VINCENZO RIGHINI (1756 - 1812)
A chorister at San Petronio in Bologna and later a singing teacher, Vincenzo Righini’s early singing career took him to Florence and Rome, and then to the Bustelli opera company in Prague. After this he moved to Vienna, where he worked as a composer and a singing teacher, in 1787 deputising as court composer for Salieri during the latter’s absence in Paris. In the same year he moved to Mainz, joining the Elector’s musical establishment there. In 1793 he was appointed Kapellmeister to the Prussian court, where he was a colleague of Reichardt. His years in Berlin brought close involvement with the Court Opera, to the repertoire of which he made a popular contribution. His final illness took him back to Bologna, where he died in 1812.
Righini’s contemporary reputation was primarily as a composer of opera. In Berlin he set, in particular, libretti by the court poet Filistri. This was in accordance with the royal taste for political allegory and moral teaching, following the tradition of Metastasio.
Righini’s sacred music includes a Mass written for the coronation of Emperor Leopold II in Frankfurt in 1790. Other works include cantatas and a quantity of German, Italian and French songs.
Righini’s relatively few instrumental compositions include a Symphony, a Flute Concerto, a Wind Partita and a Serenade for wind and string instruments. The so-called ‘Idomeneus’ Concerto for oboe takes its name from music provided by Righini for an 1806 Berlin staging of Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, rè di Creta (‘Idomeneus, King of Crete’).