The very short finale excerpt featured today in the musical library is from Antonio Salieri’s opera Axur, re d’Ormus. I had heard it for years on my Amadeus soundtrack because it featured in the movie. A lot of the music from the soundtrack is peppered through this musical library project, because Amadeus remains my favourite movie soundtrack.
This music from Salieri is astounding and it was used in the movie to great affect depicting Salieri striking back at Mozart by giving every ounce of compositional talent he could muster. And he doesn’t disappoint. Salieri comes off as the historical loser in the movie, but it’s said that he had a long and enjoyable life and was more famous than Mozart. He was highly successful throughout Europe. Only after his death did the taste of public change over time and he fell into obscurity. So its like a ‘Riches to rags’ story at least in terms of public opinion. But don’t let the movie fool you, Salieri was a great composer perhaps not outstanding in the ‘Mozart’ sense, but great nonetheless. Fortunately there are still conductors, singers and record labels that are championing Salieri’s works.
F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri won best actor for his role in Amadeus. It contains some of the most extraordinary acting I have seen and despite some of the controversy surrounding how Salieri was depicted in the movie I think F. Murray Abraham did great service for Salieri’s music and in terms of character he had so much lovely depth.
Axur, re d’Ormus is renowned as a beautiful and moving opera. According to wikipedia: It is an operatic dramma tragicomico in five acts by Antonio Salieri…. Axur premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 8 January 1788, the title role being sung by Francesco Benucci, Mozart’s first Figaro. It became one of the most famous operas in Vienna, being performed much more frequently than Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which was first performed in Vienna on 7 May 1788.