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Salieri, Antonio locked

  • Jane Schatkin Hettrick
  •  and John A. Rice

(b Legnago, Aug 18, 1750; d Vienna, May 7, 1825). Italian composer, mainly resident in Vienna. A major contributor to and shaper of Viennese musical life from 1770 to 1820, he also composed successful operas in Italy and Paris, and won admiration from German operagoers as a composer who, in the words of one contemporary critic, ‘could bind all the power of German music to the sweet Italian style’.

1. Life.

Born in Legnago in the Veneto, Salieri studied violin and keyboard with his brother Francesco and with a local organist, Giuseppe Simoni. After the deaths of his parents between 1763 and 1765 he was taken to Venice, where his musical education continued. The Viennese composer F.L. Gassmann, in Venice to oversee the production of his opera Achille in Sciro in 1766, noticed Salieri's talent and ambition and took the youth back to Vienna with him. Under Gassmann's direction he began an intensive programme of musical training. Described by his student Anselm Hüttenbrenner as ‘the greatest musical diplomat’, Salieri won the friendship of people who could help him build a career. Having earned Gassmann's paternal affection, he developed close relations with Metastasio, Gluck and Joseph II. Opportunities to write operas soon offered themselves to Salieri. When Gassmann was in Italy in 1769, Salieri set a libretto originally intended for Gassmann, Le donne letterate. Having proved himself a talented composer of opera buffa, he turned to serious opera. Armida, on a libretto by Marco Coltellini, was performed in June 1771. Salieri's ability to deal effectively with this Gluckian music drama would later, in the 1780s, make him a leading successor to Gluck as a composer of serious opera for Paris.

Salieri's success in Vienna owed much to the support of Joseph II, who was also helpful to him in Italy and France through his influence with his brothers Leopold (Grand Duke of Tuscany) and Ferdinand (governor of Lombardy) and his sister Marie Antoinette. As early as 1771 Joseph sent a copy of Armida to Leopold, reporting that it had been performed with great success in Vienna. The following year he asked Leopold about the possibility of Salieri writing an opera for Florence. When Gassmann died in 1774 Joseph appointed Salieri his successor as Kammerkomponist, an appointment that led to his also being made, at only 24 years of age, Gassmann's successor as music director of the Italian opera in Vienna. With Giovanni di Gamerra, the newly appointed theatre poet, he collaborated on two operas for the court theatres; the comedy La finta scema (1775) and the Gluckian spectacle Daliso e Delmita (1776). Neither was well received.

Joseph's reorganization of the court theatres in 1776, with its shift of emphasis to spoken drama, left Salieri with little opportunity to compose operas in Vienna, and he turned his attention to Italy. Between 1778 and 1780 he wrote five operas for theatres in Milan, Venice and Rome: these were comic operas, except for L'Europa riconosciuta, commissioned to celebrate the opening of La Scala in Habsburg-ruled Milan. Of the comic operas by far the most popular was La scuola de' gelosi, on a libretto by Caterino Mazzolà (Carnival 1779, Venice), a work that did more than any other to spread Salieri's fame throughout Europe. In 1780 Joseph II commissioned him to write a Singspiel to be performed by the Nationaltheater's German troupe: one of only two operas in German by Salieri, Der Rauchfangkehrer (1781) enjoyed considerable success until it was overshadowed by Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

Salieri's exploration of operatic genres continued in 1782. Gluck, too weak to undertake the composition of a work commissioned by the Paris Opéra, handed the commission to Salieri. Armed with a letter of recommendation from Joseph, he went to Paris for the first time to oversee the production of Les Danaïdes (1784). Its success led to commissions for two more French operas, and during the rest of the decade Salieri divided his time and energy between composing tragédie lyrique in Paris and opera buffa in Vienna. The second of his French operas, Les Horaces, failed when it was given in 1786, but the following year he achieved one of his greatest operatic triumphs with Tarare, on a libretto by Beaumarchais.

In 1783 Joseph replaced his German troupe with one specializing in opera buffa. The new company made its début on 22 April with La scuola de' gelosi, heavily revised for a cast that included Nancy Storace and Francesco Benucci. Returning to Vienna in 1784 after the première of Les Danaïdes, Salieri busied himself with composing and directing Italian comic operas at the Burgtheater. Joseph's practice of commissioning operas from some of Europe's leading composers, Paisiello and Martín y Soler as well as Mozart, meant that Salieri faced competition that must have threatened and inspired him. Lorenzo da Ponte, recently engaged as house librettist, was his principal collaborator; he also worked with G.B. Casti. Salieri insisted on extensive revisions of Da Ponte's first libretto, Il ricco d'un giorno, including the introduction of several ensembles, the reduction of recitative and the alteration of poetic metres within aria texts. By working so closely with this inexperienced poet, he probably contributed to the strength of the librettos that Da Ponte later wrote for Mozart. His collaboration with Casti resulted in the two-act comedy La grotta di Trofonio (1785; see fig.1 ) and a one-act satire that incorporates music of Sarti and Tarchi, Prima la musica e poi le parole (1786).

Title-page, showing a scene from Act 2, of the score of Salieri’s ‘La grotta di Trofonio’ (Vienna: Artaria, 1786): engraving by Mansfeld

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When Salieri returned to Vienna from Paris after the production of Tarare in 1787, Joseph commissioned him to prepare an Italian version of the opera for Vienna. Axur re d'Ormus, with a libretto by Da Ponte, follows the general outline of Tarare but omits much of Beaumarchais' political allegory. Much of the music is derived from Tarare, but more often than not diverges from the model. Performed in 1788 to celebrate the marriage of Archduke Franz to Princess Elisabeth of Württemberg, Axur was presented 100 times in the Viennese court theatres between 1788 and 1805.

In February 1788 Joseph granted the position of Hofkapellmeister to Salieri, who had frequently acted in that capacity since 1775 for the ailing Giuseppe Bonno. Salieri succeeded Bonno in March 1788. He remained in this office until his retirement in 1824, his tenure the longest in the history of the Hofmusikkapelle. The appointment began a new phase in his career – in the next decade he devoted himself increasingly to the administration of the court chapel and to the composition of church music.

After the death of Joseph II (20 February 1790) and with the accession of Leopold II, rumours circulated that Salieri was to be dismissed or had submitted his resignation as Hofkapellmeister. What Salieri seems to have asked for, and received, was relief from the daily chores of rehearsing and conducting opera, in exchange for which he agreed to compose a new opera each year for the court theatres. His duties in the opera house were assigned to his pupil and protégé Joseph Weigl. The 1790s left Salieri without the steadfast patronage of Joseph II, without the opportunity to write operas for Paris (cut off from him by the Revolution), without the theatrical talent of Da Ponte and without the stimulating rivalry of Mozart. In 1794 he renewed his contact with De Gamerra and together they wrote three operas for the court theatres: Eraclito e Democrito, Palmira regina di Persia and Il moro. The first and third were only moderately successful (with fewer than 20 performances in the court theatres), but Palmira achieved the greatest success of any of Salieri's late operas. His last Italian collaborator, C.P. Defranceschi, provided him with librettos for three operas performed in 1799 and 1800, including Falstaff (1799). Salieri's last complete opera, Die Neger, was given to sparse applause in 1804.

As Hofkapellmeister, Salieri attended closely to the selection of new instrumentalists and singers, filling such posts as organ builder, overseeing the acquisition of instruments and keeping the music library in good order. Hofkapelle records for the period from 1820 to Salieri's retirement in 1824 show that for regular services under his direction he most frequently chose masses by Albrechtsberger, Joseph and Michael Haydn, Georg Reutter the younger, Eybler, Leopold Hofmann and Mozart. He served as president of the Tonkünstler-Societät (founded by Gassmann to support musicians' widows and children), directing many of its concerts. In 1815 he was responsible for planning and directing musical events for the Congress of Vienna.

Salieri, who benefited so much from his teachers and mentors, devoted much of his energy to teaching, especially after retiring from operatic composition. As a teacher of singers he specialized in the development of brilliant coloratura sopranos; Catharina Cavalieri and Therese Gassmann (Florian Gassmann's daughter) were among his pupils. With Beethoven, Schubert and many other young composers who came to him for lessons he emphasized the setting of Italian poetry (especially that of Metastasio) to music.

2. Works.

Salieri's operas, the product of over 30 years' work in Vienna, Italy and Paris, are extraordinarily rich and varied, revealing him as a composer of great versatility, vivid theatricality and considerable musical talent. As might be expected of a pupil of Gassmann and a protégé of Gluck, most of his early Italian operas fall into two categories: light, comic operas along the lines of Gassmann's settings of Goldoni's librettos and serious operas strongly influenced by tragédie lyrique. In La fiera di Venezia (1772), the most widely performed of his early comedies, he showed himself a skilful depicter of comic situations and amusing characters. This opera also documents the young Salieri's love of high coloratura soprano lines and elaborate concertante solos (Calloandra's aria ‘Vi sono sposa e amante’ features solos for flute, oboe and bassoon). In Armida and L'Europa riconosciuta he responded to adventurous librettos with lively, dramatic music and followed Gluck's precept (expressed in the preface to Alceste) that the overture should anticipate the drama; in both operas he gave a significant dramatic role to the chorus and demonstrated skill in the composition of accompanied recitative. A cast of virtuosos was assembled for the inauguration of La Scala, and in L'Europa riconosciuta Salieri took full advantage of their outstanding skills, writing several bravura arias of exceptional brilliance.

Salieri's two most important French operas differ greatly from one another. Les Danaïdes, to a libretto inspired by one by Calzabigi, is a gothic tale of horror and violence; Tarare is a mixture of exoticism, comedy, political allegory and romance. The music for Les Danaïdes is suitably dark, coloured with diminished 7th chords, tremolo and the sound of trombones; that for Tarare, humorous, sentimental and tragic by turn, captures the exotic spirit of Beaumarchais’ libretto. Salieri handled the demands of tragédie lyrique with equal skill and craftsmanship in both operas, moving fluently between accompanied recitative, choruses, arias, ensembles and instrumental numbers. The love duets for Hypermnestra and Lynceus in Les Danaïdes are suffused with a lyricism as intense and moving as that which depicts the love of Astasie and Tarare. The brutal rage of Danaus is evoked as vividly as that of Atar, the tyrannical oriental king in Tarare. With Les Danaïdes Salieri established himself as a leading successor to Gluck in the genre of tragédie lyrique; with Tarare he helped to transform the genre.

Salieri's Viennese operas of the 1780s show that he was inspired by the same conditions that inspired Mozart during the same decade. Der Rauchfangkehrer, like Die Entführung, exemplifies the cosmopolitan character of German opera during the short life of Joseph's Singspiel company, combining elements of opera buffa, opéra comique and North German opera. In La grotta di Trofonio and La cifra Salieri expertly manipulated opera buffa conventions, using many of the singers who shaped Mozart's vocal writing in Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. The colourful and expressive solo parts for clarinets, english horns and other instruments in La grotta di Trofonio show that Salieri, like Mozart, made good use of the Burgtheater's fine orchestra. He skilfully combined serious and comic elements, endowing Eurilla in La cifra, for example, with a nobility of character and musical style that enhances the richness and complexity of the entire opera.

Among the most successful of Salieri's Viennese operas is Axur re d'Ormus. To this five-act dramma tragicomico Salieri brought all that he had learnt as a composer of tragédie lyrique, opera seria and opera buffa. Axur has the fluidity of form characteristic of French opera, with extensive use of accompanied recitative and short, arioso vocal numbers. The music of the hero Atar and the heroine Aspasia has the kind of passionate, noble simplicity that we expect of Gluckian tragedy; but the charming commedia dell'arte scene staged in Act 4 has the lightness and wit of opera buffa.

Salieri's late operas are uneven in quality; some of the most successful, such as Palmira, look to the past, as if he were trying, near the end of his operatic career, to recapture his earlier triumphs. Much in the spirit of Axur, Palmira mixes exoticism with comedy, spectacle with sentiment; its tender love duets, stirring marches and solemn choruses of priests delighted audiences in Vienna and throughout Germany for several years. Instrumental arrangements of the a cappella quartet ‘Silenzio facciasi’ made this number familiar to many of Europe's music lovers.

Salieri's sacred music consists of about 100 settings of Latin liturgical texts, including four orchestral masses, one a cappella mass, a Requiem, about 45 graduals and offertories, three Te Deum and two Magnificat settings, and psalms, hymns, litanies, introits and miscellaneous motets. Each of the major works seems to have been intended for a special event. The first orchestral mass (1788), which coincided with his appointment as Hofkapellmeister, was meant to honour the emperor's return from the Turkish war. The Mass in C (1799), a festive, double-chorus score, was performed on 8 December 1804 at the ceremony whereby Francis II became Francis I of Austria. Earlier that year, Salieri composed a Requiem that he designated for his own funeral. Unlike his operas, Salieri's sacred music was not widely disseminated, partly because the composer himself declared it to be ‘for God and my emperor’. As the presiding musician for Habsburg religious ceremony, he upheld the liturgical ideals of comprehensibility and simplicity articulated by the church in the papal encyclical Annus qui (1749) and reinforced in Joseph's reforms of 1783 and 1786. His liturgical music avoids the vocal virtuosity and operatic contrafacta that had invaded church music in the late 18th century. The mature works (after 1788) stress a dramatic, lyric and declamatory role for the chorus, modest use of the solo voice, a diminishing place for the still traditional contrapuntal styles and growing influence of modern symphonic techniques. Certain of Salieri's offertories and graduals became staples of the Hofkapelle repertory: Populi timete (1778), Liberasti nos Domine (1799), Veni Sancte Spiritus (1805) and Confirma hoc Deus (1809) were performed there regularly throughout the 19th century and into the 20th.

Salieri's instrumental music comprises a small part of his output, mostly composed early, and dominated by smaller genres (serenades, suites, marches) and featuring wind ensembles. During the 1770s he wrote several concertos, including one for flute and oboe which has become familiar through many recordings, and one symphony. His last major instrumental work is a set of 26 colourfully orchestrated variations on La folia (1815). Many of his opera overtures circulated as independent symphonies, and a number of three-movement sinfonias consist of movements from different overtures recombined by unknown hands.



WB Vienna, Burgtheater WK Vienna, Kärntnertortheater

La vestale, Vienna, 1768, unperf.

Le donne letterate (commedia per musica, 3, G.G. Boccherini), WB or WK, carn. 1770, A-Wn

L'amore innocente (pastorale, 2, Boccherini), WB or WK, 1770, Wn *, D-Dl

Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamace (divertimento teatrale, 2, Boccherini, after M. de Cervantes), WK, carn. 1771, A-Wn

La moda, ossia I scompigli domestici (2, P. Cipretti), Vienna, 1771, Wn * (only pt of Act 2), D-B

Armida (dramma per musica, 3, M. Coltellini, after T. Tasso: Gerusalemme liberata), WB or WK, 2 June 1771, A-Wn *, Wst , B-Bc , CH-Zz , D-B , Wa , F-Pn (Leipzig, 1783)

La fiera di Venezia (commedia per musica, 3, Boccherini), WB or WK, 29 Jan 1772, A-Wn *, B-Bc , D-B , D-Dl , Mbs , MÜs , Rp , F-Pn , Po , H-Bn , I-Bc , Fc , MOe , Tf , US-Bp

Il barone di Rocca antica (int, 2, G. Petrosellini), WB or WK, 12 May 1772, A-Wn *, I-Fc

La secchia rapita (dramma eroicomico, 3, Boccherini, after A. Tassoni), WK, 21 Oct 1772, A-Wn *, D-Dl , Mbs , Wa , GB-Lbl , H-Bn , I-Bc , Fc , Gl , MOe , Nc

La locandiera (dg, 3, D. Poggi, after C. Goldoni), WK, 8 June 1773, A-Wn *, D-Rtt , F-Pn

La calamita de’ cuori (dg, 3, Goldoni), WK, 11 Oct 1774, A-Wn *, D-B , US-Wc

La finta scema (commedia per musica, 2, G. De Gamerra), WB, 9 Sept 1775, A-Wn *, Ssp

Daliso e Delmita (azione pastorale, 3, De Gamerra), WB, 29 July 1776, Wn *

L'Europa riconosciuta (dramma per musica, 2, M. Verazi), Milan, Scala, 3 Aug 1778, Wn * (inc.), D-B , F-Pn , I-Mc , P-La

La scuola de’ gelosi (dg, 2, C. Mazzolà), Venice, S. Moisè, carn. 1779, A-Wn *, D-Dl , Rp , Rtt , F-Pn , H-Bn , I-Fc , MOe

La partenza inaspettate (int, 2, Petrosellini), Rome, Valle, carn. 1779, A-Wn *, D-Dl , F-Pn

Il talismano [Act 1] (dg, 3, Goldoni), Milan, Cannobiana, 21 Aug 1779 [Acts 2 and 3 by G. Rust]; rev. (L. da Ponte), WB, 10 Sept 1788

A-Wn *, Wgm , B-Bc , D-Dl , F, Mbs , Rp , Wa , F-Pn , I-Fc , MOe , US-Wc

La dama pastorella (int, 1, Petrosellini), Rome, Valle, 1780, A-Wn *

Der Rauchfangkehrer, oder Die unentbehrlichen Verräther ihrer Herrschaften aus Eigennutz (musikalisches Lustspiel, 3, J.L. Auenbrugger), WB, 30 April 1781, A-Wn * (R1986: GOB, xiv), D-DS

Semiramide (dramma per musica, 3, P. Metastasio), Munich, Residenz, carn. 1782, A-Wn *, D-Mbs

Les Danaïdes (tragédie lyrique, 5, Du Roullet and Tschudi, after R. de' Calzabigi), Paris, Opéra, 26 April 1784, A-Wn *, F-Po (Paris, 1784)

Il ricco d'un giorno (dg, 3, Da Ponte), WB, 6 Dec 1784, A-Wn *, I-MOe

La grotta di Trofonio (opera comica, 2, G.B. Casti), WB, 12 Oct 1785, A-Wgm , Wn *, D-B , CZ-Bm , H-Bn , I-Fc , MOe (Vienna, c1786)

Prima la musica e poi le parole (divertimento teatrale, 1, Casti), Vienna, Schönbrunn Orangerie, 7 Feb 1786, A-Wn *, I-PEsc

Les Horaces (tragédie lyrique, 3, N.F. Guillard, after P. Corneille), Versailles, 2 Dec 1786, A-Wn *, CZ-Bm , F-Po , US-Wc

Tarare (opéra, prol., 5, P.-A. Beaumarchais), Paris, Opéra, 8 June 1787, A-Wn * (inc.), F-Lm , Po , US-NYp , Wc ; ed. R. Angermüller (Munich, 1987)

Axur re d'Ormus (dramma tragicomico, 5, Da Ponte, after Beaumarchais: Tarare), WB, 8 Jan 1788, A-Wn *, Wst , CZ-Bm , D-B , D-Dl , DT , F , Hs , HR , LEm , Mbs , MÜs , Wa , E-Mc , Mn , F-Pn , GB-Lbl , H-Bn , I-Fc , Mc , Nc , PAc , Rsc , US-Wc

Cublai gran kan de' Tartari, 1788 (dramma eroicomico, 2, Casti), unperf., A-Wn *

Il pastor fido (dramma tragicomico, 4, Da Ponte, after B. Guarini), WB, 11 Feb 1789, Wn *, CH-Bu , D-Dl

La cifra (dg, 2, Da Ponte, after Petrosellini: La dama pastorella), WB, 11 Dec 1789, A-Wn *, B-Bc , D-B , D-Dl , F , Mbs , F-Pn , I-Fc

Catalina, 1792 (2, Casti), unperf., A-Wn *

Il mondo alla rovescia (dg, 2, Mazzolà, after L'isola capricciosa), WB, 13 Jan 1795, Wn *, D-B

Eraclito e Democrito (commedia per musica, 2, De Gamerra), WB, 13 Aug 1795, A-Wn *, D-DS , I-Fc

Palmira regina di Persia (dramma eroicomico, 2, De Gamerra, after Voltaire: La princesse de Babylone), WK, 14 Oct 1795, A-Wn *, CZ-Bm , D-B , D-Dl , F , Hs , Mbs , GB-Lbl , I-BGc , Fc , PAc , Tf , US-Wc

Il moro (commedia per musica, 2, De Gamerra), WB, 7 Aug 1796, A-Wn *, I-Fc

Falstaff, ossia Le tre burle (dg, 2, C.P. Defranceschi, after W. Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor), WK, 3 Jan 1799, A-Wn *, D-B , F , I-Fc

Cesare in Farmacusa (dramma eroicomico, 2, Defranceschi), WK, 2 June 1800, A-Wn *, B-Bc , Br , CZ-Bm , D-B , D-Dl , F , Rtt , I-Fc , PAc

L'Angiolina, ossia Il matrimonio per sussurro (ob, 2, Defranceschi, after B. Jonson: Epicoene), WK, 22 Oct 1800, A-Wgm , Wn *, D-B , F , F-Pn , I-Fc , PAc , US-Wc

Annibale in Capua (dramma per musica, 3, A.S. Sografi), Trieste, Nuovo, April 1801, A-Wn , I-Fc

La bella selvaggia, 1802 (ob, 2, G. Bertati), unperf., A-Wn *

Die Neger (Spl, 2, F. Treitschke), Vienna, Wien, 10 Nov 1804, Wn *, F-Pn


Così fan tutte (Da Ponte, 2 nos., 1 containing vocal pts only), A-Wn *; I tre filosofi (2, De Gamerra), 1797, Wn *; Die Generalprobe, lost

Das Posthaus, lost

Arias and ensembles

over 30 arias, most 1770–8, mostly Wn *; 2 finales, Wgm *, D-MÜs


ov., 9 choruses, 4 inst pieces for Kotzebue: Die Hussiten vor Naumberg, WK, 2 March 1803, A-Wn *


most written in Vienna; thematic catalogue in Nützlader (1924), 112ff

Orats and cants.

La passione di Gesù Cristo (Metastasio), 1776, A-Wgm , Wn , US-Wc ; Le jugement dernier, Paris, 1787, F-Pc , A-Wn *; Davidde, 1791, frag., Wgm *; Gesù al limbo, 1803, CZ-Bm ; Saulle, frag., lost


Missa stylo a cappella, 12 Aug 1767, A-Whk *, ed. O. Biba (Altötting, 1987), ed. J.S. Hettrick (Vienna, 1993)

D, 1788, A-Wn *, Wn , Ee , H , KR , CZ-Bm , ed. in RRMCE, xxxix (1994)

C, 1799, A-Wn *, Wn , Ee ; Requiem, c, Aug 1804, CZ-Bm *, Bm , A-Wn , ed. J. Wojciechowski (Frankfurt, 1978)

d, July 1805, Wn *, CZ-Bm , ed. in RRMCE (forthcoming); B♭, 11 May 1809, A-Wn *, ed. in DTÖ, cxlvi (1988)

Ky, C, 22 Sept 1812, Wn *; Requiem, C, inc., Wn *; d, frag., Wgm *

Grads (A-Whk * unless otherwise stated)

Vox tua mi Jesu, Aug 1774

Liberasti nos Domine, 1799, Whk *, Ee , CZ-Bm ; Venite gentes, 1799, A-Whk *, Whk , Ee ; Veni Sancte Spiritus, 25 Jan 1800

Veni Sancte Spiritus, Dec 1805, Whk *, KN , ed. L. Dité (Milan, 1959)

Confirma hoc Deus, July 1809, Whk *, ed. Dité (Milan, 1959)

Magna opera Domini, 28 May 1810

A solis ortu, July 1810, Whk *, CZ-Bm ; Tres sunt qui testimonium dant, before 13 June 1813

Spiritus meus attenuabitur, 20 July 1820, A-Whk *, Wn *; Ad te levavi animam meam, Whk *, Ee ; Benedicam Dominum, Whk *, Ee ; Improperium; Justorum animae, Whk *, Wn , CZ-Bm , ed. C. Rouland (Vienna, 1930)

Offs (A-Whk * unless otherwise stated)

Benedixisti Domine, ?1767, Whk *, Wn *, Wn , S-Skma *, D-MÜp *; Salve regina, 1768, A-Wn *; Populi timete, 1778, Whk *, Whk , Wn , Ee , KN , L , M ; Cantate Domino, 1799, Whk *, Ee ; Miserere nostri, g, Dec 1805, Whk *, Ee ; Salvum fac populum, 1805, lost

Excelsus super omnes, Jan 1806

Tui sunt coeli, E♭, Jan 1806

Si ambulavero, May 1809, Whk *, CZ-Bm *; Audite vocem magnam dicentem, June 1809, Whk *, Wn , KN , KR , CZ-Bm *, Bm , D-Dl ; Magna et mirabilia, June 1809

Gloria et honor, July 1809

O altitudo divitiarum, July 1809

Laudate Dominum, Oct 1809

Lauda Sion Salvatorum, July 1810, A-Whk *, CZ-Bm ; Assumpta est Maria, Dec 1811, A-Whk *, KN ; Magna opera Domini, 12 Sept 1812

Domine Dominus noster, 1812; Salve regina, D, 3 Nov 1815

Beatus vir qui non abiit, Whk *, Whk ; Bonum est (with all), Wn ; Desiderium animae, KR ; Dum corde pio, KR ; Jubilate Deo, Whk *, Ee ; Justus ut palma, KR ; Miserere nostri, E♭, Whk ; O quam bonus; Salve regina, Ger. text; Salve regina, B♭, Wgm , Whk , Wn , KN ; Sub tuum praesidium; Tui sunt coeli, C

Introits (most c1817, all A-Whk *, Wn ): Tu cognovisti, 3 July 1817

Avertisti captivitatem Jacob; Beata gens; Beati immaculati; Concupiscit et deficit; Dico ego; Domine exaudi vocem meam; Et justitiam tuam; Et psallere; In civitate Dei; Inductus est Dominus; In mandatis ejus; Jubilate Deo in voce; Jubilate Deo Jacob; Laetentur insulae; Ne quando taceas; Neque zelaveris; Quam admirabile est

Psalms (all A-Whk *)

De profundis, g, Dec 1805

Lauda Jerusalem, Nov 1815

Beatus vir, 1815

Confitebor tibi Domine, 1815

De profundis, f, 1815

Dixit Dominus, 1815

Laudate pueri Dominum, 1815

Other works

Tantum ergo, F, 1768, A-Wn *; Alleluja, D, 1774, F-Pc *; Alleluja, D, 15 Oct 1780, A-Wn *; TeD, D, 1790, Wn *, ed. J. Wojciechowski (Frankfurt, 1977); Litania per il Sabbato Santo, ?1795, Whk *, Wn ; TeD, D, 1799, Wn *; Mag, C, 1815, Whk *, Whk , Wgm , Wn , Ee , CH-E ; Mag, F, 1815, A-Whk *, Whk , Wn , KN , KR ; In te Domine speravi, fuga a 3, 12 Sept 1817, Wgm *, Wn *; TeD, C, July 1819, Wn *; Coelestis urbs Jerusalem, hymn, Whk ; Cor meum conturbatum, motet, KN ; Domine ecce enim veritatem, Wn *, Wn ; Litaniae Laurentaneae, Whk *, Wn ; Dona nobis pacem, Whk *; Quae est illa, motet, KN ; Tantum ergo, C, Whk , Wn ; Tu es spes mea, motet, H

Secular vocal

for further details see Angermüller (1985), 48–77


Il trionfo della Gloria e della Virtù, Vienna, 1774, A-Wgm ; La sconfitta di Borea, Vienna, 1775, Wn ; La riconoscenza, Vienna, 1796, lost

Der Tyroler Landsturm (J.F. Ratschky), Vienna, 23 May 1799, Wn * (Vienna, 1799)

La riconoscenza de’ Tirolesi, Vienna, 1800, Wgm ; L'oracolo, Vienna, 1803, lost

Habsburg, Vienna, 1805, Wgm ; Die vier Tageszeiten, Vienna, Sept 1819, Wgm *; Du, dieses Bundes Fels, Wgm *; Lasset uns nahen alle, CZ-Bm *; Wie eine purpur Blume, F-Pc

Choruses (3–4vv, pf/insts)

Bei Gelegenheit des Friedens, 1800, CZ-Bm ; Der Vorsicht Gunst beschütze beglücktes Österreich, Vienna, 11 Nov 1813, A-Wn * (Vienna, 1814)

Schwer lag auf unserm Vaterlande, 1813, Wgm ; An den erwünschten Frieden, 1814, CZ-Bm ; An die Religion, 1814, A-Wgm * (n.d.)

Do re mi fa, Vienna, 19 April 1818, Wgm *; Beyde reichen dir die Hand, frag., Wgm ; Del redentor lo scempio, S-Skma *; Dio serva Francesco, I-Vs ; Es schallen die Töne, A-Wgm ; Friede reich am Hail, CZ-Bm *; Die Fuge gut zu singen, A-KR ; Geführt von liebevollen Händen, Wgm ; Hinab in [den] Schoss der Amphitrite, Wgm *; Il piacer la gioja, Wgm ; Ogni bosco, ogni pendice, Wgm ; Schweb herab o holder Seraph Friede, Wgm

Other works

over 180 canons, most for 3vv, mostly 1800–19, incl. 25 in Scherzi armonici vocali (Vienna, 1795), 15 in Continuazione de' Scherzi armonici (Vienna, n.d.), others mostly A-Wgm *; c20 qts, most unacc., mostly Wgm *; over 70 trios, 3vv, most unacc., incl. 5 in 28 divertimenti vocali (Vienna, 1803), others mostly Wgm *; over 50 duets, 2vv, most unacc., incl. 9 in 28 divertimenti vocali (Vienna, 1803), others mostly Wgm *; c45 songs, 1v, pf (texts in It., Fr. and Ger.), incl. 14 in 28 divertimenti vocali (Vienna, 1803), others mostly Wgm *


Concs. (only solo insts listed)

D, vn, ob, vc, 1770, A-Wn *, ed. J.Wojciechowski (Hamburg, 1963)

B♭, kbd, 1773, Wn , ed. G.C. Ballola (Milan, 1981)

C, kbd, 1773, Wn *, ed. Ballola (Milan, 1981)

C, org, 1773, Wn *, ed. J.S. Hettrick (Vienna, 1981)

C, fl, ob, 1774, Wn *, ed. Wojciechowski (Frankfurt, 1962), ed. R. Sabatini (Vienna, 1963)

Concertino, G, fl, str, 1777, Wn *, ed. R.J. Koch (Padua, 1977), ed. Ballola (Milan, 1983)

Other orchestral

Sym. ‘Il giorno onomastico’, D, Aug 1775, ed. in The Symphony 1720–1840, ser.B, ii (New York, 1983)

26 variations on ‘La Folia di Spagna’, Dec 1815, Wn *, ed. P. Spada (Rome, 1978)

composite syms., arr. from op. ovs., incl. 2 syms., D, D, ed. in The Symphony 1720–1840, ser.B, ii (New York, 1983)

op ovs.


pf sonata, C, Wn * (Vienna, ?1783)

6 petites pièces, gui (Vienna, 1801)

Scherzi istrumentali a 4, Wn , ed. R. Sabatini (Vienna, 1963)

Fuge, str qt, Wn *; 4 Stücke, org, Wgm *, transcr. O. Biba (Vienna, 1994)

fugues, Wgm *


Armonia per un tempio della notte, E♭, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 hn, 2 bn, Wn , ed. W. Rainer (Vienna, 1989), ed. G.C. Ballola (Milan, 1981)

Cassazione, C, 2 ob, 2 eng hn, 2 hn, 2 bn, Wgm ; Marsch für die Landwehre (1809), Wgm ; 3 minuets, B♭, G, D, 2 ob, 2 hn, str, Wn *; Parade Marsch für Harmoniemusik, Wn *; 11 marches, different combinations of 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 hn, bn, dbn, 1–8 tpt, 3 trbn, 2–6 timp, perc, str, Wn *, 8 ed. L. Kappel (Vienna, 1994)

Serenade, B♭, 2 cl, 2 hn, 2 bn, vle, Wn *, ed. Ballola (Milan, 1981), rev. and arr. as Serenade, C, 2 fl/cl, 2 ob, 2 hn, 2 bn, Wn *, D-Rtt (inc.), ed. Ballola (Milan, 1985)

Picciola serenata, B♭, 2 ob, 2 hn, bn, 1778, A-Wn *, ed. R. Angermüller (Vienna, 1977), ed. P. Spada (Milan, 1982), as Quintetto, F-Pc *; 4 suites (Ballettmusik) of 41 movts, different combinations of 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 hn, bn, 2 tr, timp, str, A-Wn *

Pedagogical works

Libro di partimenti di varia specie per profitto della gioventù, lost

Scuola di canto, in versi, e i versi in musica, 4vv, bc, Wgm *


  • L. da Ponte: Memorie (New York, 1823–7, 2/1829–30)
  • F. Rochlitz: ‘Antonio Salieri’, Nekrolog: allgemeine Theaterzeitung und Unterhaltungsblatt für Freunde der Kunst, Literatur and des geseligen Lebens, 18/99 (1825), 405–7
  • M. Kelly: Reminiscences of the King's Theatre (London, 1826, 2/1826); ed. R. Fiske (London, 1975)
  • I.F.E. von Mosel: Über das Leben und die Werke des Antonio Salieri (Vienna, 1827/R)
  • W. Neumann: Antonio Salieri (Kassel, 1855)
  • A.W. Thayer: ‘Half a dozen of Beethoven's Contemporaries, II: Antonio Salieri’, Dwight's Journal of Music, 23 (1863–4), 185–202 passim; xxiv (1864–5), 209–347 passim; ed. T. Albrecht (Kansas City, 1989)
  • G. Nottebohm: Beethoven's Unterricht bei J. Haydn, Albrechtsberger und Salieri (Leipzig and Winterthur, 1873/R)
  • A. Jullien: La cour et l'opéra sous Louis XVI (Paris, 1878), 151–322
  • A. von Hermann: Antonio Salieri: eine Studie zur Geschichte seines künstlerischen Lebens (Vienna, 1897)
  • R. Nützlader: Salieri als Kirchenmusiker (diss., U. of Vienna, 1924)
  • C. Serini: ‘Antonio Salieri’, RIM, 32 (1925), 412–33
  • G. Magnani: Antonio Salieri: musicista legnaghese (Legnago, 1934)
  • A. Della Corte: Un italiano all'estero: Antonio Salieri (Turin, 1937)
  • W. Bollert: ‘Antonio Salieri und die italienische Oper’, Aufsätze zur Musikgeschichte (Bottrop, 1938), 43–128
  • M.J.E. Brown: ‘Schubert and Salieri’, MMR, 88 (1958), 211–19
  • K.M. Pisarowitz: ‘Salieriana: eine streiflichtende Dokumentarstudie’, MISM, 9/3–4 (1960), 11–14
  • A. Bonoccorsi: ‘Antonio Salieri e il suo Falstaff’, Volti Musicali di Falstaff, Chigiana, 18 (1961), 23–31
  • E. Schenk: ‘Salieris “Landsturm”-Kantate von 1799 in ihren Beziehungen zu Beethovens “Fidelio”’, Colloquium amicorum: Joseph Schmidt-Görg zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. S. Kross and H. Schmidt (Bonn, 1967), 338–54
  • R. Angermüller: ‘Antonio Salieri und seine “Scuola di Canto”’, Beethoven-Studien, ed. E. Schenk (Vienna, 1970), 37–50
  • R. Angermüller: ‘Salieri als Hofkapellmeister’, ÖMz, 25 (1970), 305–11
  • O. Michtner: Das alte Burgtheater als Opernbühne von der Einführung des deutschen Singspiels (1778) bis zum Tod Kaiser Leopolds II. (1792) (Vienna, 1970)
  • E.E. Swenson: ‘“Prima la musica e poi le parole”: an Eighteenth-Century Satire’, AnMc, no. 9 (1970), 112–29
  • R. Angermüller: Antonio Salieri: sein Leben und seine weltliche Werke unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seiner ‘grossen’ Opern (Munich, 1971)
  • R. Angermüller and R.Ofner: ‘Aspekte Salierischer Kirchenmusik’, Mitteilungen der Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum, 21/1–2 (1973), 1–18
  • J. Heinzelmann: ‘“Prima la musica, poi le parole”: zu Salieris Wiener Opernparodie’, ÖMz, 28 (1973), 19–28
  • E.E. Swenson: Antonio Salieri: a Documentary Biography (diss., Cornell U., 1974)
  • R. Angermüller: ‘Salieris Gesellschaftsmusik’, AnMc, no.17 (1976), 146–93
  • J. Rushton: ‘Salieri's Les Horaces: a Study of an Operatic Failure’, MR, 37 (1976), 266–82
  • R. Angermüller: ‘Salieris Vorbemerkungen zu seinen Opern’, Mitteilungen der Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum, 25/3–4 (1977), 15–33
  • E. Walton-Myers: Antonio Salieri's ‘La cifra’ (diss., Northwestern U., 1977)
  • R. Angermüller: ‘Salieris Tarare (1787) und Axur re d'Ormus (1788): Vertonung eines Sujets für Paris und Wien’, HJbMw, 5 (1981), 211–27
  • J. Platoff: Music and Drama in the Opera Buffa Finale: Mozart and his Contemporaries in Vienna, 1781–1790 (diss., U. of Pennsylvania, 1984)
  • R. Angermüller: Antonio Salieri: fatti e documenti (Vicenza and Belluno, 1985)
  • P.G. De Guidi: Antonio Salieri (Legnano, 1985)
  • J.S. Hettrick: ‘A Thematic Catalogue of Sacred Works by Antonio Salieri: an Uncatalogued Holograph of the Composer in the Archive of the Vienna Hofkapelle’, Fontes artis musicae, 33 (1986), 226–35
  • J. Joly: ‘Un fol opéra: “Tarare” de Beaumarchais et Salieri’, Les ecrivains français et l'opéra, ed. J.-P. Capdevielle and P.-E. Knabe (Cologne, 1986), 95–108
  • B. Brizi: ‘Uno spunto polemico Calzabigiano: Ipermestra o Le Danaidi’, La figura e l'opera di Ranieri de' Calzabigi: Livorno 1987, 119–45
  • J.A. Rice: Emperor and Impresario: Leopold II and the Transformation of Viennese Musical Theater, 1790–1792 (diss., U. of California, Berkeley, 1987)
  • I vicini di Mozart: Venice 1987 [incl. J.A. Rice: ‘Rondò vocali di Salieri e Mozart per Adriana Ferrarese’, 185–209; J. Joly: ‘Riscrittura di melodrama per Salieri e Cherubini: Tarare/Axur e Demofoonte/Démophoon’, 242–72; S. Martinotti: ‘“Falstaff”: per un altro ritratto di Salieri’, 273–96; F. Claudon: ‘A propos di “Falstaff”: Shakespeare, Salieri et le renouveau du théâtre européen à la fin du XVIII siècle’, 297–310]
  • V. Braunbehrens: Salieri: ein Musiker im Schatten Mozarts (Munich, 1989; Eng. trans., 1992, as Maligned Master: The Real Story of Antonio Salieri)
  • D. Link: ‘The Viennese Operatic Canon and Mozart's Così fan tutte’, Mitteilungen der Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum, 38 (1990), 111–21
  • L. Kantner: ‘Antonio Salieri rivale o modello di Mozart?’, Mozart e i musicisti italiani del suo tempo: Rome 1991, 9–19
  • J.A. Rice: ‘The Operas of Antonio Salieri as a Reflection of Viennese Opera, 1770–1800’, Music in Eighteenth-Century Austria: Cardiff 1991, 210–20
  • B. Brizi: ‘Libretti e partiture: a proposito dell' Axur re d'Ormus di Lorenzo da Ponte (Salieri) e del Telemaco di Marco Coltellini (Gluck)’, L'edizione critica tra testo musicale e testo letterario: Cremona 1992, 437–42
  • T. Betzwieser: Exotismus und ‘Türkenoper’ in der französischen Musik des Ancien Régime (Laaber, 1993)
  • B. Brizi: ‘Da Ponte e Salieri: a proposito dell' Axur re d'Ormus’, Omaggio a Gianfranco Folena (Padua, 1993), 1405–29
  • T. Betzwieser: ‘Exoticism and Politics: Beaumarchais’ and Salieri's Le couronnement de Tarare (1790)’, COJ, 6 (1994), 91–112
  • V. Della Croce and F.Blanchetti: Il caso Salieri (Turin, 1994)
  • R. Armbruster: ‘Die Anspielungen auf Mozarts Le nozze di Figaro in Antonio Salieris Falstaff (1799)’, SMw, 44 (1995), 209–88
  • R. Armbruster: ‘Zur Kölner Fassung von Salieris “Falstaff oder Die drei Streiche”’, Antonio Salieri: Falstaff (Cologne, 1995)
  • D. Heartz: Haydn, Mozart, and the Viennese School, 1740–1780 (New York, 1995)
  • R. Angermüller and E. Biggi Parodi, eds.: Da Beaumarchais a Da Ponte (Turin, 1996)
  • R. Armbruster: ‘Salieri, Mozart und die Wiener Fassung des Giulio Sabino von Giuseppe Sarti: Opera seria und “Rondò-Mode” an der italienischen Oper Josephs II’, SMw, 45 (1996), 133–66
  • E. Biggi Parodi: ‘Les Danaïdes di Tschudi-Du Roullet e Salieri e suoi debiti nei confronti di lpermestra o Le Danaidi di Calzabigi’, Ranieri Calzabigi tra Vienna e Napoli: Livorno 1996, 101–27
  • B.A. Brown and J.A. Rice: ‘Salieri's Così fan tutte’, COJ, 8 (1996), 17–43
  • R. Rabin: Mozart, Da Ponte and the Dramaturgy of Opera Buffa: Italian Comic Opera in Vienna, 1783–1791 (diss., Cornell U., 1996)
  • J. Webster: ‘Understanding opera buffa: analysis: interpretation’, Opera buffa in Mozart's Vienna, ed. M. Hunter and J. Webster (Cambridge, 1997), 340–77
  • D. Link: The National Court Theatre in Mozart's Vienna: Sources and Documents, 1783–1792 (Oxford, 1998)
  • J.A. Rice: Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera (Chicago, 1998)
Studien zur Musikwissenschaft
Regensburg, Fürst Thurn und Taxis Hofbibliothek
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Brno, Moravské Zemské Muzeum, Oddělení Dějin Hudby
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Madrid, Real Conservatorio Superior de Música, Biblioteca
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Basle, Universität Basel, Öffentliche Bibliothek, Musikabteilung
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Monthly Musical Record
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Music Review
Mitteilungen der Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum
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Rivista italiana di musicologia