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Classical Era


President Washington selects site on Potomac River for new US capital • Upper and Lower Canada, with separate legislative assemblies, are created by Britain’s Canada Constitution Act • In French Revolution, King Louis XVI and royal family are stopped trying to escape from France; French National Assembly adopts constitutional monarchy,then dissolves • Britain declares neutrality over French revolution • Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate is completed • George Morland (Eng) paints The Stable • James Boswell (Scot): The Life of Samuel Johnson • Marquis de Sade (Fr): novel Justine • British-born journalist Thomas Paine (US): The Rights of Man, Part I
French Revolution continues: Swiss guards are massacred in Paris; royal family is imprisoned; France is proclaimed a republic; trial of Louis XVI begins • The first guillotine is erected in Paris (Fr) • Austria and Prussia form an alliance against France, which declares war on them and Sardinia • Franz II (Aus) becomes last Holy Roman Emperor • Denmark abolishes the slave trade • Gas lighting is introduced in England • The dollar becomes the official US currency unit • British-born Thomas Paine (US): The Rights of Man, Part II; Britain accuses Paine of treason • Mary Wollstonecraft (Eng): Vindication of the Rights of Women

French Revolution continues: King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette are executed; Maximilien Robespierre rises to power; Reign of Terror • USA declares its neutrality • France declares war on Britain and Netherlands, which join coalition with Austria, Prussia, Spain and Sardinia • Eli Whitney (US) invents the cotton gin

Jay’s Treaty between USA and Britain stabilises trade relations • French Revolution continues; Danton and Robespierre are executed; Reign of Terror ends; Paris Commune is abolished • Britain, Russia and Austria form alliance against France • Thomas Paine (now a US citizen): The Age of ReasonWilliam Blake (Eng) paints The Ancient of Days

French occupy the Netherlands and create Batavian Republic • France and Prussia conclude Peace Treaty of Basel • Britain acquires Ceylon (Sri Lanka) from the Dutch • Bread riots in Paris • Britain occupies Cape of Good Hope on behalf of Willem V of Orange • Troops under General Napoleon Bonaparte put down royalist insurrection in Paris • Belgium is absorbed by France • Russia and Austria partition Poland for the third time • Spain and the USA establish boundaries between Florida and USA • Scotsman Mungo Park explores the Niger River • Inventor Joseph Bramah (Eng) patents his hydraulic press • Francisco Goya (Sp) paints The Duchess of Alba

Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 – June 8, 1809) was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution and inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain.



Ferdinand Hérold, French composer, born.

21 February
Composer, pianist and teacher Carl Czerny is born in Vienna.

5    September
Composer Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer (later Giacomo Meyerbeer) is born in Vogelsdorf, near Berlin.

4 March
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart premieres his lyrical Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major (K. 595) in Vienna. It has been three years since the composer’s last piano concerto; his former theatrical mood has given way to reflection and nostalgia.

Mozart - Piano Concerto No.27 in B flat, K. 595
Walter Klien , NHK Hall 1989
Conduct. Hiroshi Wakasugi , NHK Symphony Orchestra
00:00 - Allegro
14:26 - Larghetto
21:47 - Allegro

6    September
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus) receives a luke-warm reception in Prague when it is introduced as part of the coronation celebrations of Leopold II. Mozart has had less than one month to write the opera, which he has done with the help of his pupil Franz Siissmayr. The Empress has two words for it: ‘German rubbish.’

11 March
Salomon’s three-month series of weekly concerts begin at the Hanover Square Rooms in London. Works by
Franz Joseph Haydn take pride of place, with the rousing Symphony No. 96 in D major premiered on the opening evening.

Haydn: Sinfonía nº 96, en re mayor, Hob. I/96 "El Milagro"
Adagio - Allegro
Menuetto. Allegretto
Finale. Vivace

Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Ton Koopman, director

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is commissioned to write a Requiem for a patron who wishes to remain anonymous. This is in fact Count Walsegg-Stuppach, whose wife died earlier this year. The Count is an amateur musician and desires to pass off the Requiem as his own work.

Mozart:  Requiem in D minor (K.626)

I. Introitus: Requiem aeternam (choir with soprano solo) (0:00)
II. Kyrie (choir) (5:28)
III. Sequentia:
- Dies irae (choir) (7:55)
- Tuba mirum (solo quartet) (10:02)
- Rex tremendae majestatis (choir) (13:47) 
- Recordare, Jesu pie (solo quartet) (16:22)
- Confutatis maledictis (choir) (22:13)
- Lacrimosa dies illa (choir) (24:32) *
IV. Offertorium:
- Domine Jesu Christe (choir with solo quartet) (27:48)
- Versus: Hostias et preces (choir) (31:23)
V. Sanctus & Benedictus:
- Sanctus (choir) (35:46)
- Benedictus (solo quartet and choir) (37:46)
VI. Agnus Dei (choir) (42:50)
VII. Communio:
- Lux aeterna (soprano solo and choir) (46:03)

W. A. Mozart - Requiem 
[Arsys Bourgogne] [HD]

01:00 - Introitus
05:56 - Kyrie
08:19 - Dies irae
10:17 - Tuba mirum
14:05 - Rex tremendae
16:01 - Recordare
21:20 - Confutatis
23:56 - Lacrimosa
27:48 - Domine Jesu Christe
31:10 - Hostias
34:50 - Sanctus
36:36 - Benedictus
42:12 - Agnus Dei
46:21 - Lux aeterna

Mozart - Requiem By Herbert von Karajan 

30 September
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart directs Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) at the Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna. Composed to a libretto by the theatre’s owner, Emanuel Schikaneder, the opera allegories Freemasonry in a quasi-Egyptian land at an unspecified time.

It becomes a huge success and the talk of Vienna; over the next ten years Schikaneder will present Die Zauberflote more than 200 times.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his Clarinet Concerto in A major.

The following month he falls ill, possibly with rheumatic fever, but manages to continue composing his Requiem with the help of Sussmayr.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, K.622
- Allegro (0:27)
- Adagio (12:58)
- Rondo (Allegro) (20:07)

Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Cornelius Meister, conductor
Arngunnur Árnadóttir, clarinet

5 December
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, aged 35, dies shortly before 1 a.m., having entrusted Siissmayr with the completion of his Requiem. Two days later he is buried in an unmarked communal grave, in accordance with current Viennese custom.

Mozart - Requiem Mass in D minor K. 626
Leonard Bernstein [Conductor]
Marie McLaughlin [Soprano]
Maria Ewing [Soprano]
Jerry Hadley [Tenor]
Cornelius Hauptmann [Bass]
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir 

0:03 - Requiem (Introitus)
6:38 - Kyrie
9:23 - Dies irae (Sequenz)
11:06 - Tuba mirum (Sequenz)
15:37 - Rex tremendae (Sequenz)
18:19 - Recordare (Sequenz)
24:02 - Confutatis (Sequenz)
26:24 - Lacrimosa (Sequenz)
32:14 - Domine Jesu (Offertorium)
35:43 - Hostias (Offertorium)
39:47 - Sanctus
41:39 - Benedictus
47:00 - Agnus Dei
51:54 - Lux aeterna (Communio)

Ferdinand Hérold

Ferdinand Herold

Ferdinand Hérold, in full Louis-Joseph-Ferdinand Hérold, (born Jan. 28, 1791, Paris—died Jan. 19, 1833, Paris), French composer of early romantic operas who stands midway between D.-F.-E. Auber and Jacques Offenbach in the development of the opéra comique.


Hérold studied under C.-S. Catel and E.-N. Méhul and won the Prix de Rome in 1812. He was court pianist in Naples, where he produced his first opera, La gioventù di Enrico V (1815; The Youth of Henry V). On his return to Paris he collaborated with François Boieldieu in the opera Charles de France (1816) and produced 12 light operas at the Opéra-Comique between 1817 and 1830. Among his other operas are Vendôme en Espagne (with Auber, 1823), Zampa (1831), and Le Pré aux clercs (1832; The Field of Honour). His ballets include La Fille mal gardée (1828; The Unguarded Maiden) and La Belle au bois dormant (1829; The Sleeping Beauty).

Ferdinand Hérold - Overture "Zampa" (1831)

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier

Zampa, ou La fiancée de marbre (Zampa, or the Marble Bride) is an opéra comique in three acts. The libretto was written by Anne-Honoré-Joseph Duveyrier de Mélésville.

Ferdinand Hérold - Almédon ou le monde renversé (Marie)

I. Ouverture
II. Couplets de Colin et Lisette (Barcarolle) - 00:07:15
III. Romance d'Adolphe (Je pars demain) - 00:11:42
IV. Air d'Emilie - 00:13:56
V. Entr'acte - 00:19:04
VI. Duo d'Emilie et de Henri - 00:20:33
VII. Duo de Marie et d'Adolphe - 00:26:37
VIII. Couplets de  Lubin (Sur la Rivière) - 00:28:41
IX. Air de Suzette - 00:30:21

Marie, opéra-comique en 3 actes, paroles de Planard, représenté pour la première fois à l'Opéra-Comique le 12 août 1826.

Carl Czerny

Carl Czerny

Carl Czerny, (born February 21, 1791, Vienna, Austria—died July 15, 1857, Vienna), Austrian pianist, teacher, and composer known for his pedagogical works for the piano.


He studied piano, first with his father, Wenzel Czerny, and later with Ludwig van Beethoven and knew and was influenced by Muzio Clementi and Johann Nepomuk Hummel. He began teaching in Vienna at age 15; among his pupils were Franz Liszt and Beethoven’s nephew, as well as other celebrated pianists. His published compositions number nearly 1,000 and include ingenious arrangements for eight pianos, four hands each, of two overtures of Gioachino Rossini.

Czerny’s lasting influence, however, was in his piano studies, which were greatly esteemed by teachers for generations to come. These include the School of Velocity, the School of Virtuosity, and the School of the Left Hand. These exacting sets of graded exercises were still being widely used in the early 21st century. Czerny also left a valuable essay on performing the piano sonatas of Beethoven. He published an autobiographical sketch, Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben (1842; “Memories from My Life”).

Carl Czerny - 40 Studi Op.299
Rino Nicolosi - Piano

Carl Czerny - 100 Studi Op.599
Rino Nicolosi - Piano

Carl Czerny - Symphony No. 5 in E flat major

I. Andante 00:00
II. Andante Sostenuto 11:52
III. Scherzo 23:41
IV. Finale 29:14

Staatsorchester Frankfurt - Nikos Athinäos, conductor



14-year old Johann Nepomuk Hummel, temporary resident of London with his father, brings out his Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, together with a Trio and an accompanied Sonata (Op. 2a).

Hummel - Piano Sonata No 1,Op 2a-3

7 February
Domenico Cimarosa achieves a resounding success with his comic opera Il matrimonio segreto (The Secret Marriage), premiered in Vienna. Emperor Leopold II attends the second performance and is completely transfixed. He orders supper for the cast, and thereafter a repeat performance of the entire opera.

29 February
Italian opera composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini is born in Pesaro.

16 May
The rebuilt Teatro La Fenice in Venice is inaugurated by Giovanni Paisiello’s I giuochi d’Agrigento (The Games of Agrigento). The famous castrato Gasparo Pacchierotti leads the cast.

I Giuochi d'Agrigento - Paisiello
Razek-François Bitar "Countertenor"
Clearco: Razek-François Bitar
Orchestra Internayionale d'Italia
Conductor: Giovanni Battista Rigon

30 September
Francois-Joseph Gossec
's L’offrande a la liberte (The Offering to Liberty) is staged at the Paris Opera. The work depicts French revolutionary conflict with foreign powers, and climaxes with a setting of Rouget de Lisle's La Marseillaise.

(Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (10 May 1760 – 26 June 1836), was a French army officer of the French Revolutionary Wars. He is known for writing the words and music of the Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin in 1792, which would later be known as La Marseillaise and become the French national anthem.) 

Rouget de Lisle sings la Marseillaise 
painted by Isidore Pils

23 March
Franz Joseph Haydn presents his Surprise Symphony, No. 94, in London. He will later explain (to his biographer, Griesinger) the Andante s arresting kettledrum outburst: 'my intention was to surprise the public with something new, and also to premiere in a brilliant manner, so not to be outshone by my pupil Pleyel.’

J. Haydn - Hob I:94 - Symphony No. 94 in G major "Surprise"
1. Adagio cantabile - Vivace assai (0:00)
2. Andante (8:48)
3. Menuetto: Allegro molto (15:30)
4. Finale: Allegro di molto (19:18)

Conducted by Frans Brüggen.

Ludwig van Beethoven leaves Bonn for Vienna. His father dies the following month.

4 November
Giovanni Paisiello
and librettist Calzabigi launch the opera season in Naples with their tragedy Elfrida, staged at the Teatro San Carlo.

Giovanni Paisiello - Elfrida 1_2

Elfrida Anna Caterina Catenacci 
Evelina Caterina Calvi 
Adelvolto Alessandra Mantovani 
Eggardo Paolo Barbacini 
Sveno Ezio Pirovano 
Osmondo Daniela Benori 

Direttore Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli 
I Filarmonici di Torino 

3 May
Franz Joseph Haydn directs a wonderfully successful concert for his own benefit in London. Included in the programme is the premiere of his Symphony No. 97 in C major.

J. Haydn - Hob I:97 - Symphony No. 97 in C major
1. Adagio - Vivace (0:00)
2. Adagio ma non troppo (9:02)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (16:44)
4. Finale: Spirituoso (20:43)

Conducted by Frans Brüggen.

Giovanni Paisiello - Elfrida 2_2



Franz Joseph Haydn, back in Vienna, pens his imposing Symphony No. 99 in E flat major; beginning his second set of London symphonies. He also completes his String Quartets Op. 71 and Op. 74, with the intention of presenting them in London the following year.

J. Haydn - Hob I:99 - Symphony No. 99 in E flat major
1. Adagio - Vivace assai (0:00)
2. Adagio (9:05)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (17:00)
4. Finale: Vivace (21:13)

Conducted by Frans Brüggen.

J. Haydn - Hob III:69 - String Quartet Op. 71 No. 1 in B flat major
1. Allegro (0:00)
2. Adagio (6:54)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (12:57)
4. Finale: Vivace (17:17)

J. Haydn - Hob III:70 - String Quartet Op. 71 No. 2 in D major
1. Adagio - Allegro (0:00)
2. Andante cantabile (8:26)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (14:05)
4. Finale: Allegretto - Vivace (16:57)

J. Haydn - Hob III:71 - String Quartet Op. 71 No. 3 in E flat major
1. Vivace (0:00)
2. Andante con moto (9:38)
3. Menuetto (16:50)
4. Finale: Vivace (21:57)

J. Haydn - Hob III:72 - String Quartet Op. 74 No. 1 in C major
1. Allegro moderato (0:00)
2. Andantino grazioso (6:44)
3. Menuetto; Allegro (18:10)
4. Finale: Vivace (23:13)

J. Haydn - Hob III:73 - String Quartet Op. 74 No. 2 in F major
1. Allegro spiritoso (0:00)
2. Andante grazioso (6:15)
3. Menuetto; Allegro (13:54)
4. Finale: Presto (18:46)

J. Haydn - Hob III:74 - String Quartet Op. 74 No. 3 in G minor
1. Allegro non molto (0:00)
2. Largo assai (5:45)
3. Menuetto; Allegretto (12:57)
4. Finale: Allegro con brio (17:24)

22 January
 Execution of Louis XVI

"Day of 21 January 1793 the death of Louis Capet on the Place de la Révolution" – French engraving.

27 January
Francois-Joseph Gossec, quintessential composer of the revolution, presents Le triomphe de la Republique at the Paris Opera. The divertissement-lyrique celebrates the recent French victory at the battle of Valmy.

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

5 March
Etienne-Nicolas Mehul
's ballet Le jugement de Paris is first performed at the Paris Opera. The production includes music by Gluck, Haydn and Ignaz Pleyel.

The assassination of Jean-Paul Marat by Girondist sympathizer Charlotte Corday on 13 July 1793

23 November

"Beethoven will in time fill the position of one of Europe’s greatest composers, and I shall be proud to be able to speak of myself as his teacher."

Haydn writing to Beethoven’s patron, the Elector of Cologne.



19 January
Franz Joseph Haydn
departs Vienna for a second visit to England, where he will stay until the following year. A new series of concerts in London, again organised by the impresario Johann Salomon, is a rousing success, with his Symphony No. 100 (Military) the crowning glory of the spring season.

Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 100 in C Major (Military)
1. Adagio - Allegro                             7:39
2. Allegretto                                        6:09
3. Minueto e Trio - Moderato             5:03
4. Finale - Presto                               5:14

23 May
Composer and pianist Ignaz Moscheles 
is born in Prague.

31 May
The 11-year-old violinist Nicolo Paganini gives his debut performance in Genoa.

19 September
The prolific Andre Gretry presents Callias, ou Nature et patrie (Callias, or Nature and Homeland), his fourth one-act opera in as many months, at the Opera Comique, Paris.


6 May
Etienne-Nicolas Mehul’s Melidore et Phrosine is warmly received at the Opera-Comique (formerly the Comedie-Italienne) in Paris. Despite early success, the opera does not survive long in the repertory due to its rather uncomfortable theme of unrequited incestuous love.


Ignaz Moscheles

(Isaac) Ignaz Moscheles (23 May 1794 – 10 March 1870) was a Bohemian composer and piano virtuoso, whose career after his early years was based initially in London, and later at Leipzig, where he joined his friend and sometime pupil Felix Mendelssohn as Professor of Piano at the Conservatoire.


Ignaz Moscheles, (born May 23, 1794, Prague, Bohemia, Austrian Habsburg domain [now in Czech Republic]—died March 10, 1870, Leipzig [Germany]), Czech pianist, one of the outstanding virtuosos of his era.

Moscheles studied at the Prague Conservatory and later at Vienna under Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and Antonio Salieri. In 1814, commissioned by Artaria & Co., publishers, he made the first piano arrangement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, under the composer’s supervision. After giving piano recitals in Germany and France, he settled in London in 1821. In 1829 he took part in the first London performance of the Concerto for Two Pianos by Felix Mendelssohn, who had been his pupil. He conducted the first English performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and later conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Philharmonic Society, of which he was a regular conductor from 1845. From 1846 he was principal professor of piano at the Leipzig Conservatory, and his reputation and skill as a teacher were important factors in the continued success of that institution.

Moscheles belonged to a conservative school of piano playing that did not lend itself to the works of Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt; of the younger composers of his day, he leaned more toward Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Nevertheless, his explorations of the gradations of tone colour influenced Liszt as well as Schumann. He was also admired for his brilliant extempore performances. His own compositions include eight piano concerti, studies, and chamber works.


Among his 142 opus numbers, Moscheles wrote a number of symphonic works. Apart from an overture, a ballet and a symphony, all are scored for piano and orchestra: eight piano concertos (of which the last has only come down to us in fragmentary form, no orchestral parts having survived) and sets of variations and fantasias on folk songs. The main theme of the finale of his fourth piano concerto is based on the tune "The British Grenadiers". Moscheles also left several chamber works (including a piano trio that has been recorded), and a large number of works for piano solo, including sonatas and the études that continued to be studied by advanced students even as Moscheles's music fell into eclipse. There are also some song settings.

Moscheles - Piano Concerto No. 3 In G Minor Op 58
Michael Ponti, piano -  Philharmonica Hungarica, Othmar Maga conductor

Ignaz Moscheles: Piano Concerto No.6 in B flat major, "Fantastique", Op.90, Liu Xiao Ming

Moscheles - Grand Sextet, Op. 35 (1815)
for flute, horn, violin, cello, double bass, piano
Dedicated to the London Philharmonic Society

1. Allegro spiritoso
2. Menuetto & Trio
3. Adagio
4. Allegro

Claudius Tanski, piano and Consortium Classicum

Ignaz Moscheles: Concerto for Flute, Oboe, and Orchestra
Jiří Válek - flute, Jiří Mihule - oboe, Dvořák Chamber Orchestra, Ivan Pařík - conducting

Moscheles - Sonate Melancolique
Noel Lee - piano

Ignaz Moscheles - Symphony in C major, Op 81 - 1828



Visente Martin y Soler  collaborates with Da Ponte in London, St Petersburg the previous year. They gain success with the opera La scuola dei maritati (The School for the  Married), but fall out during the production of the poorly received L’isola del piacere (The Island of Pleasure).

Hidden treasures - Vicente Martín y Soler - La scuola dei maritati (1795) - Selected highlights
Marguerite Krull - Cirpigna,
Emiliano Gonzales-Toro - Valerio (tenor), Bonario's son,
Katia Velletaz - Isabella (soprano), Bonario's daughter,
Yves Saelens - Lelio (tenor), Isabella's lover.
Josep Miquel Ramon - Fiuta,
Carlos Marin - Don Giglio (baritone), Cirpigna's suitor,
Enrique Baquerizo - Bonario,
Raffaella Milanesi - Cilia (soprano), servant in Bonario's household.

29 March
Ludwig van Beethoven makes his Vienna debut at the Burgtheater, introducing his Piano Concerto in B flat major (No. 2).

Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major

Daniel Barenboim, soloist and conductor
Staatskapelle Berlin

0:00 I. Allegro con brio (14:49)
14:42 II. Adagio (9:36)
24:18 III. Rondo. Molto allegro (8:58)

Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 1—three piano trios in E flat, G, and C—is published in Vienna and dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky. The third trio of the set proves the most popular, dispelling Haydn's concerns that it would be too modern for Vienna.

Beethoven Piano Trio Op.1 No.1 in E-flat major
Tibor Szász piano, Daniel Foster violin, Jeffrey Butler cello, 1980

0:00 I. Allegro
7:42 II. Adagio cantabile
15:20 III. Scherzo. Allegro assai
20:12 IV. Finale. Presto

Beethoven, Trio for piano, violin and cello nº 2 in G major, op.1, no.2

I. Adagio-Allegro vivace - 00:00
II. Largo con espressione- 10:18
III. Scherzo con Trio: Allegro - 24:06
IV. Finale. Presto - 28:13

Eugene Istomin, piano
Isaac Stern, violín
Leonard Rose, cello

Beethoven: Piano trio in C minor Op. 1 No. 3
Andreas Staier - piano
Daniel Sepec - violin
Jean-Guihen Queyras - violoncello

4 May
Franz Joseph Haydn directs the last and arguably greatest of his 12 London symphonies, No. 104 in D major, during his own benefit concert at the King s Theatre. The concert season has also introduced his Symphony No. 102 in B flat major (composed the previous year) and Symphony No. 103 in E flat major (Drumroll).

J. Haydn - Hob I:102 - Symphony No. 102 in B flat major 
1. Largo - Allegro vivace assai (0:00)
2. Adagio (8:32)
3. Menuetto: Allegro (13:41)
4. Finale: Presto (18:13)

Conducted by Frans Brüggen.

Joseph Haydn - Symphony nr. 103 in E-flat major 'Drum Roll' Hob 1/103

1. Adagio - Allegro con spirito
2. Andante piú tosto Allegretto
3. Menuet
4. Finale: Allegro con spirito

Concertbegbouw Orchestra. Amsterdam
Dir. Nicolaus Harnoncourt

J. Haydn - Hob I:104 - Symphony No. 104 in D major "London"
1. Adagio - Allegro (0:00)
2. Andante (9:16)
3. Menuetto: Allegro (17:22)
4. Finale: Spiritoso (22:02)

Conducted by Frans Brüggen.

16 August
German opera composer Heinrich August Marschner is born in Zittau.

31 August
Frangois-Andre Danican Philidor
composer and one of the greatest chess players of the century, dies in London, aged 68.

17 September
Saverio  Mercadante, Italian composer, born.

6 November
Bohemian composer Georg Anton Benda dies in Kostritz, Gotha, aged 73.

18 December
Ludwig van Beethoven performs the premiere of his Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major (later revised) at a concert organised by Haydn, in Vienna.

Beethoven - Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15

Martha Argerich
Conduct by Barenboim


Heinrich August Marschner

Heinrich August Marschner (16 August 1795 – 14 December 1861) was the most important composer of German opera between Weber and Wagner.

Marschner was born in Zittau and was originally intended for a legal career. After a meeting with Beethoven around 1815–16, he decided to devote himself to music and became a private music teacher in Bratislava. From 1821 he worked as a stage composer and conductor at the municipal theatres in Dresden (from 1821), Leipzig (from 1827), and the Court Theatre at Hanover (from 1830), where the opera Hans Heiling (1832) established his name among the leading German opera composers of the time. He died in Hanover.

Marschner was widely regarded as one of the most important composers in Europe from about 1830 until the end of the 19th century. He was a rival of Weber and friend of Beethoven and Mendelssohn. His operas often contain thematic material based on folksong, and this folk-influenced genre had begun with Weber's Der Freischütz (1821). The last of his operas, Austin, was first staged in 1852. It was not very well received, and later the increasingly renowned Wagner overshadowed him.

Schumann praised Marschner's piano trios lavishly. Marschner did not just toss off these works as an afterthought, but clearly devoted considerable time and effort to writing them. He gave the title "Grand Trio" to each of his works for piano, violin and cello, indicative of the importance he attached to them. In these pieces, one finds all of the emotions prevalent in the Romantic movement during the mid-19th century.

To the extent that Marschner is still remembered, it is largely for his operas Hans Heiling (1833), Der Vampyr (1828) and Der Templer und die Jüdin (1829), extremely popular in his lifetime. Marschner's ability to depict supernatural horror by musical means is especially evident in the first two operas as well as in some of his ballads, such as "Die Monduhr" (c. 1839).

Next to his operas, Marschner's most significant musical contribution is to the Lied. The best of his works in this form are comparable with those by Carl Loewe. He also wrote a considerable amount of chamber music, including seven piano trios, as well as unaccompanied male choruses that were very popular in the nineteenth century. While Marschner's operas strongly influenced Wagner, his chamber music, songs, and his cantata Klänge aus Osten (1842) were admired by Schumann, whose cantata Paradise and the Peri (1843) shows the older composer's influence. Marschner's Bagatelles for guitar (1814) have been taken up lately by some guitarists, and some of his chamber music is still very occasionally played. Among his operas, Hans Heiling and especially Der Vampyr have been adapted and revived in recent years with considerable success.

Der Vampyr (The Vampire) is a Romantic opera in two acts by Heinrich Marschner. The German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück is based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut (1821) by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter, which itself was based on the short story The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori. The first performance took place on 29 March 1828 in Leipzig, where it was a hit.

Heinrich Marschner "Der Vampyr"

Blunt: Andréa Snarski
Diener: Renzo Scorsoni
Edgar Aubry: Josef Protschka
Emmy: Anastasia Tomaszewska Schepis
George Dibdin: Oslavio di Credico
James Gadshill: Carlo di Giacomo
Janthe: Galina Pisarenko
Lord Ruthven: Siegmund Nimsgern
Malwina: Carole Farley
Richard Scrop: Romano Truffelli
Robert Green: Armando Caforio
Sir Berkley: Wolfgang Lenz
Sir Humphrey Davenaut: Martin Egel
Suse: Nucci Condò
Vampyrmeister: Peter Boom

Orchestra della RAI di Roma - Conductor: Günter Neuhold

Place: Scotland
Time: the eighteenth century.
Act 1
Scene 1: After midnight

At a Witches' Sabbath, the Vampire Master tells Lord Ruthven that if he cannot sacrifice three virgin brides within the next 24 hours, he will die. If he can, he will be granted another year of life. The clock strikes one, and Ruthven's first victim, Janthe, arrives for a clandestine meeting, although she is due to marry another on the following day. Berkley, having discovered that she is missing, is searching for her with his men, and Ruthven hides with her in a cave. Her screams alert the search-party, and the body and the Vampire are discovered. Berkley stabs Ruthven and leaves him to die, but he is discovered by Aubry, whose life had been saved by Ruthven in the past. Ruthven pleads with Aubry to drag him into the moonlight so that he can revive, and Aubry, while doing so, realises that Ruthven is a vampire. He has to swear not to reveal this secret for twenty-four hours, or he will become a vampire, too.

Scene 2: Next morning

The 18-year-old Malwina and Aubry, with whom she is in love, are told by Davenaut that she must marry the Earl of Marsden. Aubry recognises the Earl as Lord Ruthven, but is told that he is Ruthven's brother, who has been abroad for some time. Aubry, however, recognises a wound that proves that the Earl really is Ruthven, and is about to denounce him when Ruthven reminds him of his oath and the consequences that will follow if he breaks it. The preparations for Malwina's marriage to "Marsden" begin.

Act 2
Scene 1: Near Marsden castle

Emmy awaits her husband-to-be, George. News of Janthe's gruesome death emerges, and Emmy recounts the legend of the Vampire. Ruthven appears and impresses the villagers with his largesse. He flirts with Emmy until, interrupted by George, he departs - though by then he has extracted a promise from Emmy that she will dance with him later.

Scene 2

Aubry tries to persuade Ruthven to give up his claim to Malwina, but is again reminded of the fate that awaits if he breaks his oath. Ruthven, in a soliloquy, rails against the torments that a Vampire must face.

Scene 3

Aubry is torn by his choice between breaking his oath and saving Malwina, or keeping quiet and losing her to the Vampire. George asks Aubry to use his influence to stop "Marsden" from seducing Emmy. Aubry warns George that he must keep watch over Emmy - but already she is being led into the forest by Ruthven.

Scene 4: Outside the inn

Blunt, Gadshill, Scrop and Green sing of the pleasures of drink. Blunt's wife Suse upbraids the men, to the delight of the onlookers, but a dishevelled George arrives, recounting how he followed Emmy and "Marsden", only to find him standing over her dead body. He had shot the Earl immediately, leaving him to die in the moonlight. The villagers express their sympathy and sorrow.

Scene 5: In Davenaut's castle

Malwina is to be married to "Marsden" before midnight. Aubry warns her that she is in danger, and she puts her trust in God. The wedding-guests arrive, followed by Ruthven, who apologises for his lateness. Malwina and Aubry make one last appeal to Davenaut, who throws Aubry out and orders the wedding to proceed. A thunderstorm approaches, and Aubry returns, having decided to reveal Ruthven's secret at no matter what cost to himself. Suddenly, the clock strikes one, and Aubry, released from his oath, reveals that "Marsden" is Lord Ruthven, the Vampire. Ruthven, having failed in his task, is struck by lightning and descends into Hell. Now Davenaut asks Malwina to forgive him and consents to her marriage to Aubry, to general rejoicing.

Hans Heiling is a German Romantic opera in 3 acts with prologue by Heinrich Marschner with a libretto by Eduard Devrient, who also sang the title role at the première at the Königliche Hofoper (now Berlin State Opera), Berlin, on 24 May 1833, and went on to become Marschner's most successful opera. As with several of his operas, Hans Heiling is based on a folk legend.

Marschner: "Hans Heiling" - Teil 1 (Prolog + 1. Akt)
Kongresshalle Leipzig - 15. Januar 1980
Dirigent: Wolf-Dieter Hauschild
Königin der Erdgeister: Eva-Maria Bundschuh
Hans Heiling: Roland Hermann
Anna: Renate Frank-Reinecke
Konrad: Werner Krenn
Gertrude: Annelies Burmeister

Marschner: "Hans Heiling" - Teil 2 (2./3. Akt)

Place: Bohemian Erzgebirge mountains
Time: 14th century.
After falling in love with the mortal Anna, Hans Heiling plans to leave the underworld empire of the Erdgeister (gnomes) to wed her. Ignoring the attempts of his mother the Queen to persuade him to stay, he takes some jewels and a magic book enabling him to retain power over his underworld subjects.

Act 1
Scene 1

Heiling ascends to the earth to find his would-be bride. Heiling finds Anna and her mother, who encourages Anna to accept the advances of the rich stranger. During a moment alone Anna looks inside his book, which immediately fills her with terror. Heiling burns the book on her demand and reluctantly accompanies Anna to the village festival.

Scene 2

There are many people in the tavern drinking, dancing and singing. Stephan and Niklas are joined by Konrad, who has loved Anna for a long time. Anna and Heiling arrive and Konrad asks to dance with Anna. Heiling objects angrily but Anna ignores him; and reminding him that they are not yet married, walks away with Konrad.

Act 2
Scene 1

Anna wanders through a forest on her way home. She has realised that she loves Konrad, but she remains Heiling's bride to be. Suddenly the Queen appears and beseeches the girl to release her son, who is not a human being but a prince of the underworld. Anna faints and upon discovering her, Konrad takes Anna home.

Scene 2

Heiling approaches Anna in her house, offering his jewellery to win her over, but it is returned by Anna who now knows of its origin. In a rage, Heiling stabs Konrad before running away.

Act 3
Scene 1

Heiling returns to the realm of the Erdgeister (gnomes). He summons his former subjects, only to be reminded that without his book he has lost his power. He then finds out that Konrad is not dead, and is to be wed to Anna the next day. In his despair, he throws himself on the ground, and seeing that Heiling has lost so much, his subjects swear fealty to him again. With the news of the wedding in his mind, he returns to the earth to take revenge with his new-found powers.

Scene 2

Konrad and Anna are wed in a forest chapel. Heiling approaches and seizes the hand of Anna, who pleads for mercy. Konrad rushes to help his wife, but his knife shatters as he strikes Heiling. Heiling summons the Erdgeister to destroy all the people, but then the Queen appears. She persuades Heiling to reconcile, and they then return to the underworld.


Saverio Mercadante

Saverio Mercadante

Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante (baptised 17 September 1795 – 17 December 1870) was an Italian composer, particularly of operas. While Mercadante may not have retained the international celebrity of Gaetano Donizetti or Gioachino Rossini beyond his own lifetime, he composed as impressive a number of works as either; and his development of operatic structures, melodic styles and orchestration contributed significantly to the foundations upon which Giuseppe Verdi built his dramatic technique.

Early years
Mercadante was born in Altamura, near Bari in Apulia; his precise date of birth has not been recorded, but he was baptised on 17 September 1795. Mercadante studied flute, violin and composition at the conservatory in Naples, and organized concerts among his compatriots. The opera composer Gioachino Rossini said to the conservatory Director, Niccolo Zingarelli, "My compliments, Maestro – your young pupil Mercadante begins where we finish". In 1817 he was made conductor of the college orchestra, composing a number of symphonies, and concertos for various instruments – including six for flute about 1818–1819, and whose autograph scores are in the Naples conservatory, where they were presumably first performed with him as soloist.

The encouragement of Rossini led him to compose for the opera, where he won considerable success with his second such work (Violenza e Constanza), in 1820. His next three operas are more or less forgotten, but an abridged recording of Maria Stuarda, Regina di Scozia was issued by Opera Rara in 2006. His next opera Elisa e Claudio was a huge success, and had occasional revivals in the 20th century, most recently by Wexford Festival Opera in 1988.

He worked for a time in Vienna, in Madrid, in Cadiz, and in Lisbon, but re-established himself in Italy in 1831. He was invited by Rossini to Paris in 1836, where he composed I Briganti for four of the best-known singers of the time, Giulia Grisi, Giovanni Battista Rubini, Antonio Tamburini and Luigi Lablache, all of whom worked closely with Bellini. While there, he had the opportunity to hear operas by Meyerbeer and Halévy, which imparted a strong influence on him, especially the latter's La Juive. This influence took the form of greater stress on the dramatic side.

Return to Italy, 1831
When Mercadante returned to Italy after living in Spain and Portugal, Donizetti's music reigned supreme in Naples, an ascendancy which did not end until censorship problems with the latter's Poliuto caused a final break. But Mercadante's style began to shift with the presentation of I Normanni a Parigi at the Teatro Regio in Turin in 1832: "It was with this score that Mercadante entered on the process of development in his musical dramaturgy which, in some aspects, actually presaged the arrival of Verdi, when he launched, from 1837 on, into master works of his artistic maturity: the so-called "reform operas".

The beginnings of the so-called "reform movement", of which Mercadante was part, arose from the publication of a manifesto by Giuseppe Mazzini which he wrote in 1836, the Filosofia della musica.

In the period after 1831 he composed some of his most important works. These included Il giuramento which was premiered at La Scala in November 1837. One striking and innovative characteristic of this opera has been noted: marks the first successful attempt in an Italian opera premiered in Italy of depriving the prima donna, or some other star singer, of her until-then inalienable right of having the stage to herself at the end. By doing this, Mercadante sounded what was to be the death knell of the age of bel canto.
Early in following year, while composing Elena da Feltre (which premiered in January 1839), Mercadante wrote to Francesco Florimo, laying out his ideas about how opera should be structured, following the "revolution" begun in his previous opera:

I have continued the revolution I began in Il giuramento: varied forms, cabalettas banished, crescendos out, vocal lines simplified, fewer repeats, more originality in the cadences, proper regard paid to the drama, orchestration rich but not so as to swamp the voices, no long solos in the ensembles (they only force the other parts to stand idle to the detriment of the action), not much bass drum, and a lot less brass band.
Elena da Feltre followed; one critic found much to praise in it:

A work of harmonic daring, subtlety and originally orchestrated, it suddenly makes sense of oft quoted comparisons between Mercadante and Verdi. It has the overall coherence one looks for and finds in middle and late Verdi – a surprising anticipation, for Elena da Feltre dates from 1838, the year before Verdi's first opera.

These temporarily put him in the forefront of composers then active in Italy, although he was soon passed by Giovanni Pacini with Saffo and Giuseppe Verdi with several operas, especially Ernani.

Later works
Some of Mercadante's later works, especially Orazi e Curiazi, were also quite successful. Many performances of his operas were given throughout the 19th century and it has been noted that some of them received far more than those of Verdi's early operas over the same period of time.

Throughout his life he generated more instrumental works than most of his contemporary composers of operas due to his lifelong preoccupation with orchestration, and, from 1840, his position as the Director of the Naples conservatory for the last thirty years of his life. From 1863 he was almost totally blind.

In the decades after his death in Naples in 1870, his output was largely forgotten, but it has been occasionally revived and recorded since World War II, although it has yet to achieve anything like the present-day popularity of the most famous compositions by his slightly younger contemporaries: see Donizetti's compositions and Bellini's compositions.

Il giuramento (The Oath) is an opera in three acts by the Italian composer Saverio Mercadante. The libretto, by Gaetano Rossi, is based on Victor Hugo's play Angelo, Tyrant of PaduaThe opera was first performed at La Scala, Milan on 11 March 1837 and was "quickly taken up by other theatres throughout Italy". 

Saverio Mercadante - IL GIURAMENTO
Elaisa: Maria Vitale, Bianca: Miriam Pirazzini, Viscardo: Amedeo Berdini, Manfredo:
Rolando Panerai, Brunero: Aldo Bertocci, Usaura: Liliana Pellegrino
Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai di Milano - Direttore: Alfredo Simonetto; Rai Milano, 5 aprile 1952

Setting: Syracuse
Time: 14th century

Act 1
Bianca has been married against her will to Count Manfredo, although she is secretly in love with an unknown knight. Elaisa, a young woman in search of the daughter of her benefactor, and Viscardo arrive in the city. The disgraced courtier Brunoro discovers that Viscardo is the knight loved by Bianca. He tells Elaisa in order to make her jealous but she finds out that Bianca was the very woman she had been looking for.

Act 2
The count suspects Bianca of infidelity and locks her in the family tomb, intending to poison her. But Elaisa, who is loved by the count, manages to substitute a strong narcotic for the poison.

Act 3
Viscardo believes that Elaisa is responsible for Bianca's death and stabs her just as Bianca wakes from her deep sleep.

Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamaccio è un'opera in un atto di Saverio Mercadante, su libretto di Stefano Ferrero. La prima rappresentazione ebbe luogo al Teatro Principal di Cadice il 10 febbraio 1830.

Saverio Mercadante - Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamaccio
Ugo Guagliardo, Domenico Colaianni, Laura Catrani, Ricardo Mirabelli, 
Coro giovanile del San Pietro a Majella, Napoli, 
Czech Chamber Soloists, Antonino Fogliani: direttore

Orazi e Curiazi (The Horatii and the Curiatii) is an opera by the Italian composer Saverio Mercadante. It takes the form of a tragedia lirica in three acts. The libretto, by Salvadore Cammarano is based on the Roman legend of the fight between the Horatii and the Curiatii. It was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples on 10 November 1846.

Saverio Mercadante - Orazi e Curiazi
Nell Miricioiu; Marcus Jerome; Anthony Michaels-Moore; Alastair Miles; Paul Nilon; Geoffrey Mitchell Choir;
Philharmonia Orchestra; David Parry - direttore

Caritea, regina di Spagna, ossia La morte di Don Alfonso re di Portogallo (Caritea, Queen of Spain, or, The Death of Don Alfonso, King of Portugal), is an opera in two acts by Saverio Mercadante, with a libretto by Paolo Pola. It was premiered at Teatro La Fenice in Venice on 21 February 1826

Saverio Mercadante - Caritea, regina di Spagna 1_2
Caritea: Nana Gordaze
Don Alfonso: Jacek Laszckowski
Don Diego: Konia Lee
Don Fernando: Nicolas Rivenq
Don Rodrigo:Gregory Bonfatti
Corrado: Yhan Ustuk
Coro da camera di Bratislava
Orchestra Internazionale d'opera d'Italia
Direttore: Giuliano Carella, 1995

Place: Toledo, on the banks of the Tagus River, near Don Alonso's camp.

Act 1
Don Alfonso, the king of Portugal, has declared war on Spain; because the Spanish queen Caritea has refused his offer of marriage, he has decided to take the country by force. The Portuguese are laying siege to Toledo. Diego, a Spaniard who is in love with Caritea, arrives at the Portuguese camp, where he asks for entry. He had fled Spain ten years earlier because he had been rejected by the queen and killed another of the queen's suitors, Pompey. Caritea, who had been in love with Pompey, promised to marry anyone who would deliver her Diego's head.

Caritea enters the Portuguese camp, disguised as a man. She has been trying to infiltrate the camp, but is nearly caught and killed, if it were not for Diego. Diego recognizes Caritea, and is still terribly in love with her. Caritea, however, does not recognize Diego, since it has been ten years since his escape.

Don Alfonso then arrives, and frees Don Fernando, Diego's elderly father, who has fallen prisoner. Alfonso is then informed that Caritea has been spotted, disguised, near the camp, and Alfonso explodes with fury.

Act 2
Diego offers to take Caritea back to Toledo. He senses that Caritea is falling in love with him, so he proposes marriage to her. Caritea, however, reminds him that she has decreed only to marry the man who brings her the head of Don Diego. Fernando, knowing that his son is that same Diego who Caritea has vowed to have killed, fears for his son's life.

Don Alfonso, in his fury, challenges Diego to a duel, but is killed. Diego returns to Toledo the champion and praised by the people. Because he managed to kill the enemy of Spain, Don Diego can now reveal his true identity to Caritea. Caritea forgives him and agrees to marry him.

Saverio Mercadante - Caritea, regina di Spagna 2_2

Elena da Feltre is an opera in three acts by 19th-century Italian composer Saverio Mercadante from a libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, well known as librettist of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Verdi's Il trovatore. The premiere took place at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples on 1 January 1839 as part of the Carnival Season. 

Saverio Mercadante - Elena da Feltre
Elena - Orianna Santunione, Inberga - Licia Falcone
Ubaldo - Angelo Mori, Boemondo - Vito Tatone
Guido - Guido Guarnera
Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Roma della Rai
Direttore Armando Gatto; M. del coro, Gianni Lazzari, 1970

Time: 1250, during the war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines
Place: Feltre, Northern Italy, a Guelph town occupied by the Ghibellines under Ezzelino III da Romano

Act 1
Scene 1: Ubaldo's house

Ubaldo's entourage cannot understand why he is so melancholic They leave when his friend Guido enters. Guido asks Ubaldo to help him: Boemondo (Ezzelino's henchman) wishes him to marry his daughter Imberga, but his heart belongs to another. Ubaldo points out that, if Guido defies Boemondo, his chances of regaining the position once held by his ancestors will be ruined. Guido, nevertheless, is prepared to renounce everything for love. He reveals that his lover is Elena, daughter of the outlawed Sigifredo, and that he plans to secretly leave the town with her. Ubaldo is aghast, as he realises why Elena has rejected his own declaration of love, but he conceals his agitation and agrees to help Guido, notwithstanding the likely rage of Ezzelino. Left alone, Ubaldo first considers betraying Guido to Ezzelino, but then resolves to abduct Elena instead.

Scene 2: Sigifredo's palace

Elena is overjoyed to hear that her father has escaped to nearby Belluno and excited at the prospect of marriage with Guido. Her servant Gualtiero tells her that a pilgrim who is approaching the palace is her father in disguise. Sigifredo and Elena embrace, and he tells her that Belluno has fallen to Ezzelino but that he has escaped so that he can die in his home town. He hides as Ubaldo enters to tell Elena that he and his men are about to carry her off. Sigifredo emerges to protect Elena, but Ubaldo's followers appear and drag Sigifredo away to prison. Ubaldo reluctantly goes with them, and Elena, left behind, falls into a faint.

Act 2
The town hall

Boemondo tells Ubaldo that Sigifredo is now held in a secret location. Elena arrives. Boemondo says that Ubaldo will explain what she must do to save her father's life, and leaves. Ubaldo informs Elena that, if Sigifredo is not to be executed, Guido must marry Imberga, and she (Elena) must marry him. Ubaldo tells her that he loves her, but, when she repulses him, he reveals that a scaffold for her father's death is being built and that Sigifredo will die very soon if she does not consent to the marriage. She gives in, and they leave together.

Guido is brought in under guard and left alone. His sense of foreboding is confirmed when Boemondo tells him that Elena has betrayed him, and that this will be confirmed before long. Guido is distraught and longs for death.

Boemondo's adherents arrive to celebrate the fall of Belluno to Ezzelino. Boemondo announces that he will show mercy to his enemy Sigifredo's daughter if she will name someone as her protector. Guido and Ubaldo await her decision with trepidation. Provoked by Boemondo, she reluctantly names Ubaldo. The Act ends with Guido accusing her of treachery and asking Imberga to marry him, Ubaldo expressing his love for Elena, Boemondo and Imberga gloating, and Elena lamenting her fate.

Act 3
Scene 1: Sigifredo's palace

Elena prays to her dead mother to allow her to die. Guido confronts her, but he is still not entirely convinced that she acted out of free will. Elena is about to explain everything when the bell for the execution of Sigifredo rings, and she re-asserts that she loves Ubaldo. Furious, Guido leaves as Elena again prays for death.

Scene 2: Ubaldo's house

Ubaldo has returned empty-handed from his mission to release Sigifredo from prison. He is upset that Boemondo has double-crossed Elena: Sigifredo had already been executed. He knows that he has lost Elena for ever, and he and his followers swear to abandon Boemondo and return to the Guelph cause.

Scene 3: Sigifredo's palace

Elena waits with Gualtiero for the overdue arrival of Ubaldo and Sigifredo. She sends Gualtiero to find out what has happened. The wedding procession for Guido and Imberga can be heard offstage, and Elena prays for Guido's happiness and her own death. Ubaldo and his men arrive as the offstage music becomes more joyous, and then Gualtiero returns with the news of Sigismondo's death. Elena has a vision of Sigifredo waiting for her in heaven and dies. Ubaldo laments her loss, and the chorus comment that an angel missing from heaven has now returned there.

Virginia is an opera, a tragedia lirica, in three acts by composer Saverio Mercadante. The Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano is based on Vittorio Alfieri's tragedy of the same name.The work finally had its premiere on 7 April 1866 at the Teatro di San Carlo.

Saverio Mercadante - Virginia

VIRGINIA: Susan Patterson
VIRGINIO: Stefano Antonucci
APPIO: Paul Charles Clarke
ICILIO: Charles Castronovo
MARCO: Andrew Foster-Williams
TULLIA: Katherine Manley
VALERIO: Mark le Brocq



Place: Ancient Rome

Virginia, a plebeian, is the virgin daughter of Virginio, a Roman soldier. She and Icilio, a patrician, are in love and wish to marry. However Appio Claudio has declared that patricians and plebeians can not marry one another, a fact which makes their marriage impossible. At the same time Appio notices Virginia's beauty, and desiring her, attempts to force himself on her. Iclio intervenes, and while saving Virginia, is killed by Appio. Virginio comes to her aid, reminding Appio of Virginia's protection under Roman law as the daughter of a Roman citizen. Thwarted, Appio plots to get Virginia through legal trickery, claiming that she is not Virginio's daughter but in fact a slave belonging to his associate Marco. The case is brought before a public tribunal and it appears that Appio will have his way. Rather than be forced to be with Appio, Virginia stabs herself to death. Her act of tragic bravery inspires a massive insurrection of plebeians against Appio and the patrician regime

William Blake - The Ancient of Days

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