Salieri's timpani

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Beethoven, in 'Fidelio', requested the timpani to be tuned in a tritone, low A and E-flat; in this he was preceded by Salieri in 'La grotta di Trofonio', where they play low G-flat and C (1785). Beethoven was playing in the orchestra when this work was staged at Bonn in spring 1789. Salieri also employed three instead of two timpani in 'La secchia rapita' (1772), tuned to low G, C and D. In the Prologue to 'Tarare' (1787) the timpani are tuned to a major third, B-flat to D.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-2
Number of pages2
JournalThe Musical Times
Issue number1544
Publication statusPublished - 1971


  • Eighteenth century, Vienna, orchestral practice, orchestration, timpani, Salieri, Beethoven, Fidelio.

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