German clarinetist Dieter Klöcker founded his Consortium Classicum in the 1960s and has occasionally devoted it to the rediscovery of obscure repertory for wind instruments. The group has made several recordings of Harmoniemusik or wind-band (paired oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons) arrangements of operas of the late 18th century, many of which were made by oboist and composer Johann Nepomuk Wendt. Mozart's operas underwent these arrangements, sometimes even at Mozart's own hands (he pulled an all-nighter to rush one out for Die Entführung aus dem Serail to beat a competitor), for wind bands were maintained by numerous Austrian noble establishments. This impeccably played recording gives a taste of music that might easily have been heard at a Viennese soiree in the weeks after the premiere of an opera by Antonio Salieri, Mozart's putative rival.
Though often ignored, underplayed, or even reviled, Antonio Salieri is a brilliant composer who deserves to be honored among all the great composers, including his student W.A. Mozart. Fortunately, the Budapest Strings do Salieri's compositions justice on this bright, cheerful album of three works for chamber orchestra. Salieri's Concerto for oboe, violin, cello, and orchestra is simply lovely. Beginning with a bright, full, assured sound from the orchestra, it invites the listener on a musical journey that is never less than engaging. The soloists play beautifully together, never missing a note. The violinist has a solid core to his sound; it is especially notable in the Cantabile, which is richly textured, even for a slow movement. Each instrument's voice in the orchestra is carefully shaped, and this brings out the counterpoint and various lines in the music. Certainly, the syncopation before the end of the second movement is a bit odd, but Salieri compensates by giving the listener an elegant, concluding movement.
Das Urteil der Musikgeschichte über den Komponisten Antonio Salieri schien eindeutig und wurde deshalb bis in die jüngste Zeit kaum überprüft: Ein solider Handwerker mit geringer Inspiration, der dem genialen jüngeren Mozart seinen Erfolg neidete, ihm gar nach dem Leben trachtete. Interessanterweise führte gerade der „Amadeus”-Film von Milos Forman, der an der alten Legende weiterstrickte, zu einer wenn auch bescheidenen Salieri-Renaissance, die in dem Salieri-Album Cecilia Bartolis, einer glanzvollen Rehabilitation des verkannten Meisters, ihren Höhepunkt fand.
Ekkehard Pluta (25.10.2007)
… It's a gem of an album, as good or better than her similar projects devoted to Vivaldi and Gluck. (…) This is an album not to be missed.
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.
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)