BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, July 8, 1822

This evening, a concert benefiting Rossini is held in Vienna. For this event, he provides a one-act reduction of Ricciardo e Zoraide, a sort of greatest hits selection, which nevertheless went over quite well. The concert concluded with the Cabaletta duet from Armida, “Cara, per te quest’ anima.” The performance was, according to the September 4, 1822 Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung at 585, “done with great diligence and extraordinary accuracy, to the credit of the entire company.”

Maria Callas and Alessandro Ziliani perform the Cabaletta duet from Armida in this historic 1952 live recording, conducted by Tullio Serafin:

Today’s Wiener Zeitung includes an ad from the Weigl art and music shop for an intriguing piece that certainly has its finger on the pulse of the music-loving Vienna public. This would be the Weber and Rossini Musical Sketches for Piano, op.83 by Hieronymus Payer (1787-1845). This work covers all the bases with a compilation of the most popular pieces of both artists. Weigl says, “We can call this piece of music one of the most interesting gifts for fans of musical art.”

According to Weigl, the work contains themes from Der Freischütz, including the hunt music, and Weber’s Jubel-Ouverture. From Rossini, there are passages from The Thieving Magpie, Ricciardo e Zoraide, Zelmira, Othello and Corradino. At the end, the thoughts of both composers are interwoven: the Laughing Chorus from Act 1 of Der Freischütz is combined with Giovanni David’s aria from Zelmira. “A happy idea, which is sure to be universally applauded,” claims Weigl. There will be an interesting followup on July 26th.