Salieri will refuse. Guardasoni will have to settle for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (35).
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August 26, 1791: Court kapellmeister Antonio Salieri (41) arrives in Prague with 20 musicians for the upcoming coronation festivities.
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September 6, 1791: Emperor Leopold II is crowned King of Bohemia in Prague. The ordinary of the mass is by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (35), either K.317 or 337, and conducted by Antonio Salieri (41). Mozart’s opera seria La clemenza di Tito K.621 to words of Mazzolà after Metastasio, is performed for the first time, at the Prague National Theatre, as part of the celebrations surrounding the coronation. The Empress comments that the opera is German hogwash, but successive productions grow in popularity.
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October 14, 1791: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (35) writes to his wife that he took their son Carl, his mother-in-law Caecilia Weber, Antonio Salieri (41) and Caterina Cavalieri to see Die Zauberflöte. “They both said it was an operone, worthy to be performed for the grandest festival and before the greatest monarch, and that they would often go to see it, as they had never seen a more beautiful or delightful show. Salieri listened and watched most attentively and from the overture to the last chorus there was not a single number that did not call forth from him a bravo! or bello!” (Anderson, 970)
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November 1, 1791: Effective this date, Emperor Leopold II removes Antonio Salieri (41) as music director of the Burgtheater, although he retains him as Hofkapellmeister.
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December 6, 1791: 14:30 The earthly remains of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are taken from his apartment to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Walking in procession are Constanze and her sisters, other members of the Weber family, Baron van Swieten, Mozart’s students, Jacob Freystädtler, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, Otto Hatwig, along with Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (55), Anselm Hüttenbrenner, and Antonio Salieri (41).
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January 13, 1795: Il mondo alla rovescia, a dramma giocoso by Antonio Salieri (44) to words of Mazzolà, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. It is the first opera by Salieri to be produced in over five years. It is a failure.
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August 13, 1795: Antonio Salieri’s (44) commedia per musica Eraclito e Democrito to words of De Gamerra is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna.
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October 14, 1795: Palmira, Regina di Persia, a dramma eroicomico by Antonio Salieri (45) to words of De Gamerra after Voltaire, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna. It will become one of the composer’s most successful works.
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August 7, 1796: Il moro, a commedia per musica by Antonio Salieri (45) to words of De Gamerra, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. It is among his least successful operas.
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November 18, 1796: Now studying with Antonio Salieri (46) and Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (60) in Vienna, Johann Nepomuk Hummel (18) gives a concert in Pressburg (Bratislava).
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January 20, 1797: Joseph Haydn (64) receives a letter from the Tonkünstler-Societät, Vienna, signed by Antonio Salieri (46) and Paul Wranitzky, apologizing for the way they treated him in 1779. They grant him free admission to all their concerts for life. See 4 February 1779.
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April 29, 1798: Die Schöpfung, an oratorio by Franz Joseph Haydn (66) to words of the Bible and van Swieten after Milton, is performed for the first time, in the Palace of Prince Schwarzenberg, Vienna by amateurs directed by the composer. It is a fantastic success. This is actually an open rehearsal. The official premiere is tomorrow. Antonio Salieri (47) plays the piano part. See 19 March 1799.
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January 3, 1799: Falstaff, ossia Le tre burle, a dramma giocoso by Antonio Salieri (48) to words of Defranceschi after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna. Almost immediately, Ludwig van Beethoven (28) begins writing a set of variation on the duet “La stessa, la stessissima” WoO73.
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January 30, 1799: The Royal Swedish Musical Academy grants honorary membership to Joseph Haydn (67), Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (63) and Antonio Salieri (48). It is the first time that this honor is extended to foreigners.
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May 23, 1799: Antonio Salieri’s (48) cantata Der Tyroler Landsturm to words of Ratschky is performed for the first time, in Vienna. It is in honor of “the little land which successfully and heroically resisted Napoléon.”
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January 25, 1800: A setting of Veni sancte spiritus by Antonio Salieri (49) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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June 2, 1800: Cesare in Farmacusa, a dramma eroicomico by Antonio Salieri (49) to words of Defranceschi, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna. It is well received.
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October 22, 1800: Antonio Salieri’s (50) opera buffa L’Angiolina ossia Il matrimonio per sussurro, to words of Defranceschi after Jonson, is performed for the first time, at the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna.
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September 28, 1804: Franz Schubert (7) is one of several boys examined by Antonio Salieri (54) and found good enough to sing in the Imperial Court Chapel.
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November 10, 1804: Die Neger, a singspiel by Antonio Salieri (54) to words of Treitschke, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. It will be withdrawn after only a few performances. This is Salieri’s last opera.
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December 8, 1804: A Mass for double chorus by Antonio Salieri (54) is performed for the first time, in Vienna conducted by the composer to celebrate the adoption of the title Emperor of Austria by Franz I. The work was originally composed in 1799 to celebrate peace between Austria and France but since peace was not concluded, the mass was never performed.
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August 30, 1807: Theresia Helferstorfer, wife of Antonio Salieri (57) and mother of his eight children, dies in Vienna.
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March 27, 1808: Franz Joseph Haydn (75) makes his last public appearance at a performance of The Creation conducted by Antonio Salieri (57), in an auditorium of the University of Vienna. The performance is attended by several notables, including Prince Lobkowitz, Princess Esterházy and Ludwig van Beethoven (37). In fact, the crowd is so large that police are brought in. Haydn is carried into the hall on a litter. At the words “and there was light”, the assembled multitude bursts into applause. As the emotion of the day becomes too much for him, doctors order that the composer be carried out just as the second part is about to begin.
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September 30, 1808: Franz Schubert (11) passes an examination to become a chorister in the Imperial Chapel-Royal. Among the judges is Court Music Director Antonio Salieri (58).
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May 11, 1809: A Missa in B flat by Antonio Salieri (58) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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June 18, 1812: Franz Schubert (15) begins instruction in counterpoint with Antonio Salieri (61) in Vienna.
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September 22, 1812: A Kyrie in C by Antonio Salieri (62) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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December 8, 1813: A benefit for wounded Austrian and Bavarian soldiers at the University of Vienna features the first performance of two works by Ludwig van Beethoven (42): the Symphony no.7 and Wellington’s Victory. The works cause ecstatic applause and critical raves. The concert is so successful it will be repeated 12 December. Wellingtons’s Victory is directed by Beethoven with the assistance of Ignaz Moscheles, and Antonio Salieri (63). The violins include Louis Spohr (29), Ignaz Schuppanzigh, and Joseph Mayseder. Playing bass drum are Meyer Beer (Giacomo Meyerbeer) (22) and Johann Nepomuk Hummel (35). Besides the Beethoven works, the concerts also include two marches, one by Jan Ladislav Dussek (†0), one by Ignace Joseph Pleyel (56), performed by Mälzel’s Mechanical Trumpeter with orchestral accompaniment.
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October 30, 1814: Antonio Salieri (64) directs a concert of 40 pianists and 20 pianos in the riding school, Vienna, attended by members of the Congress of Vienna.
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January 21, 1815: The assembled leaders in Vienna attend a requiem mass in St. Stephen’s Cathedral for Louis XVI, organized by Talleyrand, on the 22nd anniversary of the king’s death. The music is conducted by Antonio Salieri (64).
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May 24, 1815: The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung reports that Antonio Salieri (63) has recovered from a “serious illness.”
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November 3, 1815: A setting of the Salve regina in D by Antonio Salieri (65) is performed for the first time, in Nikolsburg.
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June 16, 1816: Celebrations take place in Vienna honoring the 50th anniversary of Antonio Salieri’s (65) arrival in the city. He receives a gold medal from the Lord Chamberlain in the name of Emperor Franz. High Mass is celebrated, during which Salieri conducts his own music. In the evening, a concert by his pupils takes place in his Vienna home, wherein Beitrag zur fünfzigjährigen Jubelfeier des Herrn Salieri D.441 for solo voices and piano by Franz Schubert (19) is performed for the first time.
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May 14, 1817: Antonio Salieri (66) is appointed the first director of the new Vienna Singakademie founded by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde.
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August 1, 1817: The Vienna Singakademie, with director Antonio Salieri (66), opens its doors. The first students are twelve female and twelve male voice students.
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October 22, 1817: A Grand Bacchanale for orchestra by Gaspare Spontini (42) is performed for the first time, in a performance of Les danaïdes by Antonio Salieri (67).
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February 14, 1818: In articles appearing in Vienna journals, Ludwig van Beethoven (47) and Antonio Salieri (67) recommend the use of Johann Nepomuk Maelzel’s new contraption, the metronome.
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April 19, 1818: Antonio Salieri’s (67) chorus Do re mi fa is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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September 21, 1819: Antonio Salieri (69) writes a letter of recommendation for his student, Franz Schubert (22).
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August 20, 1820: A setting of Spiritus meus by Antonio Salieri (70) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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January 27, 1821: Antonio Salieri (70) signs a second recommendation for Franz Schubert (23).
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August 25, 1822: Antonio Salieri (72) writes to Prince Esterházy asking him to support his young composition student Franz Liszt (10).
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December 1, 1822: Franz Liszt (11), now a piano student of Carl Czerny (31) and a composition student of Antonio Salieri (72), gives his first public concert in the Landständischer Saal, Vienna. Liszt plays the a minor piano concerto of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (44). It is very well received. The Allgemeine Zeitung will call him “a little Hercules...fallen from the clouds.”
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May 23, 1824: Shortly after Antonio Salieri (73) cuts his own throat in a suicide attempt, Calisto Bassi begins passing out printed copies of his poem “A Lodovico van Beethoven Ode Alcaica.” In it, Bassi makes the first claim that Salieri poisoned Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (†32). Vienna police quickly confiscate as many copies as they can find.
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June 15, 1824: The Emperor of Austria grants Antonio Salieri’s (73) petition to be relieved of his duties at full salary. “In the service of four monarchs of the imperial house you have proved an incorruptible truth and devotion, and a perfect self-negation, which have never for a moment wavered, even in the most diverse and, for less magnanimous persons than you, tempting relations.” He has held court positions since the death of Gluck (†37). The letter is dated today but the Emperor actually made the decision in Prague on 6 June.
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June 25, 1824: Two nurses who have attended Antonio Salieri (73) since the winter of 1823 sign a declaration that at no time did their patient confess to killing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (†32).
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May 7, 1825: 08:00 Antonio Salieri dies in Vienna General Hospital, Austrian Empire, aged 74 years, eight months, and 19 days.
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May 10, 1825: The earthly remains of Antonio Salieri are laid to rest in Matzleinsdorf Cemetery, Vienna attended by all court musicians and many other musical figures. (not Beethoven (54) who has moved to Baden for his health)
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June 5, 1825: The two nurses who attended Antonio Salieri (†0) reassert their claim that since the winter of 1823, at no time did their patient confess to killing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (†32).
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December 7, 2004: Antonio Salieri’s (†179) opera Europa riconosciuta is performed for the first time since its premiere, for the reopening of Teatro alla Scala, Milan. The theatre has been undergoing renovation for the last three years. See 3 August 1778.