Axur, re d’Ormus (1788) Finale – Antonio Salieri

Antonio Salieri

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.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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14 comments on “Axur, re d’Ormus (1788) Finale – Antonio Salieri
  1. Nadine says:

    That is so fascinating about Salieri and the riches-to-rags fame story — and that he lived an enjoyable life (because yes, he comes across as unhappy or that’s how I remembered it in the film). I loved this movie back in the day… it will be another good one for our family movie night list. Cool observations, thanks for sharing 😎👍

    • ‘Amadeus’ still sits at number one on my my favourite movie list despite it not being a very accurate historical account. I’m glad you found the article fascinating. Thanks for commenting once again. I really appreciate it.

      • Nadine says:

        That movie was incredible and rocked the world by classical intervention. And by the way I now have that song “Rock Me Amadeus” in my head which was part of our school play or choir or something, that year.

      • I’m not familiar with Rock Me Amadeus. I searched it on YT, but I didn’t recognize it.

        I’m more enchanted with the movie for nostalgic reasons. My grandmother was a classical pianist and she put us onto it. I don’t know how many times our family saw that movie, but it was a lot. Now my son loves watching it. The movie and its music courses through our veins.

      • Nadine says:

        Ah lovely. We had a similar bonding thing at our place. My mom is a pretty good piano player (and she taught me as well) and so we loved it too when it came out. I was a bit young I guess, some parts scared me or made me really sad but still the movie rocked me to the core. Here is the Rock Me Amadeus song by Falco, which I believe came out a year later (1985):

      • Thanks for the link. Yes, this is the version I found, but wasn’t familiar with.
        How wonderful, both you and your mother play piano! I’m envious. haha.
        Cheers Nadine

      • Nadine says:

        Definitely was a lucky daughter. :)) Cheers :))

  2. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I didn’t know about Salieri’s sort of reverse rags to riches story either. More famous than Mozart but after his death fell out of people’s consciousnesses….
    I’m not a huge fan of opera and very ignorant about it overall–like I can’t distinguish between voices and sounds in the above clip; they kind of just all meld together, and I know that’s probably from lack of training.
    But I do enjoy some of the solo singers, like Pavarotti singing Pagliacci…especially when he goes into that famous refrain: so heart-rending! And I love Placido Domingo’s voice.
    The women can be beautiful (of course) but the higher pitch isn’t what moves me. It’s the male voices, tenor or lower, that I enjoy immensely.

    • There was a marvelous post I read about Salieri’s life, which regrettably I didn’t bookmark. On wiki there is an interesting section about Mozart and Salieri’s relationship:
      I’m not a real aficionado of opera by any stretch having been to the Opera just once in my life. A friend of mine in my early 20’s introduced me to the great Operas of Puccini and red wine! I loved ‘Tosca’.
      Here is my favourite aria ‘E lucevan le stelle’ sung by Pavarotti from Puccini’s Tosca (with Domingo conducting!):

      I also loved watching those 3 tenor concerts when they came out. I see what you mean about enjoying the deeper voices more. It depends on the Aria for me.

  3. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I DO want to listen to this!
    I’ve stored this post into my “saved” folder.
    I’ve been slammed at work, and now my email is flooding over with unread posts.
    I think I need to change some settings (on some of them) to once a week or something….
    That might help me not to be overwhelmed.
    This has nothing to do with opera! So sorry, lol !!
    Almost the weekend, so……per the usual, hope you have a wonderful one.

  4. I have been doing the same as late. I’ve been backpedaling this morning catching on comments. I hope things settle down for you enough that you can enjoy the weekend.
    Cheers Stacey!

  5. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Finally got to listen to it! Thank you! Omg, even just his FACE is amazing to look at, for one thing, the shifting emotions. Then the voice………….. ahh………………… 🙂

  6. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I wish he wasn’t gone.

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