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Antonio Salieri

Italian Born 18 Aug 1750 Died 07 May 1825

He studied with Gassmann and others in Vienna, and also knew Gluck (who became his patron) and Metastasio.

In 1774 he succeeded Gassmann as court composer and conductor of the Italian opera; from 1788 he was also court Kapellmeister.

He made his reputation as a stage composer, writing operas for Vienna from 1768 and presenting several in Italy, 1778-80.

Later he dominated Parisian opera with three works of 1784-7; Tarare (1787), his greatest success, established him as Gluck's heir.

In 1790 he gave up his duties at the Italian opera.

As his style became old-fashioned his works lost favour, and he composed relatively little after 1804, but he remained a central and influential figure in Viennese musical Iife.

His many pupils included Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt.

There is little evidence of any intrigues against Mozart, still less of the charge of poisoning.

Salieri's circa 40 Italian operas are traditional in their emphasis on melodic expression, but they also show Gluck's influence, with dramatic choral writing, much accompanied recitative and careful declamation: some combine seria and buffa elements.

Among his many other compositions are oratorios, church music, cantatas, arias, vocal ensembles, songs and orchestral and chamber works.

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