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Classical Era


Publication of British parliamentary speeches is permitted for the first time • French parlements are abolished in favour of a simpler system of courts • King Adoif Fredrik of Sweden dies, is succeeded by his son, Gustav III • Austria and Turkey make pact to force Russian withdrawal from Moldavia and Wallachia • Russians seize Crimea from Turks • Benjamin West (N Amer) paints The Death of General Wolfe • Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (Fr): Voyage Around the World, an account of his journey of 1766-69 • Henry Mackenzie (Scot): The Man of Feeling • First bound edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica is published in Edinburgh
Rhode Island colonists burn a British revenue boat • American statesman Samuel Adams forms Committees of Correspondence in Massachusetts, for action against the British • Gustav III of Sweden, fearing Austrian and Russian aggression, seizes absolute power by military coup d’etat and begins a programme of social reform and religious tolerance • First Partition of Poland: 30 percent of its territory is taken by Russia, Austria and Prussia • Chemist Karl Wilhelm Scheele (Swe) isolates oxygen, but does not publish the fact • David Garrick (Eng): farce The Irish Widow • Gotthold Lessing (Ger): tragedy Emilia Galotti
‘Boston Tea Party’: colonists, in protest of tea duty, dump cargo of tea into Boston harbour (Mass) • King Jose I of Portugal becomes insane; his wife, Maria Anna, is made regent • Cossack Pugachev leads peasant uprising in south-east Russia • Captain Cook in HMS Resolution crosses Antarctic Circle • Oliver Goldsmith (Ire): She Stoops to Conquer
British parliament passes 'Coercive Acts’ against American colonies • First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia to protest against the Acts • King Louis XV of France dies; is succeeded by his grandson, Louis XVI • Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji ends Russo-Turkish War • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Ger): The Sorrows of Young Werther
British fail to conciliate American colonists and Revolutionary War breaks out; American forces capture Crown Point and Fort Ticonderoga, NY • Second Continental Congress meets at Philadelphia; George Washington appointed commander-in-chief of its forces • Pierre de Beaumarchais (Fr): The Barber of Seville • Richard Sheridan (Ire): The Rivals

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and color.



Chamber composer to the Infante Don Luis in Aranjuez, Luigi Boccherini completes his first collections of string quintets, Opp. 10 & 11, the latter containing his famous minuet, from Quintet No. 5. The works evolve from Boccherini's playing of an additional cello with the prince s quartet ensemble.

This year he also completes his Six symphonies Op. 12 and the popular Cello Concerto in B flat major.

Boccherini: String Quintets, op. 10, La Magnifica

Quintet I in A Major G.265
Quintet II in E Flat Major G.266
Quintet III in C Minor G.267
Quintet IV in C Major G.268
Quintet V in E Flat Major
Quintet VI in D Major G.270

Luigi Boccherini - Minuetto 

String Quintet in E major, Op.11, No.5 (G 275)

Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini. Symphony in D major, Op. 12, Nr. 1, G. 503

Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini. Symphony in E flat major, Op. 12, Nr. 2, G. 504

Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini. Symphony in C major, Op. 12, No. 3, G. 505

Boccherini '' La casa del Diavolo'' Sinfonia in Re minore Op.12 No. 4  G 506

Boccherini: Symphony in B flat major, Op.12-5, G 507

Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini. Symphony in A major. Op. 12, Nr. 6, G 508,  Johannes Goritzki, conductor

Boccherini, Cello Concerto In B Flat Major , Du Pre, Cello

Johann Baptist Vanhal’s Sturm und Drang style Symphony in G minor is published by Breitkopf & Hartel in Leipzig.

Jan Baptist Vanhal : Symphony in G minor

28 March
Leopold Mozart and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrive a 15-month tour of Italy. 
A second Italian trip, based in Milan, begins in the summer.

Jan Baptist Vanhal : String Quartet F Major Op. 6, No.1

Ferdinando Paer, Italian composer, born.

Franz Joseph Haydn composes his Op. 17 string quartets (maturing the genre yet further), the Salve Regina in G minor and one of his greatest keyboard works, the Piano Sonata No. 33 in C minor. Around this time he also completes his Symphony No. 44, nicknamed Trauersinfonie (Mourning Symphony).

J. Haydn - Hob III:25 - String Quartet Op. 17 No. 1 in E major

J. Haydn - Hob III:26 - String Quartet Op. 17 No. 2 in F major

J. Haydn - Hob III:27 - String Quartet Op. 17 No. 3 in E flat major

J. Haydn - Hob III:28 - String Quartet Op. 17 No. 4 in C minor

J. Haydn - Hob III:29 - String Quartet Op. 17 No. 5 in G major

J. Haydn - Hob III:30 - String Quartet Op. 17 No. 6 in D major

J. Haydn - Hob XXIIIb:2 - Salve Regina in G minor
- Coro (Adagio) Salve Regina (0:00)
- Coro (Allegro) Eia ergo (9:44)
- Coro (Largo - Allegretto) Et Jesum...O clemens (13:50)

Haydn - Piano Sonata no. 33, Hob. XVI/20 - Sviatoslav Richter (1991)

Haydn - Symphony No. 44 'Trauer'
Orchestra of St. John's, Smith Square, London - John Lubbock, conductor 
1. Allegro con brio
2. Menuetto - Allegretto 9:35
3. Adagio 15:10
4. Presto 22:38

16 October
Johann Adolph Hasse and Pietro Metastasio present the opera Il Ruggiero (their final collaboration) at the Regio Ducal Teatro, Milan. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's serenata Ascanio in Alba is staged there the next day. Leopold Mozart reports that his son’s work has outshone that of Hasse. The 15-year-old Mozart, in awe of Hasse, has nothing but praise for him.
For Hasse, one of the most famous opera composers of the century, the feeling is mutual—he remarks portentously,


        "This boy will cause us all to be forgotten".

Johann Adolph Hasse - Ruggiero - Ouverture

Ferdinando Paer

Ferdinando Paer

Ferdinando Paer, (born June 1, 1771, Parma, duchy of Parma [Italy]—died May 3, 1839, Paris, France), Italian composer who, with Domenico Cimarosa and Nicola Antonio Zingarelli, was one of the principal composers of opera buffa of his period.


Paer produced his first opera, Orphée et Euridice, in Parma in 1791 and achieved even more success in Venice the following year with Circe. From 1797 to 1802 he was musical director of the Kärntnertor Theatre in Vienna, where his most successful opera, Camilla, was produced in 1799. A C-minor funeral march in Achille (1801) impressed Beethoven and may have helped inspire the second movement of the Eroica symphony a few years later. Paer was in Dresden from 1802 to 1806, where his Leonore (1804) would prove a more direct influence on Beethoven. In 1805 Paer first crossed paths with Gioachino Rossini, who as a boy made his debut in Paer’s Camilla. In 1807 he went to Paris, where he became chapelmaster to Napoleon, conducted at the Opéra-Comique, and (1812–27) directed the Théâtre Italien; he was accused during his later tenure there of intrigue against Rossini, who succeeded him as director. Paer’s most successful opera of this period was Le Maître de chapelle (1821; The Chapelmaster). In addition to 43 operas he also composed religious and chamber music and secular cantatas.

Ferdinando Paër - Organ Concerto in D-major

Mov.I: Allegro spiritoso 00:00
Mov.II: Andante sostenuto 15:11
Mov.III: Rondò allegretto 19:20

Organist: Stefano Innocenti

Orchestra: I Pomeriggi Musicali - Marco Balderi

Ferdinand Paer "Beatus Vir"Psalm 112 für Sopran, Klarinette und Orgel
Emmy Abo, Sopran; Yoko Koyama, Klarinette;
Dr. Florian Wilkes

Ferdinando Paër - Leonora or Conjugal Love - 1979
Leonora : Ursula Koszut, Marcellina : Krisztina Laki,
Florestano: Renzo Casellato, Pizzarro :Tullio Pane,
Fernando : Ezio Di Cesare, Rocco : Giorgio Tadeo,
Giachino : Giancarlo Luccardi
Orchestra Sinfonica e coro della Rai di Milano
Direttore Peter Maag



Domenico Cimarosa, aged 22, gains international attention with the comedy Le stravaganze del conte, his first work for the stage.

The string quartet comes of age in Franz Joseph Haydn’s Op. 20 (Nos. 23-28). The collection features idiomatic string writing and increased equality among the parts. Its expressive range is striking, from the reflective intimacy of Quartet No. 1 in E flat major through to the sunny temperament of No. 4 in D major. Quartet No. 5 in F minor—its ’Adagio’ especially—offers a rare glimpse of Haydn in sombre mood.

J. Haydn - Hob III:31 - String Quartet Op. 20 No. 1 in E flat major
1. Allegro moderato (0:00)
2. Menuetto: Un poco allegretto (9:54)
3. Affettuoso e sostenuto (13:59)
4. Finale: Presto (21:15)

J. Haydn - Hob III:32 - String Quartet Op. 20 No. 2 in C major
1. Moderato (0:00)
2. Capriccio: Adagio - Cantabile (10:13)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (17:36)
4. Fuga a 4 soggetti: Allegro (21:28)

J. Haydn - Hob III:33 - String Quartet Op. 20 No. 3 in G minor
1. Allegro con spirito (0:00)
2. Menuetto: Allegretto (6:28)
3. Poco adagio (11:40)
4. Allegro di molto (21:21)

J. Haydn - Hob III:34 - String Quartet Op. 20 No. 4 in D major
1. Allegro di molto (0:00)
2. Un poco adagio e affettuoso (7:46)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto alla Zingarese (19:08)
4. Presto scherzando (20:51)

J. Haydn - Hob III:35 - String Quartet Op. 20 No. 5 in F minor
1. Moderato (0:00)
2. Menuetto (10:32)
3. Adagio (15:35)
4. Finale: Fuga a 2 soggetti (21:25)

J. Haydn - Hob III:36 - String Quartet Op. 20 No. 6 in A major
1. Allegro di molto e scherzando (0:00)
2. Adagio cantabile (5:34)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (11:29)
4. Fuga a 3 soggetti: Allegro (13:38)

2 January
Michael Haydn's Requiem Pro Defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo is performed in memory of his former patron, Achbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach, in Salzburg.

Michael Haydn - Requiem in C minor, MH 155 [Bolton, Mozarteum Orchester Saltzburg]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, aged 16, presents his dramatic serenade Il sogno di Scipione (Scipio’s Dream) in honour of the new Archbishop of Salzburg, Hieronymus Colloredo.

Prince Esterhazy announces his intention to prolong his summer retreat at Esterhaza by several weeks. Members of his orchestra, eager to return to their wives in Eisenstadt, implore Franz Joseph Haydn to intervene. The composer responds with a new symphony: 
No. 45. Quickly arranged for performance, the work ends with an Adagio during which musicians are in turn directed to pack up, snuff out their candles and leave. With the orchestra finally whittled down to Haydn and the principal violinist, the prince takes the hint: the next day he orders the departure from Esterhaza. The symphony gains the nickname Farewell.

Joseph Haydn / Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp minor "Farewell"

00:00 - Allegro assai
07:08 - Adagio
21:36 - Menuet: Allegretto; Trio
26:22 - Finale: Presto; Adagio

Performed by Charles Mackerras and the Orchestra of St. Luke's (1989).

11 November
Tommasso Traetta's finest opera, Antigona, is premiered at the Court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg.

Tommaso Traetta - Antigona 1-2

Tommaso Traetta - Antigona 2-2
Antigona (Antigone) is an opera in three acts in Italian by the composer Tommaso Traetta. The libretto, by Marco Coltellini, is based on the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles. But there is also an opera Antigona by Josef Mysliveček.

The background to the opera is the myth of Oedipus. Oedipus has been expelled from Thebes, the city where he was king, after it was revealed he had killed his father and married his mother. He left four children: Eteocles, Polynices, Antigone and Ismene. Creon, Oedipus' brother-in-law, declares that the vacant throne of Thebes will now be shared by the two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, ruling alternately, but the two have quarrelled. To prevent a war, Creon decrees the two should fight in single combat to decide who will be king.

Act One
Eteocles and Polynices (played by ballet dancers) fight the single combat and kill each other. Adrastus now offers the crown to Creon, who declares that Eteocles shall be buried with full honours. Polynices, however, will be left unburied because he started a war on Thebes when he did not get his way. Polynices' sisters, Antigone and Ismene, are distraught. Antigone resolves to bury her brother in defiance of Creon's decree. Ismene hopes that Creon's son Haemon (who is in love with Antigone) will be able to persuade his father to show mercy to the dead Polynices.

Act Two
Antigone cremates Polynices by night. Haemon comes to warn her just before Adrastus and his guards arrive. Adrastus realises Creon's orders have been disobeyed. He believes Haemon is the culprit and arrests him. Creon sentences him to death, but Antigone arrives to explain that the cremation is all her own work. Creon condemns her to be walled up alive in a cave.

Act Three
Creon and the Thebans watch as Antigone is walled up in the cave. Adrastus brings news that Haemon has apparently committed suicide. Creon hurries back to Thebes. But Haemon has survived and reaches the cave where he intends to die with Antigone. He manages to reach her through a fissure in the rock. He shows the dagger he has brought which will enable them both to have a quick death and avoid slow starvation. At that moment there is a noise as soldiers break down the wall. Creon has repented his action and repealed the death sentence. He asks Antigone and Haemon to forgive his harshness. The opera ends with a marriage ceremony for the two rescued lovers.

26 December
Now on his third Italian tour, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart directs his opera Lucio Silla at the Teatro Regio Ducal in Milan. The opera seria is a huge success, achieving 25 further performances during Carnival season.



Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach composes six string symphonies (Wq. 182) for Baron Gottfried van Swieten, the Austrian ambassador to Berlin.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - Symphony in G major, Wq 182 - 1

C. Ph. E. Bach: Sinfonia for strings & b.c. in B flat major Wq 182 - 2 

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - Symphony in C major, Wq 182 - 3

CPE Bach - Symphony  in A major Wq.182 - 4

C.P.E. Bach Symphony For Strings in B Minor Wq. 182 - 5

C.P.E. Bach - Symphony in E Major WQ182 - 6

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composes his symphonies Nos. 22-27. Symphony No. 25 in G minor is conspicuous for its dramatic syncopations, arresting dynamic contrasts and agitated tremolando effects, all characteristic of the Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) style.

W. A. Mozart - Complete Symphonies Vol.3 [ K.Böhm Berlin-PO ]
1. Symphony #18 (0:00)
2. Symphony #19 (18:35)
3. Symphony #20 (42:54)
4. Symphony #21 (1:02:20)
5. Symphony #22 (1:22:21)
6. Symphony #23 (1:31:36)
7. Symphony #24 (1:42:40)
8. Symphony #25 (1:52:37)
9. Symphony #26 (2:16:42)

3 March
Le magnifique (The Magnifico) is a French-language opéra comique in three acts by André Grétry to a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine, after Jean de La Fontaine; it was first performed on 4 March 1773 at Comédie-Italienne, Paris.

André-Ernest Modeste Grétry (1773) Le Magnifique

The opera opens as a gaggle of captives is processed past the home of Clémentine and her servant, Alix. The master of the house, Clémentine's father Horace, a wealthy merchant of Florence, had been shipwrecked nine years earlier alongside his servant Laurence, Alix's husband. They were taken by pirates and sold into slavery. As Clémentine and Alix watch the captives from their windows, Alix recognizes her husband, Laurence, among them ("C'est lui, c'est lui, c'est lui!"). She suggests that Horace might be with them, telling Clémentine of how they had been freed by Octave (Le Magnifique). As Alix leaves to investigate, she mentions that Clémentine's tutor, Aldorandin, who had been her caretaker in her father's absence, would like to marry her. Clémentine wonders why this proposition does not give her the same joy as the mention of Le Magnifique ("Pourquoi donc ce Magnifique").

At that moment Aldorandin enters the house, declaring his love for Clémentine and asking for her hand. Clémentine refuses, stating that she is too young yet for marriage ("Ma chere enfant"). Aldorandin sends her to her room to reconsider. Meanwhile, Fabio, Aldorandin's conniving servant, arrives to report that Le Magnifique will exchange his best race horse in exchange for fifteen minutes of private discourse with Clémentine. While Fabio praises the horses ("Ah c'est un superbe cheval!"), Aldorandin reflects on his suspicions of Le Magnifiques's intentions. As if his ears were burning, Le Magnifique enters the house to close the deal, and the three men leave together to go see the horse ("Vous m'étonnez, vous badinez").

Once they have left Alix returns, this time with Laurence, who sings of his desire to stay with his wife and never return to the sea ("Ah! si jamas je cours les mers"). Alix leaves to gather food and wine and returns with Clémentine. Laurence tells them how Le Magnifique rescued him and Horace and brought them home, but asked that the men tell no one, especially Aldorandin, of their return. Alix remarks that with the return of Horace, Clémentine will be able to get her father's blessing to marry Aldorandin. Clémentine begins to cry, and tells Alix that she does not wish to marry Aldorandin, but cannot tell her why ("Je ne sais pourquoi je pleure"). Alix offers her support, and she and Laurence leave Clémentine to her thoughts.

When Aldorandin returns with Le Magnifique, he tells Clémentine that she will meet with Le Magnifique in exchange for the horse. He warns her that Le Magnifique will try to seduce her and advises that she remain silent throughout his advances. When Aldorandin leaves her to fetch Le Magnifique, Clémentine sings of her fear of hurting the man she secretly loves, Le Magnifique, with the silence she is forced to keep to assuage Aldorandin ("Quelle contrainte"). Aldorandin and Le Magnifique return and Aldorandin places his rival and Clémentine at one side of the stage while he and Fabio observe from the other, out of earshot. Le Magnifique professes his love for Clémentine, and, realizing her forced silence, tells her to drop the rose she is holding if she would be willing to marry him. She complies and he bows to pick up the rose, then departs to the sounds of Aldorandin's and Fabio's mockery.

Back in her room, Clémentine admonishes herself for her acceptance of Le Magnifique's offer ("Ah! que je me sens coupable!") and recounts the events to Alix. Laurence returns and informs them that Le Magnifique is on his way back to the house and is bringing Horace with him. Clémentine leaves the room while Alix and Laurence sing of their joy of being together again ("Te voilá donc"). As they finish their duet, Fabio enters to tell Alix that Aldorandin has gone to get a notary so he might marry Clémentine without further delay, but when he sees Laurence he suddenly runs away with Laurence following in hot pursuit. Alix, frustrated with her husband's sudden and unexplained departure, attributes it to jealously ("O ciel! Quel air de couroux"). She goes out to look for him while Clémentine sings of her excitement for being reunited with her father and her hopes that he will give her his blessing to marry Le Magnifique ("Jour heureux!"). Alix returns and tells Clémentine to go to her room and wait to be called by her father.

Horace returns with Le Magnifique and sends for his daughter. The two joyously reunite, and Horace promises Clémentine that they will never be parted again. When Aldorandin returns with the notary, he attempts to embrace Horace, but is rebuked as Horace demands to know why Aldorandin never responded to the letters he sent during his captivity. Aldorandin claims to have received none and insists that the care he provided to Horace's daughter and estate should be proof enough of his loyalty. At that moment, Laurence returns, dragging Fabio in by the scruff of the neck ("Ne me bats pas"). He forces Fabio to admit that, on the orders of Aldorandin, he sold Horace and Laurence into slavery. Aldorandin is dismissed from the house and Horace gives his blessing to the marriage of Clémentine and Le Magnifique. The opera ends with everyone singing of the joys of bing a reunited family, with the exception of Fabio who sings of his intentions to flee.

Thamos, King of Egypt ( in German, Thamos, König in Ägypten) is a play by Tobias Philipp, baron von Gebler, for which, between 1773 and 1780, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote incidental music, K. 345/336a, of an operatic character.

During visit to Vienna, Wolfgahg Amadeus Mozart completes six string quartets (K. 168-173) and performs before Empress Maria Theresa.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (Salzburg, Áustria, 27/01/1756 - Viena, Áustria, 05/12/1791)

intérprete:  Sonare Quartet: Ruxandra Constantinovici, violino I; Laurentius Bonitz, violino II; Marius Nichiteanu, viola; Emil Klein, cello

01. String Quartet No. 8 In F, K 168 - 1. Allegro 4:21
02. String Quartet No. 8 In F, K 168 - 2. Andante 1:51
03. String Quartet No. 8 In F, K 168 - 3. Menuetto 2:39
04. String Quartet No.8 In F, K 168 - 4. Allegro 2:10
05. String Quartet No. 9 In A, K 169 - 1. Molto Allegro 3:41
06. String Quartet No. 9 In A, K 169 - 2. Andante 2:23
07. String Quartet No. 9 In A, K 169 - 3. Menuetto 3:06
08. String Quartet No. 9 In A, K 169 - 4. Rondeau: Allegro 2:16
09. String Quartet No. 10 In C, K 170 - 1. Tema Con Variazioni 4:44
10. String Quartet No. 10 In C, K 170 - 2. Menuetto 2:58
11. String Quartet No. 10 In C, K 170 - 3. Un Poco Adagio  2:18
12. String Quartet No. 10 In C, K 170 - 4. Rondeau: Allegro 3:11
13. String Quartet No. 11 In E Flat, K 171 - 1. Adagio, Allegro Assai, Adagio 5:14
14. String Quartet No. 11 In E Flat, K 171 - 2. Menuetto 3:05
15. String Quartet No. 11 In E Flat, K 171 - 3. Andante 2:18
16. String Quartet No. 11 In E Flat, K 171 - 4. Allegro Assai 2:18
17. String Quartet No. 12 In B Flat, K 172 - 1. Allegro Spiritoso 4:18
18. String Quartet No.12 In B Flat, K 172 - 2. Adagio 2:39
19. String Quartet No. 12 In B Flat, K 172 - 3. Menuetto 3:14
20. String Quartet No. 12 In B Flat, K 172 - 4. Allegro Assai  3:01
21. String Quartet No. 13 In D Minor, K 173 - 1. Allegro Ma Molto Moderato 5:07
22. String Quartet No. 13 In D Minor, K 173 - 2. Andantino Grazioso 3:18
23. String Quartet No. 13 In D Minor, K 173 - 3. Menuetto 4:12
24. String Quartet No. 13 In D Minor, K 173 - 4. Allegro 3:09

12 July
German composer and flautist Johann Quantz dies in Potsdam, aged 76.

26 July
Franz Joseph Haydn's rustic L’infedelta delusa (Deceit outwitted) is first performed at Esterhaza for the name day celebration of the Dowager Princess Maria Anna. The Italian libretto was by Marco Coltellini.


The opera is set in the Tuscan countryside.

Act 1

Filippo, brother and sister Nanni and Vespina, and rich farmer Nencio admire the beauty of the summer evening. Filippo is concluding a deal with Nencio. Sandrina, Filippo's daughter enters, the others leave her alone with her father, who tells here that he has found her a husband. She protests that she loves only Nanni but Filippo dismisses the thought of her marrying a poor man. When Nanni arrives, Sandrina is sad, and torn between love for him and respect for her father. Nanni vows vengeance on Filippo and the man chosen to be Sandrina's husband.

In a room in Nanni and Vespina's house; Vespina sings of the pain of love but longs for its pleasures. She reveals that she is in love with Nencio, whose behaviour puzzles her. Nanni tells her that Nencio wishes to marry Sandrina and both swear vengeance.

Outside Filippo's house, Nencio sings a serenade to Sandrina. Vespina and Nanni eavesdrop on him as he asks Filippo to send Sandrina to him. Despite Sandrina's tears, Nencio says he will marry her come what may. Vespina enters and slaps him; Nencio and Filippo refuse to budge, Vespina and Nanni are furious while Sandrina laments her predicament.

Act 2

Vespina has disguised herself as an old woman, so that when Filippo and Sandrina come out of the house she will tell them that Nencio was secretly married but abandoned her daughter. Filippo, angry at Nencio's supposed duplicity hurls insults at him; Nencio, baffled by this, is next approached by Vespina this time disguised as a German servant who says that her master, a marquis will be taking Sandrina as his wife. Nencio thinks he now understands the reason for Filippo's anger, but Vespina reappears now as the Marquis de Ripafratta, saying that although he promised to marry Sandrina he wouldn't marry below his station and will therefore trick her into marrying one of his scullions. Nencio is pleased by the anticipated humiliation of Filippo and offers to be a witness. Vespina assures Nanni that her ruses will succeed.

Filippo is delighted by Sandrina's prospects as the wife of a marquis, but his daughter says that she wants love, not luxury. In her fourth disguise, Vespina enters as a notary accompanied by Nanni disguised as a servant and Nencio. A marriage contract is signed and witnessed, Filippo believing the bridegroom to be the marquis, Nencio thinking it the servant. When the disguises are thrown off, Sandrina is shown to be married to her beloved Nanni. Vespina confesses her tricks, Filippo accepts the outcome, and Vespina looks forward to wedding the chastened Nencio.

24 December
Joseph Johann Baptist Woelfl (Joseph Wölfl), Austrian pianist and composer, born.

30 December
Céphale et Procris (Cephalus and Procris) is an opera by André Grétry with a French-language libretto by Jean-François Marmontel based on the Classical myth of Cephalus and Procris as told in Book Seven of Ovid's Metamorphoses. It takes the form of a ballet héroïque in three acts. It was first performed at the Palace of Versailles on 30 December 1773.

Gretry - 'Cephale et Procris' Suite

Act 1   Scene: A forest
Procris is a nymph who once followed the goddess Diana but she abandoned this way of life after falling in love with the hunter Cephalus. Aurora, goddess of the dawn, is also in love with Cephalus and plots to eliminate her rival. She disguises her identity and prophesies that Cephalus will become an instrument of Diana's vengeance and kill Procris. To avoid this fate, Cephalus runs away from Procris.

Act 2   Scene: Aurora's palace
Cephalus takes refuge in Aurora's palace but the goddess's promises of a life of bliss fail to seduce him from his unwavering love for Procris.

Act 3   Scene: A desolate place in the middle of a forest
Jealousy torments Procris with fears that Cephalus has deserted her. Cephalus is out hunting. As he approaches, Procris hides in the undergrowth to eavesdrop on him. Mistaking her sighs for the sounds of an animal, Cephalus shoots her with a arrow and mortally wounds her. Diana's vengeance is fulfilled. But Cupid descends from the heavens, revives Procris and grants the couple immortality.

Cephalus and Procris - Jean-Honore Fragonard

Joseph Wölfl

Joseph Johann Baptist Woelfl (German spelling:) Joseph Wölfl (24 December 1773 - 21 May 1812) was an Austrian pianist and composer.


Woelfl was born at Salzburg, where he studied music under Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn.

He first appeared in public as a soloist on the violin at the age of seven. Moving to Vienna in 1790 he visited Wolfgang Mozart and may have taken lessons from him. His first opera, Der Höllenberg, appeared there in 1795.

Woelfl was very tall (over 6 feet), and with an enormous finger span (his hand could strike a thirteenth, according to his contemporary Frantisek Tomasek); to his wide grasp of the keyboard he owed a facility of execution which he turned to good account, especially in his extempore performances.

Although he dedicated his 1798 sonatas op. 6 to Beethoven, the two were rivals. Beethoven however bested Woelfl in a piano 'duel' at the house of Count Wetzlar in 1799, after which Woelfl's local popularity waned. After spending the years 1801 -1805 in Paris, Woelfl moved to London, where his first concert performance was on 27 May 1805.

In England, he enjoyed commercial if not critical success. In 1808 he published his Sonata, Op. 41, which, on account of its technical difficulty, he entitled Non Plus Ultra; and, in reply to the challenge, a sonata by Dussek, originally called Le Retour à Paris, was reprinted with the title Plus Ultra, and an ironic dedication to Non Plus Ultra. 

Woelfl died in Great Marylebone Street, London, on 21 May 1812.

Joseph Wölfl

Joseph Wölfl - Op. 20 - Piano Concerto No. 1 in G major
Yorck Kronenberg, piano; SWR Rundfunkorchester conducted by Johannes Moesus.

Joseph Wölfl - Piano Sonata in C-minor, Op.25 (1805)
Pianist: Jon Nakamatsu

C. Ph. E. Bach: Sinfonia for strings & b.c. in B flat major Wq 182 - 2 



The 22-year-old Muzio Ctementi leaves the service of his Dorset-based English guardian, Peter Beckford, and settles in London.

Queen Marie Antoinette appoints Andre Gretry as her musical director.

20 January
Having recently suffered serious injure falling from his carriage, Florian Leopold Gassmann dies in Vienna, aged 44.
Antonio Salieri, aged 24, succeeds him as director of the Italian opera in Vienna.

Franz Joseph Haydn composes his symphonies Nos. 51, 52, 54-57 and 60. 

J. Haydn - Hob I:51 - Symphony No. 51 in B flat major
The Academy of Ancient Music, conducted by Christopher Hogwood.

Jю Haydn-Symphony No. 52 in C minor (Hogwood)

J. Haydn - Hob I:54 - 2nd Version - Symphony No. 54 in G major (Hogwood)

J. Haydn - Hob I:55 - Symphony No. 55 in E flat major "The Schoolmaster" (Hogwood)

J. Haydn - Hob I:56 - Symphony No. 56 in C major (Hogwood)

J. Haydn - Hob I:57 - Symphony No. 57 in D major (Hogwood)

J. Haydn - Hob I:60 - Symphony No. 60 in C major "Il distratto" (Hogwood)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts compositions this year include his symphonies Nos. 28-30, and the Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K. 191.

W. A. Mozart - Complete Symphonies Vol.4  [ K.Böhm Berlin-PO ]
1. Symphony #27 (0:00)
2. Symphony #28 (17:13)
3. Symphony #29 (38:31)
4. Symphony #30 (1:05:24)
5. Symphony #31 "Paris" (1:23:20)
6. Symphony #32 (1:42:42)
7. Symphony #33 (1:51:24)
8. Symphony #34 (2:13:27)

W.A Mozart: Concerto for Bassoon in B flat major, KV. 191
Eckart Hübner - Fagott
Symphonieorchester der UDK Berlin, 2016

19 April
Christoph von Gluck’s first opera for the French stage, Iphigenie en Aulide, premieres with great success at the Paris Opera.

During the summer the composer also triumphs with a French language version of Orfeo ed Euridice, but at the same time faces opposition from die-hard traditionalists who circulate anti-Gluck pamphlets.

IPHIGENIE IN AULIS (Gluck/Wagner) - Dresden 1987
(Caridis - Bundschuh, Evangelatos, Selbig; Lorenz, Schreier, Nau, Friedrich)
Gluck: "Iphigenie in Aulis" (in der Bearbeitung von Richard Wagner)
Kulturpalast Dresden - Mai 1987 (konzertante Aufführung)
Agamemnon: Siegfried Lorenz
Klytämnestra: Daphne Evangelatos
Iphigenie: Eva-Maria Bundschuh
Achillas: Peter Schreier
Kalchas: Hans-Martin Nau
Wache: Wolf-Mathias Friedrich
Diana: Ute Selbig
Dirigent: Miltiades Caridis
(weitere Angaben im akustischen Abspann der Radioübertragung)


Calchas, the great seer, prophesies that King Agamemnon must sacrifice his own daughter, Iphigenia, in order to guarantee fair winds for the king's fleet en route to Troy –- a demand that comes from the goddess Diana herself. Throughout the opera, Agamemnon struggles with the terrible choice between sparing his daughter's life and ensuring his subjects' welfare.

Agamemnon summons his daughter to Aulis, the port where the Greek navy is gathering, ostensibly for her to marry Achilles, the great warrior hero. Then, reconsidering his decision to sacrifice her, the king tries to prevent her arriving with the fabricated explanation that Achilles has been unfaithful. Iphigenia, however, has already reached the Greek camp accompanied by her mother Clytemnestra. The two women are dismayed and angered by Achilles' apparent inconstancy, but he eventually enters declaring his enduring love for the girl, and the first act ends with a tender scene of reconciliation.

The wedding ceremony is due to be celebrated and festivities take place with dances and choruses. When the couple are about to proceed to the temple, however, Arcas, the captain of Agamemnon's guards, reveals that the king is awaiting his daughter before the altar in order to kill her. Achilles and Clytemnestra rush to save the girl from being sacrificed. Agamemnon finally seems to give up his plan to kill her.

The third act opens with a chorus of Greeks: they object to the king's decision in case they are never allowed to reach Troy, and demand the ceremony be celebrated. At this point, Iphigenia resigns herself to her fate, and offers her own life for the sake of her people, while Clytemnestra entreats the vengeance of Jupiter upon the ruthless Greeks. As the sacrifice is going to be held, however, Achilles bursts in with his warriors and the opera concludes with Gluck's most significant revision of the original myth: Calchas' voice rises over the general turmoil and announces that Diana has changed her mind about the sacrifice and consents to the marriage. In the second 1775 version Diana appears personally to consecrate both the wedding and Agamemnon's voyage.

Anselm Feuerbach - Iphigeneia

25 August
Prolific in opera and sacred music,

Niccolo Jommelli dies in Naples, aged 69.

14 November
Italian composer Gaspare Spontini is born in Maiolati, outside Iesi.


Gaspare Spontini

(b. Maiolati, November 14, 1774; d. Maiolati, January 24, 1851)



Though he was the son of peasants, Spontini’s early musical aptitude was noted and encouraged, and he was admitted to a Naples conservatory in 1793. Between 1796 and 1802 he led a peripatetic professional life, spending time in Rome, Florence, and Palermo and writing his first operas. He arrived in Paris at the end of 1802, and after struggling to find a foothold there enjoyed his first great success with the premiere of La vestale (The Vestal Virgin) in 1807. The work, an elaborate affair that required unprecedented amounts of rehearsal— largely caused by Spontini’s endless changes and polishing—might not have reached the stage at all had it not been for the efforts of Empress Josephine, who received the dedication. Its triumph established Spontini as a major figure, and it was soon produced in Vienna and Berlin. In 1809, with talk of Napoleon planning a Spanish campaign, Spontini wrote Fernand Cortez, another huge spectacle, which again enjoyed sweeping acclaim in Paris. Wisely lowering his profile after Napoleon’s downfall, he worked his way back into the graces of the restored Bourbon monarchy, but found his career path blocked. A new opera, Olimpie, based on Voltaire, was a failure at its premiere in 1819, and in 1820 Spontini moved to Berlin, accepting a longstanding offer from King Friedrich Wilhelm III to come to the Prussian capital and raise the standards of opera there. Spontini’s Berlin years, however, were filled more with political intrigues and rivalries than musical creativity. Even the success he enjoyed in 1821 with a new mounting of La vestale lasted only a littie over a month. Weber’s Der Freischutz was premiered in Berlin on June 18, 1821, and the course of opera in 19th-century Germany changed with the stunning success of that masterpiece. Spontini completed only two more operas, Alcidor (1825) and Agnes von Hohenstaufen (1829). His egotism and despotic manner endeared him to few (even the gentle Mendelssohn found him insufferable) , and he finally left Berlin in disgrace in 1842, a trail of personality clashes and lawsuits behind him. He returned to Paris, traveled aimlessly, and spent the final months of his life in his hometown.
With La vestale, Spontini rekindled the pure musical flame of Gluck’s tragedies lyriques, the main reason Berlioz became such a devoted admirer of his work. And with Fernand Cortez, Spontini anticipated many of the structural and scenic elements that would figure in French grand opera, which put Meyerbeer and even Wagner in his debt. Spontini had a sense of spectacle that appealed to the Romantic vanguard, and he was one of the first great autocrats of the podium, demanding an extraordinary standard of execution from the organizations with which he worked, both theatrically and orchestrally. This fact was not lost on Wagner, who interviewed Spontini in Dresden in 1844, and witnessed firsthand the lengths to which he went in preparing a performance. As vast as Spontini’s ego was, he arranged for the poor to be the beneficiaries of his estate after his death.

Gaspare Spontini - La Vestale 1_2
Jérémie Rhorer direttore
Ermonela Jaho (Julia)
Andrew Richards (Licinius)
Beatrice Uria Monzon (La Grande Vestale)
Jean-François Borras (Cinna)
Konstantin Gorny (Le Souverain Pontife)

Le Cercle de l'Harmonie
Chœur Aedes
Mathieu Romano chorus master 
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, live recording

Gaspare Spontini - La Vestale 2_2

Gaspare Spontini - Olympie 1_2
Gerd Albrecht (Conductor)
Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Orchestra)
Männerchor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Julia Varady (Performer),
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Performer)
RIAS-Kammerchor (Performer)
Stefania Toczyska (Performer)
George Fortune (Performer)
Franco Tagliavini (Performer)

Gaspare Spontini - Olympie 2_2

Gaspare Spontini - MILTON 
Milton: Giovanni Ciminelli
Emma: Mariella Devia
Lord Devanant: Antonio Savastano
Godwin: Carlo Micalucci
Carlotta: Silvana Mazzieri
Messaggero : Nino Guida
Servitore: Nino Guida
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano della RAI 
Direttore  Alberto Paoletti, 23 Novembre 1974



Georg Anton Benda establishes the musical archetype for German melodrama (spoken play accompanied by music) with his Ariadne auf Naxos and Medea, premiered in Thuringia and Leipzig respectively.

"Ariadne auf Naxos" (Melodrama)
Music: Jiří Antonín Benda

Libretto: Johann Christian Brandes
Artist: Hertha Schell
- Ariadne - Theseus - Oreade 

Ariadne is sleeping on the shore of the island of Naxos, as Theseus, her lover, looks down on her resting form. Theseus feels there is a destiny placed upon him and feels that he can not stay tied to Ariadne and fulfill that destiny. He slips away from Ariadne on his ship, leaving her stranded alone on Naxos. Ariadne awakes to find herself deserted by the faithless Theseus. Ariadne despairs and commits suicide.

"Medea" (Melodrama)
Music: Jiří Antonín Benda

Libretto: Fredrich Wilhelm Gotter
Artist: Hertha Schell
- Medea - Her two sons - Governess - Jason - Courtiers

Jason et Médée by Gustave Moreau (1865).

In Greek mythology, Medea was the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, niece of Circe, granddaughter of the sun god Helios. Medea figures in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, appearing in Hesiod's Theogony around 700 BC, but best known from a BC third-century literary version by Apollonius of Rhodes called the Argonautica. Medea is known in most stories as a sorceress and is often depicted as a priestess of the goddess Hecate.

Christian Cannabich has his Six Symphonies Op. 10 published in Mannheim.

Christian Cannabich - Sinfonia in D-major

13 January 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's three-act buff a opera La finta giardiniera (The Pretend Garden-Girl) opens in Munich.
The poet Christian Schubart writes in the Deutsche Chronik:
"Flashes of genius appear here and there ... if Mozart is not a plant forced into the hothouse, he is bound to grow into one of the greatest composers who ever lived."

15 January
Giovanni Battista Sammartini
one of the pioneering composers of the Classical style, dies in Milan, aged 74.

2 April
Franz Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Return of Tobias premieres with great success in Vienna at a concert organised by the Tonkunstler-Sozietat, a benevolent society for musicians. Around 200 musicians take part.

Joseph Haydn - Il Ritorno di Tobia, - Ouverture in C-minor

23 April
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composes the serenata Il re pastore and his five violin concertos.

Mozart - Violin Concertos
00:00:00 Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat, K. 207
00:18:24 Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major, K. 211
00:36:44 Rondo in B-Flat Major, K. 269/261a 
00:43:23 Rondo in C Major, K. 373 
00:48:58 Adagio in E Major, K. 261
00:55:39 Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216 
01:17:51 Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218
01:38:41 Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219
Kristóf Baráti (violin). Hungarian Chamber Orchestra

15 October
Bernhard Henrik Crusell Swedish-Finnish clarinetist and composer, born.

16 December
Composer Francois-Adrien Boieldieu is born in Rouen, France.

Bernhard Henrik Crusell

Bernhard Henrik Crusell

Bernhard Henrik Crusell (15 October 1775 – 28 July 1838) was a Swedish-Finnish clarinetist, composer and translator, "the most significant and internationally best-known Finnish-born classical composer and indeed, — the outstanding Finnish composer before Sibelius".


Between 1791 and 1799 Crusell studied music theory and composition with Abbé Vogler and another German teacher, Daniel Böritz, when Böritz was resident in Stockholm. In 1803 while in Paris Crusell studied composition at the Conservatoire with Gossec and Berton. He composed pieces, including concertos and chamber works, not only for his own use, but also for other wind players in the court orchestra. In 1811 he travelled to Leipzig where he established a relationship with the music publisher Bureau de Musique, which became part of C. F. Peters in 1814.

From 1818 to 1837 during the summers he conducted military bands in Linköping, providing them with arrangements of marches and overtures by Rossini, Spohr, and Weber and composing pieces for male choir. In 1822 he published three volumes of songs to texts by the Swedish poet Tegnér and others, and in 1826 another volume, Frithiofs saga, with ten songs to texts by Tegnér. An opera, Lilla slavinnan (The Little Slave Girl), was first performed in Stockholm in 1824 and was repeated 34 times in the following 14 years.

A romantic opera in 3 acts, first public performance in 1824. The libretto was written by Guilbert Pixérécourt, Finnish translation by Esko Elstelä. The libretto is based on the tale of Ali Baba and the forty thieves.

Overture/Alkusoitto 0:00
1. Act / 1. näytös 07:01
2. Act / 2. näytös 23:06
3. Act / 3. näytös 34:51

Concert version without speech segments, recorded in 1991-1992.

Kaisa Hannula, soprano /Zetulbe
Marjatta Airas, mezzosoprano /Morgiana
Risto Saarman, tenor /Sadi
Raimo Laukka, baritone /Nurmahal
Heikki Kilpeläinen, baritone /Hassan
Antti Suhonen, bass /Ali
Polyteknikkojen Kuoro (male-voice choir)
Akademiska Damkören Lyran (female-voice choir)
Kullervo Kojo, clarinet
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra


The Little Slave Girl, Pieni orjatar (Den lilla slafvinnan)


François-Adrien Boieldieu

François-Adrien Boieldieu (16 December 1775  – 8 October 1834) was a French composer, mainly of operas, often called "the French Mozart"

Born during the Ancien Régime in Rouen, Adrien Boieldieu received his musical education first from the choirmaster and then from the organist of the local cathedral. During the Reign of Terror, Rouen was one of the few towns to maintain a significant musical life and in 1793 a series of concerts was organised featuring the celebrated violinist Pierre Rode and the tenor Pierre-Jean Garat. It was during this time that Boieldieu composed his earliest works to texts written by his father (La fille coupable in 1793, followed by Rosalie et Mirza in 1795). They brought him immediate success.

During the Revolutionary period, Boieldieu left for Paris and wisely started work as a piano tuner.  In 1797, Boieldieu offered the Feydeau La famille suisse and L'heureuse nouvelle. In 1798, he presented the Favart with Zoraime et Zulmare, which brought him extraordinary success.

The spiritual heir of André Grétry, Boieldieu focused on melodies which avoided too much ornamentation, set to light but intelligent orchestration. Hector Berlioz described his music as possessing "a pleasing and tasteful Parisian elegance". In 1800, he scored a veritable triumph with Le calife de Bagdad. In 1804, following the breakdown of his marriage to the dancer Clotilde Mafleurai, he set off for Saint Petersburg to take up the post of court composer to the tsar, where he stayed until 1810. There he composed nine operas, including Aline, reine de Golconde (1804) and Les voitures versées (1808). On his return to France he won back Parisian audiences with La jeune femme en colère (1811), Jean de Paris (1812), Le nouveau seigneur du village (1813) and a dozen other works.

In 1825 he produced his masterpiece, La dame blanche (revived in the Salle Favart in 1997 and recorded by the conductor Marc Minkowski). Unusual for the time, La dame blanche was based on episodes from two novels by Walter Scott. The libretto by Eugène Scribe is built around the theme of the long lost child fortunately recognized at a moment of peril. The style of the opera influenced Lucia di Lammermoor, I puritani and La jolie fille de Perth. La dame blanche was one of the first attempts to introduce the fantastic into opera.

Boieldieu died in Varennes-Jarcy. On 13 November 1834 his heart was interred in Rouen, in a tomb paid for by that city, while his body was interred in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. 

Overture to La Dame Blanche, Francois Adrien Boieldieu. The Memling Ensemble

François-Adrien Boïeldieu - Les Voitures versées - Ouverture

Adrien Boieldieu - Overture Calife De Bagdad / Conductor - Shmuel Elbaz

Boieldieu - Concerto for Harp and Orchestra.
Julia Rovinsky (harp),  Zubin Mehta and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,movement 1. Live from Tel Aviv Concert, Israel,17-nov-2006, played on Horngacher harp.

François Adrien Boieldieu: Piano Concerto in F Major, Martin Galling (piano)

Benjamin West - The Death of General Wolfe

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