Claudio Monteverdi

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Related to Claudio Monteverdi: Francois Couperin, Giovanni Gabrieli

Monteverdi, Claudio

(klou`dyō mōntāvĕr`dē), 1567–1643, Italian composer; first great figure in the history of opera. His earliest published works, a set of three motifs, appeared when he was only 15. In 1590 he entered the service of the duke of Mantua, becoming choir master in the ducal court in 1601. Monteverdi's first opera, Orfeo, performed at Mantua in 1607, was revolutionary in its combination of dramatic power and expressive orchestral accompaniment. Of his next opera, Arianna (1608), only the celebrated lament, which Monteverdi himself arranged as a five-part madrigal, is extant. In 1613, Monteverdi was appointed choirmaster of St. Mark's, Venice, where he remained until his death. He took holy orders in 1632. Although he wrote mostly church music after settling in Venice, he continued to develop his dramatic gifts in many secular madrigals and dramatic cantatas such as Il combattimento di Tancredi e di Clorinda (1624). After the first public opera house opened in Venice in 1637, the aged Monteverdi produced his last operas, including Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria (1641) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (1642), which show marked development in characterization and emotional power. They set the style of later Venetian opera. Of his 21 dramatic works, only six, including three operas, are extant. He was among the first composers to use the tremolo and pizzicato effects with strings, and his music shows a strong sense of modern tonality. In his operas he used large orchestras, whose members he grouped into specific combinations to portray characters on stage. His brother Giulio Cesare Monteverdi, 1573–?, was a composer, organist, and critic, and Claudio's assistant at the court of Mantua.


See studies by D. Arnold (1963 and 1968) and L. Schrade (1950, repr. 1969).

Monteverdi, Claudio


(Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi). Born May 15, 1567, in Cremona; died Nov. 29, 1643, in Venice. Italian composer.

From 1590 to 1612, Monteverdi served as a musician, singer, and choirmaster in the chapel of the Gonzaga dukes in Mantua. In 1613 he became the choirmaster of St. Mark’s Church in Venice. Monteverdi wrote mainly polyphonic choral music; between 1587 and 1683 he published eight books of madrigals. Continuing the polyphonic tradition of the 16th century, Monteverdi strove for lyrical and dramatic expressiveness in his music; this tendency is noticeable even in his madrigals, which gradually led to a renewal of the whole madrigal genre.

From 1607, Monteverdi was occupied chiefly with composing operas. Only his first opera, La f a vola a “Orfeo (1607, Mantua), and his last two, // ritorno d “Ulisse in patria (1640, Bologna) and I’incoronazione di Poppea (1642, Venice) have been preserved. Monteverdi developed and broadened the opera’s musical expressiveness; he imparted to this then new genre (“fairy tale set to music, ““drama set to music“) real dramatic meaning. He was the innovator of the stile concitato (emotional style) in music. Monteverdi greatly influenced his contemporaries, especially the composers of the Venetian school.


Konen, V. D. K. Monteverdi. Moscow, 1971
Prunières, H. Claudio Monteverdi. Paris, 1924.
Malipiero, G. F. Claudio Monteverdi. Milan, 1929.
Albert, A. A. Claudio Monteverdi und das musikalische Drama. Lippstadt, 1954.


References in periodicals archive ?
Pederson's madrigals are skillfully composed in the style of the time, but less adventurous than the avant-garde madrigals by composers such as Luca Marenzio, Carlo Gesualdo, and Claudio Monteverdi.
Where else would you see a dozen copies of No Parlez, Paul Young's ageing album alongside box sets of the Sacred Vocal Music of Claudio Monteverdi for a quid apiece?
A scenario featuring six Renaissance couples moves from suspicion, through eroticism, to break-up backed by music by Italian composer, violist and choirmaster Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643).
As the title implies, this truly is early music, comprising interpretations of music by the likes of Hildegard Von Bingen and Claudio Monteverdi.
Prima le parole, poi la musica,' ('first the words, then the music') declared the great operatic composer Claudio Monteverdi four centuries ago.
Also performed by CAMARADA, and danced by PRDC, will be "O Come Sei Gentile" by Claudio Monteverdi, and "Pur Ti Miro" from "L'Incoronazione de Poppea" by Claudio Monteverdi.
Claudio Monteverdi devoted himself to giving human passion an unambiguous musical vocabulary.
The ensemble, with six male and four female voices, is dedicated to introducing modern audiences to lesser-known masterpieces of centuries past, including works of composers such as Claudio Monteverdi, Thomas Tallis and Guillaume de Machaut.
Though the madrigal had always been amoroso, still the connection between love and music seems to have intensified in what Claudio Monteverdi openly designated madrigali amorosi [48] or in the musicalization of the patently literary lettera amorosa, of which examples can be found, again, in works by Monteverdi, [49] as in others by his contemporaries (e.
It was the meeting of old and new back in 1610 when composer Claudio Monteverdi published his "Vespro della Beata Vergine," bridging the musical divide between the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
In chapter 1, Collins distills the most essential contributions to baroque style theory in the writings of Giovanni Maria Artusi, Claudio Monteverdi, Marco Scacchi, Kircher, Christoph Bernhard, Tomas Baltazar Janovka, Brossard, Mattheson, Johann Gottfried Walther, and James Grassineau.