Mozart Salieri

 Mozart & Salieri - on period instruments!


Vittoria Giacobazzi (Italy) soprano
Genevieve Blanchard  classical flute
Gili Rinot  classical clarinet
Myrna Herzog  conductor, musical director

Ensemble PHOENIX on early instruments: Ya'akov Rubinstein & Lia Raikhlin (violins), Daniel Tanchelson (viola), Lucia D'Anna (cello), Ron Veprik (double bass), Genevieve Blanchard (classical flute), Gili Rinot (classical clarinets), Alexander Fine (classical bassoon), Evgeny Karasik (early tympani).

“Salieri is one of history’s all-time losers—a bystander run over by a Mack truck of malicious gossip. Shortly before he died, in 1825, a story that he had poisoned Mozart went around Vienna. In 1830, Alexander Pushkin used that rumor as the basis for his play “Mozart and Salieri,” casting the former as a doltish genius and the latter as a jealous schemer. Later in the nineteenth century, Rimsky-Korsakov turned Pushkin’s play into a witty short opera. In 1979, the British playwright Peter Shaffer wrote “Amadeus,” a sophisticated variation on Pushkin’s concept, which became a mainstay of the modern stage. Five years after that, Miloš Forman made a flamboyant film out of Shaffer’s material, with F. Murray Abraham playing Salieri as a suave, pursed-lipped malefactor.Alex Ross, “Antonio Salieri’s Revenge”, The New Yorker.

In other words, Antonio Salieri has been the victim of character assassination. This is a tragic fate for a composer that was immensely famous during his lifetime, one of the most important and sought-after teachers of his generation, having taught no less no more than Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Mozart’s own son, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart. Salieri's music was performed all over Europe, and he provided works for the opera houses in Vienna, Paris, Rome and Venice. He played an essential role in the development of late 18th-century opera and influenced decisively many of his contemporaries – including Mozart. 

Regarding Mozart, if there had been enmity between the two men, why would Mozart’s widow Constanze entrust the musical education of their son to Salieri? And upon his appointment as Kapellmeister in 1788, why did Salieri revive Figaro, instead of one of his operas? And why would he take three Mozart masses to the coronation festivities for Leopold II in 1790?


Salieri was a most cultivated and intelligent man . . . whom I loved and esteemed both out of gratitude and by inclination . . . more than a friend, a brother to me.” Lorenzo Da Ponte, the master librettist of “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” and “Così Fan Tutte”

Our program is a ping-pong between the two composers, heard in an array of different genres, sacred and profane, vocal an instrumental.
In charge of the brilliance and virtuosity of their vocal writing, we are happy to host outstanding Italian soprano Vittoria Giacobbazi, dialoguing with PHOENIX's "ensemble playing of genuine beauty and lushness".

With the support of  Istituto Italiano di Cultura Haifa

Logo tricolore Haifa


mozart x Salieri


Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (1756 -- 1791)

Overture from the opera Don Giovanni K 527 (1787) 

Aria Vedrai, carino from Don Giovanni Act II, No. 18 

Parto, ma tu ben mio (with  clarinet obbligato) from La clemenza di Tito KV 621/ Act 1 (1791)

Antonio Salieri

Overture from the opera Les Danaides (1784) 

Aria "Misera abbandonata" (with  clarinet obbligato) from Palmira, Regina di Persia (1795) 

Aria Dopo pranzo addormentata from Il Rico d’un giorno (1784)

Mozart x Salieri
A MUSICAL QUIZ. Can you really tell who wrote what?

- Suite from Les Danaides  (Un poco adagio - Allegretto - Allegretto - Allegro brillante)

Sacred works:

Salieri – Aria Vorrei dirti il mio tormento from La passione di Gesù Cristo (1776)

Mozart - Aria Alleluja from motet Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165 (1773) 

Mozart - Andante in C for flute and orchestra  KV 315 (1778)

                 Marcia: Maestoso from Serenata notturna KV 239 (1776)

Mozart – Aria Voi che sapete from Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 2 - (1786)

Salieri – Aria Son qual lacera tartana (Renoppia, Atto II, Scena X) from La Secchia rapita (1772)

"The danger of the word “genius” is that it implies an almost biological category—an innately superior being, a superhero. It is probably no accident that the category of “genius,” an obsession of the nineteenth century, coincided with the emergence of the pseudoscience of race, which held that certain peoples were genetically fitter than others. At the same time, “genius” easily becomes a branding term used to streamline the selling of cultural goods. The perils of the term become clear when the authorship of a work is uncertain. In 1987, the musicologist John Spitzer published an amusing and edifying article about the Sinfonia Concertante for Winds, K. 297b, which was long thought to be by Mozart. In its heyday, the Sinfonia was said to be “truly Mozartean” and as “monumental as a palace courtyard.” Once uncertainty about the attribution set in, the piece was called “cheap and repetitive.” The notes themselves had not changed."  Alex Ross, “Antonio Salieri’s Revenge”, The New Yorker.

On the Program

Ensemble PHOENIX by Yoel LevyThe music of this opera, as always with Salieri, is outstanding: its wealth of ideas and its perfection of declamation put it on the same level as Mozart’s". E.T.A. Hoffmann, 1795, upon hearing Axur Re d’Ormus.

There is astonishing richness and variety. And everything is handled with very refined taste.” Goethe on Salieri’s “La Scuola de’ Gelosi”

"Every one of his [Salieri] works, the largest as well as the smallest, bears the stamp of the philosophical composer, who was able to choose a fitting style for every poem, consider every situation in an opera to a nicety, sketch every character properly and express every feeling . . . as nature intended." lgnaz von Mosel


Very few people are nowadays acquainted with the works of the "philosophical composer", and many of his works have not been published modernly and lay dormant at the Austrian National Library. It is our aim to inspire you to keep on cherishing Mozart's music, adding to it a fondness for the music of his contemporary Salieri, and a context upon which to understand both outputs. For instance, we believe that after hearing Salieri's overture to Les Danaides (1784), one will appreciate differently Mozart's overture to Don Giovanni (1787). 

Salieri's music has of course a common ground with Mozart's, but quite a different personality and styles. Due to his cosmopolitanism, Salieri was a true camaleon: he is very deeply Italian, amazingly French (almost like a spiritual disciple of Rameau) and so Viennese that Empress Maria Theresa refers to him as one of "our composers" as opposed to the Italians.  His music has a drama, a brilliance, a pathos very typically Salieri's,  allied to a profound, heartbreaking lyricism.  "I shed tears ten times; it was too strong for me", wrote the poet Heinrich Von Gerstenberg, after hearing Salieri's opera Armida.

In the late 18th century, musical works were perceived dynamically by composers and public alike. Operas were periodically revised and could received alternative instrumentations, be cut, enlarged or altered more or less heavily according to public taste, the composer’s artistic development, available performing forces and market requests. The adaptation of operas and symphonies to chamber ensembles was also rather common, either performed by the composer himself or by a trusted party (as Haydn’s 12 symphonies entrusted to Salomon, who published them as flute quintets), or simply done by enterprising individuals in response to the demands of the market. Ensemble PHOENIX on period instruments performs this program in chamber setting, employing a string quintet, classical flute, classical clarinet, classical bassoon and natural timpani. Its recent performance of Storace's opera The Pirates in the same setting was recently described as “a carefully balanced ensemble playing of genuine beauty and lushness”.  


Ensemble PHOENIX on early instruments: Ya'akov Rubinstein & Lia Raikhlin (violins), Daniel Tanchelson (viola), Lucia D'Anna (cello), Ron Veprik (double bass), Genevieve Blanchard (classical flute), Gili Rinot (classical clarinets), Alexander Fine (classical bassoon), Evgeny Karasik (early tympani).

Vittoria Giacobazzi (Italy)

Vittoria Giacobazzi by Alex Gianoli

Vittoria Giacobazzi is a soprano lirico/leggero with a brilliant but warm voice, especially suitable for music from the 17th and 18th centuries. She studied baroque music with Italian mezzo-soprano Romina Basso and Belcanto with tenor William Matteuzzi.

A versatile artist, Vittoria performs a lot of baroque and classical music, having often worked with La Venexiana and with Jordi Savall in La Capella Reial de Catalunya, and also collaborates with contemporary music groups such as as the “AltreVoci” ensemble.


She has recently participated in the making of several CDs : “Jephte” by Carissimi with San Felice Ensemble (“Opera Network” association in Florence), “Il Martirio di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria” by P. Tosi (“Cosarara” Consort and Association in Naples),“Voces de Sefarad” (with Romina Basso and guitarist Alberto Mersica, Brilliant Classics edition). In March 2019 she has participated in the recording of a CD of unpublished music by the female composer Francesca Campana with Ricercare Antico Ensemble (Brilliant Classics edition).


A winner of the Italian Opera-studio “Primo Palcoscenico” in 2012 in Cesena with the role of Belinda in Dido and Aeneas by H. Purcell, Vittoria Giacobazzi has sung a plethora of roles from the baroque and classical music periods, such as: Amore in “La purpura de la rosa” by T. Torrejón y Velasco; Fortuna, Virtù and Damigella in “L’incoronazione di Poppea”; Fortuna and Giunone in “Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria”; the Ingrata solista in “Il ballo delle ingrate” and Lamento di Arianna by C. Monteverdi; Speranza and Obbedienza in the oratory “Giona” by D. Bassani; Filia in the oratorio “Jephte” by Giacomo Carissimi; Belinda in “Dido and Aeneas” by Purcell; Amor Divino in the oratory “La Conversione di Maddalena” by G. Bononcini; Piacere in “Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno” by G. F. Haendel; the Angel in the serious drama “Li prodigi della Divina gratia nella morte e nella conversione di S.Guglielmo duca d’Aquitania”; Serpina in “La serva padrona” by G. B. Pergolesi; Barbarina in “Le nozze di Figaro”, Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” and Mademoiselle Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor by W.A.Mozart; She has also playedSerafina in the 19th century intermezzo buffo “Il Campanello di notte” by G. Donizetti, and as Suor Maria in the 20th century opera “Mese mariano” by Umberto Giordano.

She has been a frequent presence in baroque festivals such as “Grandezze & Meraviglie” (Modena), “Spazio&Musica” (Vicenza), “Reate festival” (Rome and Rieti), “Sounding times”(Siena), “Reate” festival, “Sagra Musicale Lucchese” (Lucca), “Rassegna internazionale di musica per organo” (Grottammare), “Oude Musiek” Festival (Utrecht, Nl), Festival “Opera Barocca” 2017 (Prague-Cz, with the performance on Monteverdi “Zefiro, Zefiro Torna” directed by G.Capuano), “Musica Cortese” (Slovenia), “Stuttgarter Festspiele” (Stuttgart, De), “Thüringer Bachwochen” Festival (Weimar, De), “Schwetzinger Festspiele” (Schwetzingen, De), Klangvokal Musikfestival (Dortmund, De);, She has been a guest with ensembles “Lautten Compagney Berlin”, “La Venexiana”, “Cosarara”, “Bologna Baroque Ensemble”, “Ricercare Antico”, “La Capella Reial de Catalunya” (direction J. Savall), “Il Rossignolo”, “Bachakademie Stuttgart” (direction Hans Christoph Rademann), “Bachakademie Weimar” (direction Helmut Rilling).


She collaborates also with musicologists and institutions of early music research in Bologna, to promote musical study initiatives as “Cimes - tesori ritrovati del ‘600 emiliano” and the “International Museum of Music”.