Cover image for Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera
Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera
Rice, John A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xx, 648 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
From Venice to Vienna -- Opera in Vienna, 1766-76 : theaters, management, personnel -- Goldonian opera buffa in Vienna before Salieri -- Constructing Le donne letterate -- Youthful exploration and experiment -- Three Goldonian comedies -- Joseph II and the end of the impresarial decade -- Italy, 1778-80 -- Joseph's Singspiel troupe and Der Rauchfangkehrer -- Les Danaïdes -- Joseph's Italian troupe and the renewal of Viennese opera buffa -- Between Paris and Vienna : Tarare and Axur re d'Ormus -- Da Ponte, Ferrarese and Hofkapellmeister Salieri -- Mozart and Salieri -- Leopold II, Tomeoni and the triumph of Neapolitan opera buffa -- Withdrawal and reemergence, 1792-96 -- Salieri's last operas and the end of Viennese Italian opera -- Appendix : A chronological list of Salieri's operas.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.S16 R53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Many know Antonio Salieri only as Mozart's envious nemesis from the film Amadeus . In this well-illustrated work, John A. Rice shows us what a rich musical and personal history this popular stereotype has missed.

Bringing Salieri, his operas, and eighteenth-century Viennese theater vividly to life, Rice places Salieri where he belongs: no longer lurking in Mozart's shadow, but standing proudly among the leading opera composers of his age. Rice's research in the archives of Vienna and close study of his scores reveal Salieri to have been a prolific, versatile, and adventurous composer for the stage. Within the extraordinary variety of Salieri's approaches to musical dramaturgy, Rice identifies certain habits of orchestration, melodic style, and form as distinctively "Salierian"; others are typical of Viennese opera in general. A generous selection of excerpts from Salieri's works, most previously unpublished, will give readers a fuller appreciation for his musical style--and its influence on Mozart--than was previously possible.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Salieri's place in music history may have been permanently influenced by the film Amadeus, in which he is one-dimensionally portrayed as Mozart's less-talented nemesis. Now musicologist Rice, author of numerous articles on 18th-century music, has contributed a magnificent study of the complex musical and social circles that flourished at the court of Emperor Joseph II. Richly detailed and copiously footnoted, Rice's book masterfully interweaves three strands of scholarship: biographical information, an overview of the traditions and conventions of Viennese opera during the latter half of the century, and a close examination of several of Salieri's own operas. This last thread is perhaps the most valuable, as much for its use of previously unpublished sources as for Rice's perceptive and illuminating comments. The chapter "Mozart and Salieri" is a triumph of reasoned, careful research over unsupported Hollywood hype. This important book fills a conspicuous gap in musical scholarship and is enthusiastically recommended for all public and academic libraries.‘Larry A. Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Scholars have assembled an impressive and thorough account of the life, work, and historical importance of Salieri, a leading 18th-century composer who produced more than 40 Viennese operas. In this convincing, detailed work, Rice advocates a reconsideration of the intrinsic value of the Salieri operas themselves, as musical dramas rather than merely works of musicological interest. As well as extensive biographical detail, the author provides thorough examinations of the institutional history of the Viennese theater, its management, and personnel; Goldonian opera buffa before Salieri; Viennese musical life under Joseph II; and Salieri's relationship to Da Ponte and Mozart. Rice removes Salieri myths, revealing a composer of remarkable talent, imagination, and influence on contemporary composers, including Mozart. Numerous musical excerpts, black-and-white figures, and an extensive bibliography add to this handsome, monumental study. A major contribution, it should spark a Salieri revival among scholars and opera producers and provide an outstanding resource for students at the upper-division undergraduate level and above. R. Miller Oberlin College