The Salieri Complex, The Jealousy of a Person’s Intelligence and Talent

Today, the Salieri Complex is referred as the enviousness of ordinary people toward talented ones. Although common people work so hard, talented people can reach an “original” results in a much shorter time than themselves. The Salieri Complex goes back to Italian musician Antonio Salieri who was alleged to being so jealous of his contemporary Amadeus Mozart. However, considering historical facts, such huge jealousy of Salieri toward Mozart may be unlikely.

Who is Antonio Salieri?

Antonio Salieri, who gave his name and content to the complex, was Italian, was the court composer of Emperor Joseph II. He had been already well known for his operatic achievements during his time.

He was born in the city of Legnago in Italy. He came from Venice to Vienna during a trip of church choir children and stayed in this city and took lessons from Florian Gassman.

Salieri became a court composer in Vienna in 1774 and conducted the palace orchestra between 1788 and 1790. He was also appointed as the choir director of the same palace.

Salieri’s best-known work was the French opera Tarare (1787)

Salieri also trained Schubert, and taught vocal technique to Beethoven. He was friends with Gluck for a while. They wrote the “les danaides” together.

When the piece was first represented in Paris in 1784, the names of both composers were hung side by side on the door of the operas, which was a huge success. Antonio Salieri left about forty operas, oratorios, chamber music, serenades and cantatas as a composer.

Where did the rumors about the jealousy crisis come from?

The confusion may be wide spread due to the film of Amadeus. In the film, Salieri was represented as was insanely jealous of Mozart’s talent and claimed to have murdered him. However, The film itself a fictional work that does not wish to reflect all historical facts, as accepted by Milos Forman.

Salieri was a person who had become one of the highest level of music authority in Austria, although he was not have the talent of Mozart. But He had deep and comprehensive musical knowledge to fully appreciate how unique Mozart’s talent was.

It seems that gossip that Salieri hated Mozart or even tried to poison and murder him seems to have originated after Mozart’s death in 1791. Though Salieri mourned Mozart at his funeral and even later taught Mozart’s son.

While the film is so inaccurate, historically speaking, its success as a movie and influence is valid.

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