The relationship between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri has become legendary. Over time, the Italian artist's name has become synonymous with a not very talented, envious, unscrupulous artist, capable of murder to get rid of his genius rival.
Salieri's alleged hatred of Mozart became the theme of the play Mozart and Salieri, written in 1830 by Alexander Pushkin. Decades later, the myth was given a new setting when Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an opera based on Pushkin’s play. In the 20th century, Amadeus Peter by Shaffer drew on the work of the Russian poet, which in turn served as the basis for a film directed by Miloš Forman. As usual, the truth about the relationship of both composers is much more prosaic. Their relationship was in fact friendly, and the Italian artist supported and promoted the work of his younger colleague. After Mozart’s death he took up the musical education of his youngest son, Franz Xaver Wolfgang.
The concert programme will include compositions of both composers. Mozart wrote the Violin Concerto in G major at the age of 19. This light, cheerful and melodious work was created during his stay in Salzburg, but in a letter to his father the artist described it as a "Straßburger Konzert". The melody opening the third movement of the work probably comes from around this city. The earlier 10th Symphony in G major, written by a 14-year-old Mozart, is kept in the same climate as the concerto.
Salieri’s rich composing output includes over 650 compositions: operas, arrangements of liturgical texts, ballets, oratorios, chamber and orchestral works. The Symphony in D major is subtitled "La Veneziana". When writing it, the composer used the musical material from his two earlier operas: La scuola de’ gelosi (School of Jealousy) and La partenza inaspettata (Unexpected Departure). The former had its premiere in Venice and hence the subtitle of the symphony. The Concertino da camera in G major was written by Salieri in 1777 for solo oboe (or flute) and strings.