[suhl-yair-ee, sal-; It. sah-lye-ree]
Salieri, Antonio, 1750-1825, Italian composer and conductor. He received his first training in Italy, going afterward (1766) to Vienna, where he remained as conductor of the opera and later (1788-1824) as court conductor. He was a friend of Haydn, and he taught Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. Mozart, however, distrusted him and believed that Salieri tried to poison him. Though Mozart's claim was never substantiated, an opera by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart et Salieri (1898) and a play by Peter Shaffer, Amadeus (1979; filmed 1984) have depicted Salieri as treacherously jealous of Mozart's genius. The most successful of his 43 operas were Les Danaïdes (1784) and Tarare (1787). He also wrote instrumental pieces and church music.
Armida is an opera by Antonio Salieri in three acts, set to a libretto by Marco Coltellini. The plot is based on the epic poem by Torquato Tasso, and Lully, Traetta, and Handel had already composed operas based on the situations that Tasso originally developed. The plot of all of these, and Salieri's work, is based on the relationship between Armida and the Crusader Rinaldo.

Salieri's opera was first performed in Vienna on the 2nd June 1771, and his composition was much influenced by the aesthetics of Christoph Willibald Gluck, who attempted to reform opera seria by tying the drama more closely to the music. Salieri's overture follows the principles set out by Gluck in the preface to Alceste. Other Gluckian influences display themselves in the frequent interplay of soloist and chorus, and the heavy use of chorus overall.


Cast Voice type Premiere, June 2, 1771
(Conductor: - )
Armida soprano
Ismene soprano
Rinaldo soprano castrato Giuseppe Millico
Ubaldo tenor


The Overture has been recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) conducted by Michael Dittrich, on Naxos Records.


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