For more than twenty-five years now the popular image of Antonio Salieri has taken on the resentful personality given to him in the film Amadeus (1984). Salieri indeed has been waiting for nearly two hundred years to have his name cleared, since the suspicion that he eliminated Mozart started to circulate in the 1820s. What is absolutely certain is that Salieri neither kiIIed Mozart nor did anything to speed his demise on. Listening to Salieri's music, and in this particular instance, to Il mondo aIIa rovescia, an opera which has been exhumed after over two hundred years', we immediately find analogies with the language of Mozart's operas on librettos by Lorenzo Da Ponte. For over thirty years, Salieri was one of the foremost figures of theatrical life in Vienna, and clearly could not have been if he had not been endowed with an authentic, original musical talent. In reality, the problem of the reciprocal influence of Mozart and Salieri stiII needs to be clarified to a great extent.
In the history passion oratorio composition in the 18™ century, Metastasio's poem La Passione di Gesu Crista (1730) constitutes an important step towards the new aesthetics of sentimental descriptions of suffering in its total rejection of the literally recited biblical accounts of the passion. Metastasio's libretto follows genuinely theatrical ideas in the way it completely relinquishes the words of the bible and the person of Jesus and became extremely popular - not only - in Catholic areas of Europe during the entire 18m century. The fact that many renowned composers approached this libretto with their own compositions may serve to give an impression of the huge effect Italian passion oratorios and the emphasis on secular tendencies had during that time.
Antonio Salieri (August 18, 1750 – May 7, 1825), born in Legnago, Italy, was a composer and conductor, as well as one of the most important and famous musicians of his time… (more inside)
“This disc represents a major expansion in repertoire … excellently played and recorded“ (Fanfare)