O, Mozart, Mozart!
I’m deeply convinced that Mozart is the highest, the culminating point that beauty has attained in the sphere of music. (P. Tchaikovsky)
Mozart completed his Symphony No. 41 in C Major on August 10, 1788. The symphony was named "Jupiter" due to its grand scale, monumentality, heroic style, and noble grandeur. It’s the last symphony ending the trilogy of three greatest works in Mozart's symphony music. The symphony's peculiarity is that all its development leads up to a triumphant finale, which crowns the symphony, like a magnificent dome crowning a cathedral. Tchaikovsky, who loved all Mozart’s works, called this symphony “one of the miracles of classical music”.
Mozart and Salieri is based on one of the "little tragedies" by Pushkin. However, the musical drama does not copy the original; instead, it puts its own highlights in Pushkin’s work. Salieri is no doubt the central figure in Pushkin’s tragedy, whereas the opera focuses on Mozart and his art, which aligns perfectly with the major concept of Rimsky-Korsakov’s creative work always aiming for the ideal of harmony. In his art the composer tried to reflect the bright sides of life. It’s no surprise he was attracted by the luminous figure of Mozart. Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera has a few quotes from Mozart’s music: Cherubino’s aria “Voi che sapete” from The Marriage of Figaro, beginning of Zerlina’s aria from Don Giovanni, and pieces from Requiem. The opera was first performed on November 6, 1898 on the stage of Private Russian Opera (S. Mamontov’s theatre), with F. Shalyapin as Salieri.