Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Evening of Music by Mozart And Salieri - Both Were There...

On an evening in 1786, a rather special occasion( a kind of Regal Gala) took place, during which music written specifically for this event had been written by a rather brash young genius we know as Amadeus Mozart and an established and popular composer named Antonio Salieri.
Mozart was in his thirtieth year; Salieri, a composer of the Court, six years Mozart's senior.
Picture this: two young fellows just  doing what they were assigned to do, in order to earn an evening's pay.
Both were given the task of writing music of parallel forms, to be performed back-to-back; for instance, an overture by Salieri was played first, followed by an overture written by  Mozart. This event must have been of considerable  length, as symphonies by both composers, let alone vocal works as well, were on the program.
To have been "a fly on the wall" during this event - I  wonder, from time to time, what the audience reactions were on this night over two centuries ago, to the music of the relatively unknown Mozart and the well established Salieri. After all, Salieri was the Power of that period, having been the teacher of such aspirants as, say, Schubert and Liszt. Yes! And even Beethoven , for a brief period.
I wonder how many in that audience had an efficient awareness of the reality that Mozart already was at this time? How many knew what Salieri must have known by 1786; that is, of the sublimity of Mozart's gift?
We know that Salieri had a fear and palpable hatred; not for the man Mozart, but for his talents.
It should be remembered that Salieri was indeed a fine composer, with luminous melodies woven throughout his works. It just so happened that a musical giant was a contemporary...
And; yes indeed - I would have LOVED to be that "fly on the wall" on that evening in 1786!
AND!  Oh, yes - did Mozart and Salieri speak to one another that evening?  There is no document I can find to answer that question...

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