Singers.com

In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

Home | Doo Wop | Barbershop | World | Contemporary | Christian | Vocal Jazz | Choral | Christmas | Instructional | Arrangements

Claudio Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi

Born: 1567 Died: 1643

In Claudio Monteverdi's lifetime, Western art music stood at a crossroads. There were two major types of vocal music at that time: popular songs on mundane themes and music intended to accompany church services. The former group included fairly simple settings for solo voice and madrigals, which set music for two or more independent voice parts. Church music had evolved by the early 16th century into an elaborate polyphony. Josquin Desprez and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina were the foremost composers in this style, in which four or more parts develop musical lines from the tunes to popular and even bawdy songs. Each of the four or more parts wove these tunes together in a dense counterpoint, with no part assigned a primary melodic or harmonic function. The music displayed the consummate skills of their composers, and sounded breathtakingly beautiful when done by a capable choir. However, by the late 16th century, this type of contrapuntal music had become too difficult for most church choirs to sing and most parishioners to understand.

Church music was just one of the things affected by the 17th century movement known as the Counter-Reformation. Church leaders began this movement in response to Protestant challenges that the Catholic Church had grown too preoccupied with secular, decadent luxury and learned complexity, and grown too distant from the common people. The centerpiece of the Counter-Reformation was the Council of Trent which began in 1545. The council extended over three sessions over the course of 20 years, and explored a number of issues in church doctrine and reform. The last Council, which concluded just before Monteverdi's birth, mandated a reform of church music, excising popular melodies from church services, turning away from complicated, learned music, and stressing that the music be designed to make the text intelligible. In the centers of power and education (e.g. Rome's papal chapel), the older style lingered on, but in everyday churches in more remote areas, a new style evolved in its place.

This new style had roots in a separate, secular movement. Around 1580, a group of musical cognoscenti formed a musical academy, or Camerata, at the court of Count Giovanni Bardi in Florence. The Camerata sought to recreate ancient Greek drama. As they understood it, these music dramas had all of their text sung, with a single voice using music to drive the text forward and accompanied by a harmony instrument. This style of text setting, called recitative, became popular because of its dramatic possibilities, and became the basis of this new music drama form called opera.

The idea of using a single melodic voice accompanied by a harmony instrument quickly found its way into sacred music. Lodovico Viadana, a maestro di cappella in the northern Italian town of Mantua, wrote in 1602 of polyphonic masses and motets being performed with parts left out because of a lack of sufficiently skilled choristers. Viadana proposed adapting the recitative style, and wrote sacred music in which a single singer could be accompanied by a keyboard instrument playing chords around a notated bass line. This monodic style, based around what came to be known as the basso continuo, was adopted rapidly by choirmasters and composers alike. At first, this style may have gained popularity because it was so much easier to write, and because it called for fewer skilled musicians. But even the Roman church composers rapidly took up this style, perceiving a new way to lend expressiveness to text passages.

Monteverdi was born in 1567, in the northern town of Cremona, a small town between Milan and Mantua. He studied counterpoint and sacred composition with the maestro di cappella at Cremona's cathedral. Even as a teenager, Monteverdi drew notice for writing music in the more dramatic new styles. In 1591, he became a string player in the Gonzaga court in Mantua, and became director of music (maestro di cappella) ten years later at the age of 34. By this time, Monteverdi had made a name for himself as both composer and writer about music. Monteverdi wrote of an "old style" which he called prima prattica. This was the dense counterpoint of Josquin and Palestrina, where "the music (is) not commanded but commanding, not the servant but the mistress of the words." In his writings, Monteverdi supported a new style, based around basso continuo and recitative, where text took priority over music. Monteverdi termed this modern style the seconda prattica.

Monteverdi proved himself to be more than a theorist, with the creation of two landmark compositions in seconda prattica. His opera based on the Orpheus legend was staged in Mantua in 1607, and incorporated a far more ambitious mix of recitative and aria than the Florentine camerata had originally envisioned. This potent new mix turned opera into a form which would dominate European culture for the next three hundred years. Then in 1610, Monteverdi published a collection of Vesper music settings which applied the same techniques of basso continuo settings of small groups of soloists to church music on a grand scale. The Vespers were accompanied by a six-part Mass setting in the prima prattica style, to demonstrate that he was equally adept in both old and new styles.

Monteverdi dedicated this publication of 1610 to Pope Paul V, no doubt hoping for an appointment in a Roman church. No such offer came, but at the same time, the post of maestro di cappella at St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice fell vacant. Monteverdi demonstrated his skill as composer and music director at an audition in August 1613, and was hired on the spot. He remained in that post, writing pioneering works in opera, madrigal, and sacred format, until his death in Venice in November 1643.

Featured Items (See Related Items.)

Displaying 1-5 of 5 items.


I Fagiolini : The Full Monteverdi : DVD : Robert Hollingworth : Claudio Monteverdi : 2.110224

I Fagiolini : The Full Monteverdi

Review: One of the most moving collections of Renaissance vocal music brought to life as a contemporary drama specifically for the screen. Claudio Monteverdi's Fourth book of Madrigals (1603) explores differing emotional states of abandoned lovers through the most dramatic and amazingly modern music for vocal ensemble. The Full Monteverdi follows the simultaneous break-up of six couples, from shocking revelation, vengeful anger and erotic longing for reconciliation, as an ensemble film. Vulnerable and disarming, it draws viewers into its emotional journey and intensely moving portrait of contemporary love. Seated in a restaurant, the six couples begin to quarrel over dinner. Onlookers are drawn to the interactions of their fellow diners, yet also wary of their invasive gaze, as the relationships fragment before their eyes. The couples fight over moments in the past, then reflect on better times and unrealised dreams. Ultimately, the six (singing) lovers are left to contemplate life alone. The film takes place over an evening and following morning, with several scenes shot as flashback, giving viewers the back-story to the lovers' downfall. The film is sung throughout.

Songlist: Ah! Dolente Partita, Cor mio, Mentre vi Miro, Cor mio, non mori? E mori!, Sfogava con le stelle, Volgea L' Anima Mia Soabement, Anima Mia Perdona , Luci serene e chiare , La piaga c'ho nel core, Voi Pur Da Me Partite , A Un Giro Sol, Ohime, se tanto amate, lo mi son giovinetta, Quell' Augellin, che canta, Non Piu Guerra, Pietate, Si Ch'io vorrei morire, Anima Dolorosa che vivendo, Anima del cor mio, Longe da te, cor mio, Piagn'e sospira

More details
8587dvd | DVD $21.95 add item to cart


I Fagiolini : Monteverdi - Fire & Ashes

Review: Monteverdi's madrigals are a theatre of the senses: touches, glances, scents, the textures of fabrics, of lips and skin, the shining gold of hair, the deep blue of eyes, the sounds and vistas of nature, the coolness of water, the sun's warmth, the ecstatic agony of fire and ice. The second volume in I Fagiolini's Monteverdi conspectus allows us to trace this evolution from the early Mantuan a cappella madrigals that made his reputation to the late concerted madrigals of the 1630s written for the Viennese court - styles seemingly worlds apart, yet both forged by the same desire, to confront and master afresh in each new work the ever-present tension between mere art and real life.

Songlist: Sinfonia from "Ballo Delle Ingrate", Ardo, Avvampo, Rimanti in Pace, Ogni Amante E guerrier, Si Ch'io Vorrei Morire, Che Dar Piu Vi Poss'io, E Cosi, A Poco A Poco, Vorrei Baciarti, O Filli, Chiome D'oro, Batto, Qui Pianse Ergasto, Entrata from "Ballo Delle Ingrate", Lagrime D'amante al Sepolcro Dell'amata, Tirsi e Clori

More details
8913c | 1 CD $18.95 add item to cart Madrigals CDs


I Fagiolini : Monteverdi - Flaming Heart : 00  1 CD : Claudio Monteverdi : 0730

I Fagiolini : Monteverdi - Flaming Heart

Review: Monteverdi: Flaming Heart' offers works from Book IV to VIII, a selection that demonstrates both the extraordinary compass of his art and the unprecedented depth and subtlety of response to a text. In recent years we have settled for a certain lack of danger in our search for an 'ideal' Monteverdi. I Fagiolini's 'The Full Monteverdi', revealed a new side to this music a Monteverdi of both beauty and horror, colourful, vivid, sometimes chaste, sometimes dirty, and always completely alive.

Songlist: Prologo: La Musica, Luci Serene E Chiare, Anima Mia, Perdona, Tempro La Cetra, Ahi, Come A Un Vago Sol Cotese Giro, Con Che Soavita, Sinfonia, Ch'io T'ami, Partenza Amorosa, Parlo Miser'o Taccio, Volgendo Il Ciel, Longe Da Te, Cor Mio, Piagn'e Sospira

More details
8914c | 1 CD $18.95 add item to cart Madrigals CDs


La Venexiana : Claudio Monteverdi : 00  1 CD : Claudio Monteverdi : 920910

La Venexiana : Claudio Monteverdi

Review: La Venexiana presents its latest recording achievement, a set of madrigal interpretations of a work that is a jewel and a success by any standard: the Third Book of Claudio Monteverdi, undoubtedly the greatest composer of the genre. The reason why this book of madrigals enjoyed such success is soon told. The Third Book is a colourful sequence of styles and forms. We find virtuosic works (with two or three soprano voices), works in chromatic style, madrigals in concitato, declamatory style and courtly madrigals. Briefly put, it is the summa of what at that period one would have understood by the word "madrigal" and its most representative forms. Moreover, Monteverdi's choice of poets in this book is typical of those of the nuovo stile, including Torquato Tasso and Battista Guarini, ideal to display "serious" emotions and feelings.

Songlist: La giovinetta pianta, O come e gran martire, Sovra tenere erbette, O dolce anima mia, Stracciami pur il core, O rossignol, Se per estremo ardore, Vattene pur crudel, O Primavera, Perfidissimo volto, Ch'io non t'ami cor mio, Occhi un tempo mia vita, Vivro fra i miei tormenti, Lumi miei cari, Rimanti in pace

More details
7048c | 1 CD $15.98 add item to cart Madrigals CDs


Monteverdi Choir : Monteverdi & His Contemporaries

Review: Claudio Monteverdi (1567 - 1643) was an Italian composer, violinist and singer. His work marks the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music. During his long life he produced work that can be classified in both categories, and he was one of the most significant revolutionaries that brought about the change in style. Here for the first time on CD is John Elliot Gardiner, one of World's top conductors, in his earliest recordings feauring the madrigals of Moneteverdi (including his 6 madrigals "Sestina" and others such as John Wilbye, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Morley.

Songlist: Sestina Incenerite, Ditelo o Fiumi, Dara la Notte, Ma te Raccoglie, O Chiome d' or, Dunque Amate Reliquie, Zefiro Torna , Era L'Anima Mia , Ohime, Se Tanto Amate , Dolcissima Ma Vita , Weep Weep Mine Eyes, Oft Have I Vowed , What Is Our Life , O Grief Even On The Bud , Draw On Sweet Night

More details
8436c | 1 CD $15.98 add item to cart Madrigals CDs

Related Items ( See Featured Items )

Displaying 1-50 of 89 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistItem TitleFormatTrax
Ah Dolente PartitaClaudio MonteverdiVarious ComposersOxford Book of Italian MadrigalsSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Ahi, Come A Un Vago Sol Cotese GiroClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Flaming Heart 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Anima Mia, PerdonaClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Flaming Heart 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ardo, AvvampoClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Fire & Ashes 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Baci, Soavi E CariClaudio MonteverdiQuink Vocal EnsembleRenaissance Madrigals 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Batto, Qui Pianse ErgastoClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Fire & Ashes 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Beatus virClaudio MonteverdiJohn Rutter (Editor)European Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Beatus VirClaudio MonteverdiCambridge SingersThe Sacred Flame 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Cantate DominoClaudio MonteverdiJohn Rutter (Editor)European Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Cantate DominoClaudio MonteverdiCambridge SingersThe Sacred Flame 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Cantate DominoClaudio MonteverdiVoces8A Choral Tapestry 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ch'io non t'ami cor mioClaudio MonteverdiLa VenexianaClaudio Monteverdi 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ch'io T'amiClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Flaming Heart 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Che Dar Piu Vi Poss'ioClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Fire & Ashes 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Chiome D'oroClaudio MonteverdiHarmony of VoicesSoavi AccentiSACDMORE DETAILS 
Chiome D'oroClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Fire & Ashes 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Christe, adoramus teClaudio MonteverdiJohn Rutter (Editor)European Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Christe, Adoramus teClaudio MonteverdiCambridge SingersThe Sacred Flame 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Christe, Redemptor OmniumClaudio MonteverdiDavid Willcocks (editor)Carols for Choirs Vol 3SongbookMORE DETAILS 
Con Che SoavitaClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Flaming Heart 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Cor mio mentre vi miroClaudio MonteverdiPomeriumThe Mannerist Revolution 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
E Cosi, A Poco A PocoClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Fire & Ashes 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ecco Mormorar L'ondaClaudio MonteverdiSeattle Children's ChorusHow Can I Keep From Singing? 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ecco Mormorar L'ondeClaudio MonteverdiVarious ComposersOxford Book of Italian MadrigalsSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Ecco mormorar l'ondeClaudio MonteverdiChanticleerChanticleer Takes You Out Of This World 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Entrata from "Ballo Delle Ingrate"Claudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Fire & Ashes 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Gloria A 7 VociClaudio MonteverdiLuther College Nordic ChoirThe Culmination of an Extraordianary Career 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Hodie Christus natus est - Claudio MonteverdiClaudio MonteverdiNotre Dame Glee ClubIn Dulci Jubilo 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
I Love You Truly, Pur Ti MiroClaudio MonteverdiThe Vocal LibraryWedding Classics - High VoiceSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS 
I Love You Truly, Pur Ti Miro Claudio MonteverdiThe Vocal LibraryWedding Classics - Low VoiceSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS 
Io mi son giovinettaClaudio MonteverdiPomeriumThe Mannerist Revolution 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
La giovinetta piantaClaudio MonteverdiLa VenexianaClaudio Monteverdi 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Lagrime D'amante al Sepolcro Dell'amataClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Fire & Ashes 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Lamento d'AriannaClaudio MonteverdiClifford BartlettMadrigals and PartsongsSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Lasciatemi Morire Claudio MonteverdiVarious ComposersTwenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias - Medium High VoicesSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS 
Lasciatemi MorireClaudio MonteverdiWorld VoicesA Cultural Odyssey 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Lasciatemi morire! (O soul, I long to perish!)Claudio MonteverdiJohn Glenn Paton26 Italian Songs and Arias - Medium LowSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS 
Lo Mi Son GiovinettaClaudio MonteverdiQuink Vocal EnsembleRenaissance Madrigals 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Longe Da Te, Cor MioClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Flaming Heart 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Luci Serene E ChiareClaudio MonteverdiI FagioliniMonteverdi - Flaming Heart 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Lumi miei cariClaudio MonteverdiLa VenexianaClaudio Monteverdi 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Non Havea Febo AncoraClaudio MonteverdiHarmony of VoicesSoavi AccentiSACDMORE DETAILS 
Non Havea Febo Ancora: Amor (Lamento Della Ninfa)Claudio MonteverdiHarmony of VoicesSoavi AccentiSACDMORE DETAILS 
Non Havea Febo Ancora: Si Tra SdegnosiClaudio MonteverdiHarmony of VoicesSoavi AccentiSACDMORE DETAILS 
O come e gran martireClaudio MonteverdiLa VenexianaClaudio Monteverdi 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
O Crux BenedictaClaudio MonteverdiPhilip Ledger (editor)Anthems for Choirs 3 (Sopranos & Altos)SongbookMORE DETAILS 
O dolce anima miaClaudio MonteverdiLa VenexianaClaudio Monteverdi 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
O Domine Jesu ChristeClaudio MonteverdiPhilip Ledger (editor)Anthems for Choirs 3 (Sopranos & Altos)SongbookMORE DETAILS 
O Domine Jesu Christe Claudio MonteverdiTucson Arizona Boys ChorusHeaven Hath A Song 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
O Domine Jesu ChristeClaudio MonteverdiJudith Blezzard (Editor)30 Sacred Masterworks for Upper VoicesSongbookMORE DETAILS 
There are MORE PAGES! (click on a note below)
More pagespage 1 items 1-50page 2 items 51-89
Page:12


Search Catalog



Narrow your search with the following choices:
Song Title
Group Name
Book/CD Title
Gender
Music Category
Format
Number of Voice Parts
New Release?
Christmas?
Clear and Start Over  

All Rights Reserved   All Content, page design, CGI Copyright © United Singers International