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Overtures


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Audio CD, May 16, 2000
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Il Talismano 3:16$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Eraclito e Domocrito 3:51$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Cesare in Farmacusa 4:48$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Il Ricco d'un giorno 3:43$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. La Secchia rapita 6:20$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Axur, Re d'Ormus 3:20$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Les Danaides 5:48$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamace 7:04$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. La Grotta di Trofonio 5:40$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Il Moro 2:53$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Armida 5:55$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. L'Angiolina 5:03$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Overtures + Salieri: Symphonies & Overtures + Music for Wind Ensemble
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004SSJE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,105 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By F. Behrens HALL OF FAME on May 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Poor Salieri! After the job done on him in "Amadeus," one expects from his music nothing more than well-wrought pieces with no touches of genius whatsoever. Well, balderdash to that prejudice, as is demonstrated by the Naxos release of a dozen of his <Overtures> (8.554838). Here, try this at a party. Without identifying composer or piece, play a few minutes of each cut and see if your audience can identify the former. I think I personally would have guessed at Haydn or Telemann on several of them. After all, this was the man who gave instruction to Schubert and Beethoven at one time or another and was certainly praised in his time by those who did know better.
But all this background aside, you will certainly enjoy these classical and sometimes early Romantic overtures to operas that no one will ever again perform for several reasons. The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) under Michael Dittrich makes a good case for the composer, and the lighter and more serious of the overtures are nicely arranged to avoid repetition. Very nicely done in all respects.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I have read with interest the preceding reviews of this CD, and they seem to alternate between declaring Salieri an unacknowledged genius and totally worthless! (The Gramophone review, by the way, fell more into the latter category.) The truth lies somewhere in between. He is certainly no Mozart, but nonetheless he did write some very beautiful music which is surely worth hearing.
Like a previous reviwer, I was particularly impressed by "Cesare in Farmacusa" (1800), an overture in the "tempesta di mare" ("storm at sea") style, which has an incision and power that look ahead to Beethoven's thunderstorm music from the "Pastoral", and by "Ricco d'un giorno" (1784), a spirited and lively piece which is probably the most "Mozartian" item on the disc. There are some interesting moments in the other pieces, including "Les Danaides" (1784), which resonates with Gluck and even seems to look ahead to the Commendatore music in Mozart's "Don Giovanni". Worthy of note as well is the festive overture to "L'Angiolina" (1800), which is a setting of Ben Jonson's "The Silent Woman", which incidentally also inspired Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" and Strauss' "Die Schweigsame Frau".
All in all, a very nice disc which helps to bring Salieri out of the shade and is certainly worth exploring for anyone interested in the music of the late Classical and early Romantic periods.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It is unfortunate that Antonio Salieri (1750 - 1825) is known now almost exclusively for being the nemesis of Mozart in the Peter Schaffer play and subsequent film 'Amadeus'. Salieri was certainly much more than the thwarted, second-rate composer. Perhaps he was not in Mozart's league so far as composition power goes (although the best of Salieri certainly stands up as worthy in comparison with many of the major composers of his time), but he was a respected composer in his own time, and perhaps more than for his composition, he was respected as a teacher and court musician. Salieri counts among his pupils Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and even Mozart's second son.

His operas tended to follow a particularly popular formula, with dramatic flairs and stories easily accessible to the people. He drew inspiration from historical works, from mythological and fictional works, as well as works of popular circulation. Salieri even used some libretti from Lorenzo de Ponte, perhaps better known now as a librettist for Mozart.

This disc includes overtures of twelve operas (Salieri wrote nearly 50 operas, several of which were not premiered until the 1990s). They include pieces from his dramatic operas as well as his comic operas. The power in these is certainly evident. Perhaps the best of the lot is 'Cesare in Farmacusa (Tempesta di Mare)' and 'Axur, Re d'Ormus', an opera also involving de Ponte, and reworked from an earlier attempt to do a French opera into an Italian one.

It is a mistake (reinforced by 'Amadeus') to classify Salieri as an Italian composer - he lived most of his life in Vienna, and was criticised by the Empress at one point for being too much of a German composer.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Jack Elliot on October 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Milos Forman's film Amadeus has consigned Antonio Salieri forever to be thought of in direct comparison to Mozart, so let's get that out of the way first. I think it's fair to say that next to Mozart's opera overtures, these seem a bit one-dimensional; but only because they are Italianate, not because Salieri was the barely competent pretender that Amadeus portrays him to be. Salieri was a good composer, and his overtures are constructed very much like Verdi's overtures would be in the next century: the presentation of melodies is emphasized, and the more Germanic preoccupation with counterpoint and formal complexity is deemphasized. So again, if Salieri's music is simpler than Mozart's in this genre, that is mostly a matter of the Italianate style vis-a-vis the Germanic, and not of the inept craftsmanship with which the film so unfairly charges him.

Having granted Salieri credit where credit is due, however, it must also be recognized that these overtures are not the timeless masterpieces that Mozart's mature opera overtures so unfailingly are. After all, composers of the Classical era generally did not aspire to the production of timeless masterpieces: they thought of themselves not as Heroic Arists (a notion that didn't develop until well into the 19th century, with Beethoven as an early exception), but as craftsmen, much the way a chef or a carpenter thinks of himself today. Mozart in his day was very much the odd man out in making his own aesthetic ideals a higher priority than accessibility and immediate audience comprehension, and indeed his stubborness in this regard ultimately cost him permanent employment and a steady income, forcing him to get what work he could as a freelancer.
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