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Classical Era


In America, the Revolutionary War continues; British evacuate Boston, Mass, but drive American colonists from Canada • Continental Congress adopts a Declaration of Independence (4 July), drafted by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams • Adam Smith (Scot): Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
American Revolutionary War continues: George Washington’s troops defeat the British at Princeton, NJ; Americans defeat British at Bennington, Vt; a British force under John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga, NY; British defeat Americans and occupy Philadelphia, Pa; Washington’s army suffers great privations throughout the winter at Valley Forge, Pa • Jose I of Portugal dies; is succeeded by his daughter Maria I • Chemist Carl Scheele (Swe) publishes his Treatise on Air and Fire, proving that air consists of two gases (now known as nitrogen and oxygen) • Thomas Gainsborough (Eng) paints The Watering-Place • Richard Sheridan (Ire): comedy The School for Scandal

France makes an alliance with the new United States of America, and war breaks out between France and Britain • The Marquis de Lafayette, already fighting in America, co-ordinates plans for a French expeditionary force to America; a former Prussian general, Baron von Steuben, becomes inspector-general of the American army, and issues the first US Army drill manual • Americans under George Washington win Battle of Monmouth, NJ • In India, British seize Pondicherry and Mahe from the French • John Singleton Copley – Watson and the Shark • Navigator James Cook (Br) discovers Hawaiian islands • Fanny Burney (Eng): first novel, Evelina

Spain joins France and America in war against Britain and begins siege of Gibraltar; the war causes a sharp increase in France’s financial deficit • Treaty of Teschen ends the War of Bavarian Succession • Charles Willson Peale (US) paints portrait George Washington • David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion published posthumously

Netherlands joins Spain and France in the alliance against Britain • In America, the British take Charleston and overrun South Carolina, but are defeated at King’s Mountain, NC • Emperor Josef II becomes sole ruler of Austria on the death of his mother, Maria Theresa • John Singleton Copley (US) paints The Collapse of Chatham

John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776"



Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach composes Heilig for double choir and orchestra. He writes: ‘... may [it] serve to ensure that I am not too quickly forgotten after my death.’

C.Ph.E. Bach, Kantata Heilig ist Gott. Wiebke Lehmkuhl (c/alt), Hans-Christoph Rademann (c)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composes his March (K. 249) and the Haffner Serenade (K. 250) for the wedding of a family friend, Marie Elizabeth Haffner.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - March in D major, KV.249

W. A. Mozart - KV 250 (248b) - Haffner Serenade in D major
1. Allegro maestoso - Allegro molto (0:00)
2. Andante (9:45)
3. Menuetto (19:29)
4. Rondo: Allegro (23:12)
5. Menuetto galante (32:25)
6. Andante (37:50)
7. Menuetto (46:29)
8. Adagio - Allegro assai (51:41)

The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Ton Koopman.

24 January
German writer and composer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann  is born in Konigsberg.

23 April
Christoph von Gluck’s opera Alceste (1767), comprehensively revised for a French audience, struggles at the Paris Opera.

29 July
Giovanni Paisiello leaves Naples to take up the appointment 
of maestro di cappella to Catherine II of Russia, in St Petersburg. He remains there for seven years.


16 November
Niccolo Piccinni leaves Naples to set up home in Paris.

E.T.A. Hoffmann

E.T.A. Hoffmann

E.T.A. Hoffmann, in full Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, original name Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, (born January 24, 1776, Königsberg, Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia]—died June 25, 1822, Berlin, Germany), German writer, composer, and painter known for his stories in which supernatural and sinister characters move in and out of men’s lives, ironically revealing tragic or grotesque sides of human nature.


The product of a broken home, Hoffmann was reared by an uncle. He was educated in law and became a Prussian law officer in the Polish provinces in 1800, serving until the bureaucracy was dissolved following the defeat of Prussia by Napoleon in 1806. Hoffmann then turned to his chief interest, music, and held several positions as conductor, critic, and theatrical musical director in Bamberg and Dresden until 1814. About 1813 he changed his third baptismal name, Wilhelm, to Amadeus in homage to the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He composed the ballet Arlequin (1811) and the opera Undine (performed in 1816) and wrote the stories in Phantasiestücke in Callots Manier, 4 vol. (1814–15; Fantasy Pieces in Callot’s Manner), that established his reputation as a writer. He was appointed in 1814 to the court of appeal in Berlin, becoming councillor in 1816.

Although Hoffmann wrote two novels, Die Elixiere des Teufels, 2 vol. (1815–16; The Devil’s Elixir), and Lebens-Ansichten des Katers Murr nebst fragmentarischer Biographie des Kapellmeisters Johannes Kreisler, 2 vol. (1820–22; “The Life and Opinions of Kater Murr, with a Fragmentary Biography of Conductor Johannes Kreisler”), and more than 50 short stories before his death from progressive paralysis, he continued to support himself as a legal official in Berlin. His later story collections, Nachtstücke, 2 parts (1817; Hoffmann’s Strange Stories), and Die Serapionsbrüder, 4 vol. (1819–21; The Serapion Brethren), were popular in England, the United States, and France. Continued publication of the stories into the second half of the 20th century attested to their popularity.

In his stories Hoffmann skillfully combined wild flights of imagination with vivid and convincing examinations of human character and psychology. The weird and mysterious atmosphere of his maniacs, spectres, and automata thus intermingles with an exact and realistic narrative style. The struggle within Hoffmann between the ideal world of his art and his daily life as a bureaucrat is evident in many of his stories, in which characters are possessed by their art. His use of fantasy, ranging from fanciful fairy tales to highly suggestive stories of the macabre and supernatural, served as inspiration to several operatic composers. Richard Wagner drew on stories from Die Serapionsbrüder for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), as did Paul Hindemith in Cardillac (1926) and Jacques Offenbach in The Tales of Hoffmann (1881), in which Hoffmann himself is the central figure. The ballet Coppélia (1870), by Léo Delibes, is also based on a Hoffmann story, as is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet suite, The Nutcracker (1892).

Symphony in E flat major - E.T.A. Hoffmann

E.T.A. Hoffmann: Miserere in B flat for soloists, chorus and orchestra 

00:00 1. Miserere mei, deus
05:04 2. Ende enim In Iniquitatibus
3. Ecce enim  veritatem
4. Asperges me hysopo 
5. Auditui meo dabis
6. Averte faciem tuam
7. Redde mihi laetitiam
8. Docebo iniquos
9. Libera me de santuinibus
10. Sacrificium deo
11. Benigne fac
12. Ut aedificentur

Krisztina Laki, Hildegard Laurich, sopranos
Gwendolyn Killbrew, contralto
Aldo Baldin, tenor
Nikolaus Hillebrand, bass

Kölner Rundfunkchor
Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester 
Conducted by Roland Bader

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. Grand piano trio in E major, AV 52

E.T.A. Hoffmann- Ouverture Undine.

Dirna - E.T.A. Hoffmann
»Dirna« AV 51 (1809), ein Indisches Melodram in drei Aufzügen nach einer wahren Geschichte, von Julius Freiherr von Soden bearbeitet.

00:00 I. Aufzug
31:05 II. Aufzug
52:20 III. Aufzug

Angelika Krautzberger – Dirna
Martin Herrmann – Ganga
Werner Klockow – Zami

Kammerchor »Cantemus« (Raimund Wippermann)
Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss
Johannes Goritzki, 1998.



Poet and musical theorist Christian Schubart (24 March 1739 – 10 October 1791) begins a ten-year imprisonment for allegedly insulting the mistress of Duke Carl Eugen of Wiirttemberg. During this time he will pen Ideas on the Aesthetics of Music, as well as his autobiography and various musical compositions.

Johann Christian Bach's Six Concertos for harpsichord or pianoforte, Op. 13, are published in London.


Christian Bach, Piano Concertos op. 13, 1 - 3
Piano Concerto Op. 13, 1  in C Major – Allegro 7:18
Piano Concerto Op. 13, 1 in C Rondeau: Allegretto 5:50
Piano Concerto Op. 13, 1 in C Allegro 6:12
Piano Concerto Op. 13,2 in D Major - Con Spirito 6:34
Piano Concerto Op. 13,2 in D Major - Andante - Allegro Non Tanto 4:19
Piano Concerto Op. 13,3 in D Major - Allegro Con Brio 7:32
Piano Concerto Op. 13,3  in D Major -Rondeau: Allegro 5:04
Piano Concerto  in E-flat  Major – Allegro 7:47
Piano Concerto  in E-flat  Major – Andante 5:15
Piano Concerto  in E-flat  Major  Rondeau: Tempo Di Minuetto 4:40

J.C. Bach - W C65 - Piano Concerto Op. 13 No. 4 in E major
1. Allegro (0:00)
2. Andante (6:51)
3. Andante con moto (10:46)

J.C. Bach - W C67 - Piano Concerto Op. 13 No. 6 in E flat major
1. Allegro (0:00)
2. Tempo di minuetto: Andante (7:09)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composes the Piano Concerto in E flat, K. 271, his first mature work of the genre.

Mozart - Piano Concerto no.9 in E flat Major, K. 271
1. Allegro
2. Andantino
3. Rondo (Presto) Menuetto

Maria João Pires - piano
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne - Armin Jordan

Paris-based but itinerant composer Carl Stamitz visits London. There he publishes his six symphonies Op. 13.

Stamitz - Sinfonia in D Major,
Libor Hlaváček (conductor)

The Symphony No. 53 in D major, Hoboken I/53, is a symphony by Franz Joseph Haydn. It is often referred to by the subtitle "L'Impériale". It is scored for flute, two oboes, bassoon, two horns, timpani, and strings.

J. Haydn - Hob I:53 - Symphony No. 53 in D major "L'impériale" (w/ 4 alternative endings)
The symphony is set in 4 movements:
1. Largo maestoso - Vivace (0:00)
2. Andante (9:44)
3. Menuetto (16:48)
4. Finale A: Capriccio - Moderato (20:44)
5. Finale B: Presto (Hob Ia:7) (25:06)
6. Finale C: Presto (Hob Ib) (29:06)
7. Finale D: Presto (Hob Ia:4) (34:57)

5 January
Ignaz Holzbauers

serious opera Gunther von Schwarzburg is well received at the Hoftheater in Mannheim. Praised by Mozart, it is Holzbauer s finest stage work and the first German opera to be published in full score.

Ignaz Holzbauer - GUENTHER VON SCHWARZBURG - Rai Milano, 17.07.1960 

Set in 1349, the opera is loosely based on the 1347–1349 succession crisis in Germany. The plot centers on the conflict between Karl, King of Bohemia and Count Günther von Schwarzburg to succeed Ludwig the Bavarian as Holy Roman Emperor. Günther is supported by the powerful Elector, Rudolf II. However, Asberta indulges in intrigue on behalf of her son Karl by manipulating Anna, Rudolf′s daughter. In the end, both Günther and his antagonist Asberta die. Günther is poisoned by Asberta, and she commits suicide. Karl secures his throne and marries Anna.

Günther von Schwarzburg (1304–1349)

1 March
Austrian composer Georg Christoph Wagenseil, a pioneer of the Classical style, dies in Vienna aged 62.


3 August
Franz Joseph Haydn’s comic opera Il mondo della luna (The World of the Moon), setting Goldoni’s libretto, is premiered as part of the newly-established opera season at Eszterhaza.


Act 1
A terrace in the house of the bogus astronomer Ecclitico; an observatory tower with a telescope. A starlit night, with full moon

Ecclitico and his four students sing a hymn to the moon, and Ecclitico boasts of how he can dupe the foolish – such as Buonafede, who now appears. Buonafede does not have a clue what the moon is. Ecclitico explains to him that through his powerful telescope he will be able to see the moon's transparent surface all the way through the houses and able to spy on ladies as they undress before going to bed. Buonafede then attempts to view the moon through Ecclitico's telescope while Ecclitico's servants move caricatures in front of the telescope's lens. The trick works: Buonafede describes what he thinks he has seen: a very beautiful young girl caressing an old man, a husband ready to punish his wife for her infidelity, and a man who completely dominates his female lover. He rewards Ecclitico with some coins and leaves.

Alone, Ecclitico muses that it is not the old man's money he wants, but to wed his daughter Clarice. Ernesto, a nobleman who is in love with Clarice's sister Flaminia, and his servant Cecco (in love with Buonafede's servant, Lisetta) now join Ecclitico. Buonafede intends to marry the sisters off to rich suitors.

Ecclitico assures Ernesto and Cecco that with a little money all their difficulties will be solved. In a more serious aria ("Begli occhi vezzosi"), Ernesto sings of Flaminia's eyes and awaits impatiently the moment in which the two of them will spend their lives together. Cecco, for his part, is convinced that everyone's playing games and insistently points out the comic side of life.

A room in Buonafede's house

The sisters Clarice and Flaminia dream of escaping their tyrannical father. In a long aria, Flaminia recognises that even if reason is to dominate the soul, when love intervenes it takes control of everything. Buonafede mocks Clarice's stubbornness but she answers back, threatening him that she will find a husband for herself if he is not capable of providing one for her. The two sisters are clearly differentiated: Clarice is down to earth and her arias are full of determined pragmatism. Buonafede invites Lisetta (his daughters' maid) to share the wonders he has seen through the telescope, in an attempt to win her over. Interested in his money, she reassures him of her love for him, her fidelity and her virtues, none of which is true. Ecclitico arrives and tells Buonafede that the Emperor of the Moon has invited him to his court. By drinking an elixir he will be transported to the moon. Buonafede is tempted to travel with him and, therefore, asks for some of the liquor. Ecclitico agrees and, pretending to drink half of it, gives the rest to Buonafede who drinks it, falls asleep, and dreams of flying to the moon. Clarice and Lisetta believe at first that he is dead, then console themselves with the inheritance they will be getting.

Act 2
Ecclitico's garden, decorated so as to convince Buonafede that he is on the moon

Ecclitico and Ernesto discuss the progress of their plot, and when Buonafede awakens he is convinced he is on the moon.[5] He is entertained by a ballet and clothed in elegant gowns. Ecclitico tells him that he will be joined by his daughters and servant. According to lunar custom the women will be meek. Cecco appears disguised as the Emperor of the Moon, with Ernesto as the star Hesperus. Buonafede, delighted with life on the moon, is entertained by another ballet. When Lisetta enters, Buonafede tries to court her, but Cecco asks her to become Empress of the Moon. Lisetta, not fully aware of the plot, is at first puzzled. The two daughters arrive and pay homage to the Emperor in a nonsense ceremony. Flaminia goes off with Ernesto and Clarice with Ecclitico, while Cecco prepares to crown Lisetta as Empress. In the confusion of the masquerade, Buonafede is tricked into consenting to the three marriages, only realising that he has been duped when it is too late.

Act 3
A room in Ecclitico's house

The conspirators, back in normal dress, have locked Buonafede in his own house – the price of his freedom will be forgiveness for his daughters and their dowries. At last he yields.

A starlit night with a full moon

Clarice and Ecclitico sing of their love. Buonafede repents of his previous strictness and there is general rejoicing and celebration.



27 January
Niccolo Piccinni presents his first French opera, Roland, at the Paris Opera. (Roland is a tragédie lyrique in three acts. The opera was a new setting of a libretto written by Philippe Quinault for Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1685, specially adapted for Piccinni by Jean-François Marmontel and based on Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso). Christoph von Gluck attends the opening night and witnesses the work's enthusiastic reception. Subsequently two rival factions emerge: the ‘Gluckists’, who consider Gluck sympathetic to French operatic tradition, and the Ticcinnists’, who admire the more melodious Italian manner.

Niccolò Piccinni - Roland - overture

Composer Thomas Augustine Arne dies in London, aged 67. He is buried in the churchyard of St Pauls in Covent Garden.

Arne, painting by Francesco Bartolozzi

23 March
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
and his mother arrive in Paris, having had no success in finding employment in Mannheim. One of the composer's first Paris commissions produces the Flute and Harp Concerto (K. 299) for the Duke of Guines and his daughter. Mozart receives no payment in return.

W.A- Mozart - Flute and Harp Concerto K 299 C major 
Isabelle Moretti, harp
Philippe Boucly, flute
Neville Marriner
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

26 March
Ludwig van Beethoven, aged seven, makes his concert debut in Cologne. His father claims Ludwig to be six in order to exaggerate his sons prodigious talent. For many years Beethoven believes 1772 to be his year of birth.


18 June
Following a shaky rehearsal, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 31 Paris (K. 297) opens the Concert Spirituel season with great success in Paris. Commissioned by the institution’s director, Joseph Legros, it is Mozart’s most lavishly scored symphony to date, boasting a full compliment of double woodwinds along with horns, trumpets, timpani and strings.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony no 31 in D major K 297/300a 'Paris'

I: Allegro assai 00:17
II: Andantino 08:08
III: Allegro 13:56

2 July

Swiss philosopher, composer and theorist

Jean-Jacques Rousseau dies in Ermenonville,    ZT

northern France, aged 66.

3 July
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s mother, Anna Maria Walburga Mozart, dies after two weeks of critical illness in Paris. Mozart writes to his father telling him of her illness, but not her death. A family friend, Abbe Bullinger, informs Leopold Mozart a few days later.

Anna Maria Mozart, 
by Rosa Hagenauer-Barducci, 1775. 

3 August
Milan’s La Scala opera house is inaugurated with Antonio Salieri’s Europe riconosciuta (Europe Rewarded), written for the occasion.

For many years La Scala doubles up as a venue for gambling and business transactions, noisily undertaken even during performances.


Antonio Salieri - L'Europa Riconosciuta [M.Verazi] 

Princess Europa of Tyre and Prince Isséo are engaged to be married. Their plans to wed are ruined when the king of Crete, Asterio, abducts Europa from her father’s palace and forces her to marry him. Europa's father King Agenore of Tyre, tries to find his daughter but fails. In despair, he leaves his throne to his niece Semele instead of Europa on the condition that Semele must marry the man who kills the first foreigner to enter the nation of Tyre. In this way Europa’s kidnapping will be avenged. After Agenore’s death, Asterio sails from Crete towards Tyre in the hopes of placing Europa on the Tyrian throne.

Act I
Scene 1: A shore on the coast of Tyre
A major storm devastates Asterio’s fleet and causes his own ship to shipwreck off the coast of Tyre. Asterio, his wife Europa,and their son step off their boat onto the shore and are startled by the appearance of Egisto and his band of armed soldiers. Asterio manages to hide Europa in a cave, but is unable to save himself, his men, and his son from capture. Upon seeing this, Europa emerges from her hiding-place and tries to defend her son. Her efforts fail and she is taken with the rest of the Cretan prisoners to the palace of Tyre by Egisto and his men.

Scene 2: Semele's royal pavilion
Isséo has recently returned from a successful attack against the Cypriot rebels. Semele is in love with Isséo and has decided to marry him. She asks Egisto to assemble the grand council so that she can announce the name of the man she has chosen to marry, who will become the next king of Tyre. Meanwhile, Egisto, is determined to grasp the throne for himself and decides to openly challenge his rival.

Scene 3: Triumphal scene
Isséo and his soldiers enter the throne room celebrating their victory. Semele informs Isséo of her desire to share the Tyrian throne with him, and then asks him to attend the grand council with her. Isséo refuses Semele's request because he is still in love with Europa, and therefore is not free to love Semele.

Scene 4: A council chamber in Semele's palace
The council members pray for Temide's aid. Semele proclaims that she is prepared to choose the new king. Egisto foils her plan by reminding Semele of her promise to Agenore to marry the man that kills the first foreigner to set foot on Tyrian soil. Egisto produces Asterio in chains and hopes that he can execute Asterio in order that he might marry Semele and become king. Asterio, however, does not cooperate when questioned about his identity and origins. Frustrated, the council decides to interrogate Europa. She astounds everyone by proclaiming herself to be the missing princess of Tyre and rightful heir to the throne. Egisto is furious that his plan to obtain the throne is thwarted, while Isséo is greatly disturbed by Europa's reappearance. Seeing Isséo's response to Europa causes Semele to become full of jealous anger.

Act II
Scene 1: A prison
Asterio is in prison and is anxiously awaiting the council's decision on his fate. Concurrently, Egisto tries to convince Isséo that Europa may still love him. Europa enters and makes a plea for her family's lives. She does not express her feelings for Isséo but rather tells him that her loyalties are to her family as a wife and mother. Europa offers to relinquish the throne of Tyre to Semele, in exchange for the lives of her husband and son. She further begs Isséo to no longer remember the love they once had – as she herself has already forgotten – and to become king by marrying Semele. Isséo leaves Europa and she falls to the ground in tears.

Scene 2: A private room in the palace
Semele is highly jealous of Europa. She informs Isséo that the council has decided to execute the king of Crete and imprison his wife. In response, Isséo tells Semele that Europa no longer claims the throne. Furthermore, Isséo reveals Egisto’s treachery and informs Semele that he will marry her. Semele agrees to stop Asterio’s execution and sends Isséo to disband the proceedings.

Scene 3: The Temple of Vengeance
Asterio is about to be executed at the tomb of Agenore. Egisto offers Europa and her son their freedom if they are willing to flee. Europa rejects his offer, proclaiming that she prefers to die with her husband. Asterio begs them to accept Egisto's offer in order that they might live. The priests of Nemesi lead Asterio to the place of sacrifice, but they are interrupted by the emergence of Cretan soldiers. These soldiers are Asterio's men who got lost in the great storm but managed to survive. They have come, unexpectedly, to save Asterio's life. A tumultuous combat ensues between the Cretans and Egisto’s guards. Isséo appears with some of his men and joins the Cretan soldiers in fighting Egisto and his guards.

Scene 4: A courtyard
The Tyrian soldiers have been defeated but Egisto still fights on. Isséo and Egisto clash in a desperate fight and Egisto is killed. To the relief of Semele, Isséo is not wounded. Meanwhile, Europa is proclaimed the rightful heir to the throne by the people of Tyre. Semele is very upset until Isséo assures her that Europa will keep her promise.

Scene 5: A ceremonial chamber in the palace
Europa is proclaimed the new queen of Tyre, but her one and only act as queen is to marry Isséo and Semele and turn the throne over to them. Isséo and Semele happily accept. Synopsis based on Rodney Stringer's translation.

The Abduction Of Europa by Gillis Coignet

14 November
Composer and pianist Johann Nepomuk Hummel is born in Pressburg.

27 December
 Salieri’s La scuola de’ gelosi (The School of Jealousy) premieres in Venice. The opera triumphs and widens the composer’s fame throughout Europe.

La Scuola de' Gelosi

Dramma giocoso in due atti musica di Antonio Salieri

libretto di Caterino Mazzolà

Don Filippo Conte Bandiera: Patrick Kabongo
La Contessa: Francesca Longari
Blasio Biadaiuolo: Benjam Cho
Ernestina: Eleonora Bellocci
Lumaca: Qiangming Dou
Carlotta: Anna Vittoria Pitts
il Tenente: Manuel Amati

Maestro Concertatore e Direttore: Giovanni Battista Rigon

Johann Hummel

Johann Nepomuk Hummel

(b. Pressburg November, 14, 1778 - October 17, 1837)


Austrian composer and pianist. The most gifted student of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he lived in the Mozart home as a member of the composer’s family for several years, developing remarkable skills as a pianist along with a fluency in the topics of 18th-century music that frequendy puts one in mind of his master. A good deal of Mozart’s facility as an orchestra-tor also rubbed off on him. Hummel’s lessons with Mozart ended when he was ten; for the next four years he toured with his father, a capable conductor, through Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the British Isles. Returning to Vienna in 1793, he spent the next decade teaching the piano and studying counterpoint and composition with Johann Albrechtsberger and Antonio Salieri. In April 1804 he was installed as Kapellmeister to the Esterhazy family at Eisenstadt, succeeding Haydn (who nonetheless kept the title). He returned to Vienna in 1811, married the singer Elisabeth Rockel in 1813, and resumed his career as a concert pianist in 1814. But Beethoven’s sun burned too brightly for Hummel to shine in Vienna. In need of a secure position, he spent two years as Kapellmeister in Stuttgart (1816-18) before settling in as Kapellmeister at the ducal court of Weimar in 1819.

Hummel composed a sizable body of piano pieces, mostly in smaller forms, as well as six piano concertos. He also wrote more than ten operas and singspiels, numerous sacred works, a great deal of chamber music, and several orchestral pieces—everything except symphonies. Nowadays his most frequently encountered work is the Concerto in E for trumpet composed in 1803 for Anton Weidinger, the trumpet soloist of the Vienna Court Opera (for whom Haydn wrote his celebrated concerto in E-flat). Essentially conservative at a time when changing tastes and revolutionary advances in musical language were transforming the scene, Hummel upheld the values of the Classical style—clarity, elegance, and lyricism—in an age enthralled by subjectivity, drama, and heightened emotionalism. Through his piano music he exerted an important influence on Schubert (who dedicated his last three piano sonatas to Hummel), Mendelssohn, Chopin, and, to a lesser extent, Liszt.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel Mass in B flat major Op.77

1. Kyrie 0:00
2. Gloria  4:20
3. Credo  12:55
4. Sanctus  19:56
5. Benedictus  21:41 
6. Agnus Dei  27:08

Johann Nepomuk Hummel - Trumpet Concerto in E or E flat major, WoO 1, S. 49
- Orchestra: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
- Conductor: Sir Neville Marriner
- Soloist: Håkan Hardenberger

00:00 - I. Allegro con spirito
09:38 - II. Andante
14:23 - III. Rondo (Allegro)

Johann Nepomuk Hummel - Concerto for piano, violin & orchestra in G major, Op. 17

I. Allegro con brio 00:00
II. Theme & Variations: Andante con moto 14:17
III. Rondo 23:58

Hagai Shaham, violin
London Mozart Players
Howard Shelley, piano & director



15 January
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart takes up new employment under Archbishop Colloredo, becoming court organist in Salzburg. Compositions this year include symphonies Nos. 32 and 33, the Coronation Mass in C major (K. 317) and the Posthorn Serenade (K. 320). He also writes the singspiel Zaide, although it is not performed in public until 1866.

Mozart: Symphony No. 32 - Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis (2006)


W. A. Mozart - KV 317 - Coronation Mass in C major
- Kyrie (0:00)
- Gloria (2:58)
- Credo (7:33)
- Sanctus (13:50)
- Benedictus (15:42)
- Agnus Dei (19:18)

Mozart - Serenade No. 9 in D major, K. 320 "Posthorn" 

00:00 - Adagio maestoso - Allegro con spirito
08:01 - Menuetto: Allegretto
12:10 - Concertante: Andante grazioso
19:24 - Rondeau: Allegro ma non troppo
25:06 - Andantino
34:54 - Menuetto. Trio I. Trio II
39:31 - Finale: Presto

Posthorn Solo: Zdeněk Tylšar

Performed by Sir Charles Mackerras and the Prague Chamber Orchestra (Telarc: 1985).

7 February
Composer William Boyce dies in London, aged 67.

John Stanley succeeds him as Master of the Kings Music.

6 April
Italian opera composer Tommaso Traetta dies in Venice, aged 52.

18 May

Christoph von Gluck and librettist Nicolas-Fran9ois Guillard introduce Iphigenie en Tauride at the Paris Opera. The embodiment of his sweeping operatic reforms, the composers magnum opus delves deep into the emotions and psychologies of the ancient Greek characters, attaining a dramatic intensity.

Christoph Willibald Gluck: 'Iphigénie en Tauride', Wq.46
Mireille Delunsch, Iphigénie
Simon Keenlyside, Oreste
Yann Beuron, Pylade
Laurent Naouri, Thoas
Alexia Cousin, Diane

[00:00] ACTE I
[33:46] ACTE II
[01:03:30] ACTE III
[01:25:30] ACTE IV


Act 1
Scene: The entrance hall of the temple of Diana in Tauris.

There is no overture; the opera begins with a short passage evoking calm before turning into a depiction of a great storm at sea. Iphigenia, sister of Orestes, is the high priestess of Diana in the temple of Tauris, having been transported there magically by the goddess when her father Agamemnon attempted to offer her as a sacrifice. Iphigenia and her priestesses beg the gods to protect them from the storm (Grands dieux! soyez nous secourables).

Although the storm dies down, Iphigenia remains troubled by a dream she has had, in which she envisioned her mother Clytaemnestra murdering her father, then her brother Orestes killing her mother, and finally her own hand stabbing her brother. She prays to Diana to reunite her with Orestes (Ô toi qui prolongeas mes jours). Thoas, King of Tauris, enters. He too is obsessed with dark thoughts (De noirs pressentiments): the oracles, he tells her, predict doom for him if a single stranger escapes with his life. (The custom of the Scythians, who inhabit Tauris, is to ritually sacrifice any who are shipwrecked on their shores).

A chorus of Scythians comes bringing news of two young Greeks who have just been found shipwrecked, demanding their blood (Il nous fallait du sang). After Iphigenia and the priestesses depart, Thoas brings in the Greeks, who turn out to be Orestes and his friend Pylades. After asking them for what purpose they came (they have come to retrieve Diana's statue and return it to Greece, though they do not divulge this), Thoas promises them death and has them taken away.

Act 2
Scene: An inner chamber of the temple

Orestes and Pylades languish in chains. Orestes berates himself for causing the death of his dear friend (Dieux qui me poursuivez), but Pylades assures him that he does not feel dispirited because they will die united (Unis dès la plus tendre enfance). A minister of the sanctuary comes to remove Pylades. Orestes half falls asleep (Le calme rentre dans mon coeur), but he is tormented by visions of the Furies, who wish to avenge his slaying of his mother (whom Orestes killed for murdering his father Agamemnon).

Iphigenia enters and, although the two do not recognize each other, Orestes sees an astonishing likeness between her and the slain Clytaemnestra seen in his dream. She questions him further, asking him the fate of Agamemnon and all Greece, and he tells her of Agamemnon's murder by his wife, and the wife's murder by her son. In agitation, she asks of the fate of the son, and Orestes says that the son found the death he had long sought, and that only their sister Electra remains alive. Iphigenia sends Orestes away and with her priestesses laments the destruction of her country and the supposed death of her brother (Ô malheureuse Iphigénie). She and the priestesses perform a funeral ceremony for Orestes (Contemplez ces tristes apprêts).

Act 3
Scene: Iphigenia's chamber

Iphigenia is drawn to the stranger who reminds her of her brother Orestes (D'une image, hélas! trop chérie). She tells Orestes and Pylades she can persuade Thoas to save one of them from the sacrifice (Je pourrais du tyran tromper la barbarie) and asks the one who is spared to carry word of her fate to her sister Electra in Argos. Both men readily agree, and Iphigenia chooses Orestes to survive.

But on her exit, Orestes insists that Pylades agree to switch places with him as Orestes cannot bear the thought of his friend's death and sees dying as an escape from his own madness; Pylades, on the contrary, is glad at the thought of dying so Orestes can live (Duet: Et tu prétends encore que tu m'aimes and aria for Pylades: Ah! mon ami, j'implore ta pitié!). When Iphigenia returns, Orestes insists that she reverse her decision, threatening to kill himself before her eyes if she does not. Reluctantly, she agrees to spare Pylades instead and sends him to carry her message to Electra. Everyone but Pylades departs, and he closes the act by promising to do everything possible to save Orestes (Divinité des grandes âmes!).

Act 4
Scene: Inside the temple of Diana

Iphigenia wonders how she can ever carry out the killing of Orestes, since somehow her soul shrinks from the thought of it. She asks the goddess Diana to help her steel herself for the task (Je t'implore et je tremble). The priestesses bring in Orestes, who has been prepared for sacrifice (Chorus: Ô Diane, sois nous propice). He tells her not to lament him, but to strike, telling her it is the will of the gods. The priestesses sing a hymn to Diana as they lead Orestes to the altar (Chorus: Chaste fille de Latone). While she wields the knife, Orestes exclaims Iphigenia's name, leading her and the priestesses to recognize him and stop the ritual slaughter.

The happy reunion of sister and brother is cut short at news that Thoas is coming, having heard that one of the captives was released and intent on the blood of the other. The king enters wildly, ordering his guards to seize Orestes and promising to sacrifice both him and his sister. At that moment Pylades enters with a band of Greeks, cutting down Thoas where he stands.

The resulting rout of the Scythians by the Greeks is halted by a dea ex machina appearance of Diana, who commands the Scythians to restore her statue to Greece (Arrêtez! Écoutez mes décrets éternels). She also issues pardon to Orestes for murdering his mother, sending him to be king over Mycenae and bidding him restore Iphigenia to her country. As Diana is carried back into the clouds, everyone sings a concluding chorus of rejoicing at having the favor of earth and heaven restored to them (Les dieux, longtemps en courroux).

24 September
Recovering from a stroke, Christoph von Gluck witnesses his new pastoral opera Echo et Narcisse struggle from the outset at the Paris Opera. The following month he quits Paris and returns to Vienna.

GLUCK: ECHO ET NARCISSE - Boulin- Streit- Massell; Jacobs. 1987 Schwetzingen.



Four orchestral symphonies by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Wq. 183, are published in Leipzig.

C.P.E. Bach - 4 Symphonies Wq. 183 

Symphony for orchestra in D major (Orchester-sinfonien No. 1), H. 663, Wq. 183/1

01. Allegro di molto
02. Largo
03. Presto

Symphony for orchestra in E flat major (Orchester-sinfonien No. 2), H. 664, Wq. 183/2

01. Allegro di molto
02. Larghetto
03. Allegretto

Symphony for orchestra in F major (Orchester-sinfonien No. 3), H. 665, Wq. 183/3

01. Allegro di molto
02. Larghetto
03. Presto

Symphony for orchestra in G major (Orchester-sinfonien No. 4), H. 666, Wq. 183/4

01. Allegro assai
02. Poco andante
03. Presto

Violin I: Andrew Manze, Miles Golding, Graham Cracknell, Therese Timoney, Claire Duff
Violin II: Walter Reiter, Catherine Martin, Silvia Schweinberger, Fiona Huggett
Viola: Ylvali Zilliacus, Stefanie Heichelheim
Violoncello: Alison McGillivary, Timopthy Kraemer, Joseph Crouch
Double Bass: Peter McCarthy
Flute: Katy Bircher, Guy Williams
Oboe: Katharina Spreckelsen, Hannah McLaughlin
Bassoon: Alberto Grazzi
Horn: Anthony Halstead, Christian Rutherford
Harpsichord: David Gordon

Andrew Manze, violin & director
The English Concert

26 January
Josef Myslivecek's fortunes take a turn for the worst as his new opera, Il Medonte, fails in Rome. 

Josef Mysliveček: 'Il Medonte', Dramma per musica
L‘Arte del Mondo, Werner Ehrhardt
Thomas Michael Allen ,Medonte
Juanita Lascarro, Selene
Susanne Bernhard, Arsace
Stephanie Elliott, Evandro
Lorina Castellano, Zelinda
Ulrike Andersen, Talete

Muzio Clementi issues his Six Piano Sonatas Op. 4 in London. During the summer he leaves England to begin a tour of Europe.

lementi, Piano Sonata in F Major, Op4, No.6

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart writes Symphony No. 34.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony n°34 K.338

I. Allegro vivace 0:00
II. Andante di molto 8:02
III. Finale. Allegro vivace 16:32

Philharmonia Orchestra
Otto Klemperer
Studio recording, London, 18 & 19.X.1963

Artaria & Co. begin publishing the music of Franz Joseph Haydn, starting with six keyboard sonatas, Nos. 48-52 and 33 (HXVI: 35-39 and 20).

Jenö Jandó plays Haydn Sonata No. 48 in C Major Hob. XVI:35

Jenö Jandó plays Haydn Sonata No. 49 in C Sharp Minor Hob. XVI:36

Jenö Jandó plays Haydn Sonata No. 50 in D Major Hob. XVI:37

Jenö Jandó plays Haydn Sonata No. 51 in E Flat Major, Hob. XVI:38

Jenö Jandó plays Haydn Sonata No. 52 in G Major Hob. XVI:39

10 July
Domenico Cimarosa  makes his La Scala debut with a production of L’italiana in Londra, premiered with great success in Rome the previous year. This year sees four new operas by the composer for the Italian stage, including his serious opera Caio Mario.

Domenico Cimarosa - L'italiana in Londra 1_2

Melodramma Giocoso in due atti su libretto di Giuseppe Petrosellini

Orchestra Sinfonica di Piacenza, direttore: Carlo Rizzi

LIVIA: Patrizia Oricani
MADAMA BRILLANTE: Maria Angeles Peters
SUMERS: Maurizio Comencini
MILORD: Armando Ariostini
DON POLIDORO: Bruno Praticò

6 November
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrives in Munich to begin reheasals of his commissioned serious opera Idomeneo. He revises the work corresponding to the talents of the available singers. The work premiered on 29 January 1781 at the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich, Germany.

Domenico Cimarosa - L'italiana in Londra 2_2

John Singleton Copley – Watson and the Shark
The painting is based on an attack that took place in Havana harbour in 1749. Brook Watson, then a 14-year-old cabin boy, lost his leg in the attack and was not rescued until the third attempt, which is the subject of the painting. 
Watson went on to become a Lord Mayor of London.

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