Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were contemporaries — perhaps rivals, perhaps friends, maybe both. That was in the late eighteenth century. Despite the myth that they were bitter enemies, today’s audiences find their music highly complementary. The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society (BHOS) will offer the public a chance to explore their musical realtionahip with a performance of a major work of each composer on Sunday November 23 at 3 pm. The concert will take place in the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, corner of Henning Road and 5th Ave.
The program, “Salieri and Mozart: Of Myths and Men,” includes Salieri’s Requiem (1804) and Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, composed in 1780 when Mozart was just 24. Both were composed in forms traditional to the Christian Church of the time, and both feature orchestra and soloists as well as chorus. Salieri’s Requiem is a grand Mass for the dead, wishing the deceased “rest.” Mozart’s Vesperae is a setting of five psalms and a closing hymn. It is the second of two Vespers – or evening prayers – that he composed, this one for an unknown saint or saints (“confessore”).
In addition to the Latin texts and translations, BHOS will provide glimpses into some of the intrigue and the “myths” that continue to surround these two musical giants, a German and an Italian who worked in the royal courts of Austria.