Maligned Master: The Real Story of Antonio Salieri

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9780880641555: Maligned Master: The Real Story of Antonio Salieri
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Today Antonio Salieri is largely famous as Mozart's rival and, possibly, murderer. The play and movie Amadeus have revived the old legend. Rather few people also know Salieri's work, which only in recent years has begun to be performed again.
In this first biography of Salieri in 160 years we discover that Salieri was one of the most important opera composers of his time; the success of several of his over forty operas was spectacular. In Vienna, where Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt were among his pupils, he was the most influential personage in the music world, and he was celebrated throughout Europe - from Naples to Copenhagen, and from Lisbon to Moscow.
Braunbehrens examines the composer's life and carefully analyzes his relationship with Mozart, tracing the legends surrounding their relationship back to their sources and setting the record straight. We come to realize that only posterity placed Salieri in Mozart's shadow. The author also discusses in detail all of Salieri's operas, both the libretti and the music. With Maligned Master he has written an important document for everybody interested in the history of opera.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

From Publishers Weekly:

This admirable biography sets out to right the record on the composer who was rumored to have poisoned Mozart. Salieri (1750-1825), who was born in Italy and taken to Vienna as a young orphan, became court composer to Emperor Joseph II and the most influential figure in the Viennese musical world of the late 18th century. He wrote more than 40 operas (some of which were performed throughout Europe), directed Italian opera at the National Theater, was in charge of music at the royal court, and taught Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt, among others. Braunbehrens ( Mozart in Vienna ) analyzes Salieri's works, emphasizing his role in the development of opera as musical theater. He also discusses Salieri's relationships with his most important librettists, Da Ponte, Beaumarchais and Casti, and places his operas in the context of contemporaneous political and social events. As for the composer's relationship with Mozart, reports of jealousy are based on rumor and conjecture, stresses Braunbehrens. He persuasively demonstrates that although Salieri was largely forgotten after his death, in his day his stature was much too secure for him to have considered Mozart a serious rival. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Volkmar Braunbehrens
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Braunbehrens, Volkmar
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