Monteverdi letters do provide great insight into his life, but the fact remains that the most important biographical documents and dates are missing (Redline, 1-2). Even information on his ancestors and immediate family is sparse because most of them are unknown, the exact dates of his father and mother’s birth and death are even unknown (Redline, 2-3). The most startling secret of Monteverdi existence Is that his body Is lost; his remains are known to be In a public tomb of the Chapel of Santa’ Imbroglio In the “del Frail”
Church, but no one can Identify his remains from the remains of all the other people that were put to rest there (Moldier, 386).
While much of Monteverdi biographical information may be lost, his letters and influential music provide a wealth of information on his life (Redline, Examine). Monteverdi life is known to have begun in Ceremony, Italy, but the exact date of the birth is not known (Examine, 117-118; Redline, 4).
His birth has been established to be in the early part of May 1 567, and the baptismal records at the Church of S. Nazarene and S. Cells in Ceremony confirm this time.
The church records reveal Monteverdi birth date to be May 15, 1567 (Redline, 4). While the Church register of baptisms does provide a birth date for Monteverdi, it also creates confusion about the spelling of Claudio last name (Raddled, 4). The church records provide the spelling ‘ Monteverdi,’ which contradicts the spelling: ‘Monteverdi’ that Is present on all of the Orlando 121 letters (Raddled, 4). The confusion about the name Is completed by the spelling that is in printed collective editions of his works, which reads ‘Monteverdi’ (Redline, 4).
The spelling ‘Monteverdi’ takes precedence because Claudio as known to have not overseen all the printed editions (Redline, 4). While Monteverdi name and life was a confusing composition of secrets, his family’s lives were not any more revealing. Monteverdi was the first born of five children, and biographers only mention one of the siblings, Gigolo Cesar, as having any significant presence in his life (Redline, 3). Monteverdi was probably the closest with his brother that was six years younger than him because they shared the ambition to have musical careers (Redline, 3).
Cesar first appeared In 1607 as the publisher of Monteverdi Scherzo Musical and as the tutor of the Deliberation, which was strongly Influenced by Monteverdi (Raddled, 3). The relationship between Monteverdi and Cesar Is Implied to be a happy one, which can be illustrated by Monteverdi inclusion of two small original compositions of Curare’s In Nils volume AT ten scenery Cesar neon an organs post In Castellated, and he was later Maestro did Chapel at Solo Cathedral in 1612 (Redline, 3-4).
He seems to have had an intimate relationship with Monteverdi during the Mutant period of Claudio life, yet he is not mentioned after the year 1612. His arenas are completely different in the amount of information that is known about them; his mother’s maiden name and Christian name are unknown, and she is mentioned very little in any sources on the topic of Monteverdi life (Redline, 1-2). Ballades, Monteverdi father, is much more evident in Claudio life (Redline, 3); Ballades was a doctor, which provided his family with a comfortable lifestyle and his children with a classical education under the best teachers (Redline, 3).
The teacher that Ballades chose for his son’s (Claudio Monteverdi) musical education was Marc’ Antonio Engineering; Ballades was a cultured man with the means o provide the best for his son (Redline, 4). Engineering was without a doubt the most important musician within the boundaries of Ceremony (Redline, 4). Claudio was a pupil of Engineer’s for ten years, which can be illustrated by Monteverdi mention of him on the title-pages of Monteverdi compositions during that time period, 1580-1590 (Redline, 5).
There was a three-year gap between Monteverdi books of madrigals at that time, but the sub-title of the later publication that mentions Engineering implies that the master and pupil were together (Redline, 5). Under the audience of Engineering, Claudio composed Continually at the age of fifteen; the work showed the pupil’s complete understanding of the three-part vocal writing style (Redline, 5). Monteverdi was an oddity in that he had already published four diverse works: tracing, sacred madrigals, contrasts, and secular madrigals before he was twenty years old; this musical foundation was laid by his master, Engineering (Redline, 5).
The first time that Engineer’s name is absent from the title-page is in 1590 when Monteverdi dedicates a book of madrigals to his new master, the Duke of Mantra; his is the last time Engineer’s name is mentioned in accordance with Monteverdi (Redline, 6). Monteverdi career at the Court of Mantra began in 1590, but he ‘on probation’ during this year (Redline, 6). He was only accepted for a permanent position at the beginning of 1591 (Redline, 6); he was hired as a singer and violist (Examine, 117-118).
He served there for 21 years (Examine, 117-118), and during this time he was promoted to ‘Cantors,’ which is basically a music director (Redline, 9). During Monteverdi career at Mantra he created many great works, including his and Manta’s first opera, Refer (Shards, 224-225). The opera was performed in 1607, and it was a lavish production (Examine, 119-120). Refer contained star soloists, a chorus, dancers, and a large orchestra of about forty players; the lavish setting of the opera was mostly per request of Monteverdi master (Examine, 119-120).
Monteverdi master, Vincent I Conga, was an important part of his life; he was the one that promoted Monteverdi in 1592 (Redline, 6,9), and he was the one that gave approval to Monteverdi choice of bride (Redline, 9). Claudio new wife was Claudia Castanet, the daughter of Monteverdi violist colleague, was a professional singer (Redline, 9). The two were married in the later part of 1594 or early in 1595, while Monteverdi was still serving at the Mutant Court (Redline, 9).
The couple had two sons during their twelve-year marriage, but they also struggled Dialectally (Really, 1 I en years AT Atlanta trouble spanned Trot to 1607, which was also a time of illness for Claudia (Redline, 15). The Monteverdi family moved to Ceremony to live with Ballades, Monteverdi father, who cared for Claudia (Redline, 15). The stress from their debts caused Claudia health condition to worsen, and she died on September 10, 1607 (Redline, 15). She left Claudio a widower t the age of forty (Redline, 39-40) and with two sons: ages seven and two (Redline, 15).
After Claudio and Claudia short marriage and her death, Monteverdi went into a time of oblivion and chastity (Redline, 42-43; Mainliner, 388). Monteverdi may have not known it during that time of pain for him, but he would be musically active again. He would be considered the bridge between two musical periods (Redline, 35). Monteverdi comprised both the Early Baroque and Venetian periods; he was able to live through the crossover between the two periods (Redline, 35). Each musical period had a part in shaping Monteverdi career.
Works of the Baroque period (1600-1750) were known to be extremely emotional; it was a time of lavish and dramatic proportions, especially in music (Examine, 98). The best Baroque music is from the later part of the period, but the early period composers were the most revolutionary; this is the category Monteverdi fit into (Examine, 98). In Italy, especially, music was created or composed with texts that conveyed ultimate emotion; the text was the most prominent part of the music (Examine, 98).
These reasons led to the creation of opera. Opera was conceived in Italy from the discussions of the Camera, small group of nobles, poets, composers, and other artists who began to meet regularly in Florence in 1575 (Examine, 116). The Camera wanted to create a new vocal style based on music of ancient Greek tragedies; it was designed to be midway between melody and speech (Examine, 116). While Monteverdi was not a member of the Camera, his first opera, Refer, followed the ideal the group had set up for opera (Mainliner, 393).
Monteverdi, like other Early Baroque composers, preferred homophobic texture because he felt the words could be projected more clearly with one main melody and only a choral accompaniment (Examine, 98). Most of the Baroque opera was composed for ceremonial occasions at court and was designed as a display of ‘magnificence and splendor’ (Examine, 116-117). Monteverdi operas and productions at the Court of Mantra are a perfect illustration of this Baroque period characteristic.
The subject matter of the Baroque opera’s was Greek mythology and ancient history; the aristocratic patrons loved the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome and related to the Greek and Roman divinities and heroes (Examine, 116-117). Monteverdi went along with these ideals because he knew that while opera was a retentive expression, it was also a way to flatter and gain the acceptance of aristocracy (Examine, 1 17). While Monteverdi appreciated the ways of aristocracy as a way to gain success musically, he had a growing discomfort with the courts of princes and an increasing skepticism towards aristocratic methods of business (Redline, 44).
These feeling became more apparent during Monteverdi Venetian period in his later years, which stems from his sudden and inhumane dismissal from the Mutant Court (Redline, 44). Monteverdi master at Mantra, Vincent l, died and left his heir, Francesco ‘V, who dismissed Monteverdi without cause (Redline, 44). Even though Monteverdi felt negatively towards some aspects of his society, he was mostly unaffected by them (Mainliner, 393). He was more concerned with creating music of emotional Intense TTY en 010 not care auto skeletal or religious motives Duty simply artistic ones (Examine, 118-119).
Monteverdi aspirations in the musical world were simply to create the highest degree of expressionism; he did not want to create new forms, he did not want to please nobles, and he did not want to gain spiritual enlightenment (Mainliner, 393). Even though these were not Monteverdi goals, he still attained them in some way. His relation to religion is the most ironic; he did not seem to be a spiritual man, yet much of the success of his career is based on religious positions he held and spiritual music he created (Mainliner, 392-395).
The time period that Monteverdi lived in was the cause of most of his religious works and posts; the earlier portion of Monteverdi lifetime made spiritual music and musicians dominant (Redline, 46-47). Official musical posts were controlled exclusively by ecclesiastical appointments; Monteverdi appointment as Maestro did Chapel did San Marco outweighed any secular post (Redline, 46, 47, 48). He held this position at SST. Marks Church in Venice from 1613 until his death, thirty years (Examine, 118).
Even in Monteverdi younger years of composition and training, many of his published works were dedicated to Ceremonies clergy and nobles (Redline, 5). Monteverdi relationship to the church seemed purely traditional (Redline, 43-44), but he was actually Just doing what was necessary to get his music heard (Shards, 247-248). This can be proven by the fact that Monteverdi did not compose sacred or elisions music until he was ordered to compose it by his master at the Court of Mantra in 1601 (Shards, 247-248).
It was twenty-eight years before he published new sacred music, but his secular or nonreligious music was published regularly (Shards, 247-248). While he did not seem to enjoy his religious works, they, such as: the Miss and Vespers are considered to be some of his greatest compositions (Redline, 146-147). Claudio was also known to change the words of his secular works to make them into religious works that he was required by his society and his posts to create (Mainliner, 393-394).
It is obvious that Monteverdi felt constrained by the religious requirements of his era, but change slowly occurred throughout Monteverdi lifetime. Music and the career of the musician changed slowly but drastically during Monteverdi life (1547-1643); colonization became more acceptable (Redline, 46-47). Even though Monteverdi was required to compose religious music, he was able to create secular music on the side (Examine, 118). Europe, especially Italy, became more of an artistic center; music became even more important for political functions for aristocracy (Redline, 46-47).
While it was not Monteverdi intention to create new musical ideals and concepts in his works, he did manage to revolutionize music in many ways (Redline, 39). Monteverdi most dominant purpose in creating music was expressionism; he wanted to illustrate human nature through an artistic dramatic work (Shards, 226-227). He did not view musical forms as permanent or unalterable schemes or patterns for him to follow; Monteverdi used them as a guideline and altered them to achieve the dramatic effect he desired (Shards, 227). He compromised his mix of form and improvisation with the terms:
Prima Practice and Seconds Practice (Redline, 117). Prima Practice accepted the art of polyphonic composing, and it made the music and words equally important (Redline, 117). Seconds Practice was extremely emotional; it is when the words climax with “elemental force” (Redline, 117). Monteverdi wanted to extend the previous range of emotions to Include gloating, excitement, Ana passion (Kamala, 1 achieved this intensity in his music by using more dissonance than ever before, and he would use new orchestral effects like pizzicato and tremolo to create angry and war-like feelings in some of his texts (Examine, 119).
Claudio other musical achievements were: the discovery of orchestral color, which is blending the vocal and instrumental tones or timbres into a unique combination of sounds; his evolution of chromatics for expressionistic reasons; and the coining of characteristic types of motive (Redline, 39). Monteverdi music never followed the same pattern and was unpredictable; he was experimental enough to be considered revolutionary and traditional enough to be appreciated by society (Mainliner, 388).
In the last phase of Monteverdi life during his Venetian period, he did not settle own as most composers of his time did (Redline, 37). He was very active musically; he published The Eighth Book of Madrigals in 1638 and Selves Morale e Spirituals in 1640 (Redline, 37). It is also during his older years that Monteverdi started to commission music again; he was seventy-four when he gave operas to the public opera houses (Redline, 48). Monteverdi even wrote for the first public opera house in Europe, San Casino (Examine, 118); it opened in Venice in 1637 (Redline, 48).
Only a short time later, Monteverdi wrote his last opera: Oleomargarine did Poppa (Examine, 18). Monteverdi, along with other Early Baroque composers, was greatly forgotten until the 20th century with the invention of long playing records (Examine, 98). Even with the invention of records, only three of Monteverdi twelve operas are preserved and can be heard (Examine, 1 19). One of the remaining operas that can be listened to is Refer, which is the first opera ever written by Monteverdi (Examine, 119). It is also the first operatic masterpiece to be written by a professional musician (Examine, 117).
Refer was composed in 1607 for the Mutant Court, and it was an ornate and lavish production (Examine 119-120). The story of the opera is one of Greek mythology, which is fitting because it was composed for Monteverdi aristocratic court that enjoyed the stories of Greek mythology and related to the characters (Examine 119-120). The myth and opera is about the very gifted musician Orpheus, the son of the god Apollo (Examine, 119-120). Orpheus is very happy after his marriage to Eurydice, but he is extremely depressed when he discovers the death of his new bride due to a poisonous snakebite (Examine, 119-120).
Orpheus goes to the underworld or Hades to try and bring Eurydice back, which he able to do because of his musical talent (Examine, 119-120). Orpheus can bring her back to the world on the one condition that he cannot look back at Eurydice as he guides her out of Hades. In a moment of hesitation, Orpheus looks back at her, and she vanishes (Examine, 119-120). The opera ends with Apollo pitying Orpheus and allowing him to remain in Heaven eternally where he can gaze on Eurydice radiance in the sun and stars The specific movement that I feel encapsulates Monteverdi (Gamete, 119-120). Sino for expressionism and drama is in Act II; it is called “Tu SE’ Mortar” (Examine, 120). The translation of the title is: Mimi are Dead,” which is what Orpheus is so intensely singing after the discovery of Eurydice death. This song is haunting because of its text, and its slow tempo and singular accompaniment. It seems as if Orpheus is all alone mourning the loss of his bride; it is a very intimate moment in the opera that made me feel uncomfortable as I listened to it, as if I should not have Eden listening In on tens man’s private Ana sorrows LU moment. Scenically, “LU SE’ Mortar” is brilliant; it has a vocal line that is rhythmically free with barely any sense of beat or meter, and its phrases are irregular in length (Examine, These aspects of the song make Orpheus pain seem real; the odd rhythm, beat, meter, and phrase length make it sound as if Orpheus cannot contain his grief. This makes the song sound as if it were perfect at one time, technically, and now it is overcome with the pain of a lost love, so it is slightly off and does not sound completely correct or resolved.
The songs oddities may also symbolize Orpheus life without Eurydice, which is now slightly off and does not seem to be correct. Monteverdi mastery of the past novelty of recitative is seen in “Tu SE’ Mortar;” the flexible setting of the text is meant to suggest the passionate speech of an actor declaiming his lines (Examine, 120-121). I definitely felt Orpheus passion as he sang the recitative, which provided the important information. The aria climaxed after the recitative, which made it even more powerful. I especially appreciated how Monteverdi made the word “mortar” very low, quiet, and eerie.
It was as if Orpheus was whispering to Eurydice that she was dead, and Orpheus would then spiral into the aria, which I think symbolized his rage at the realization that his wife was actually dead. The song also involves lines about Orpheus bringing Eurydice back from the dead; these lines are also very loud and powerful. I think Monteverdi made these lines loud and extreme to show how determined Orpheus was to have his wife back. When Orpheus sings these lines, “l will bring you back to me to see the stars again” it is like he is singing to Eurydice like she is still alive.