Claudio monteverdi - richard hickox - l'incoronazione di poppea


Duke Vincenzo was keen to establish his court as a musical centre, and sought to recruit leading musicians. When Monteverdi arrived in Mantua, the maestro di capella at the court was the Flemish musician Giaches de Wert . Other notable musicians at the court during this period included the composer and violinist Salomone Rossi , Rossi's sister the singer Madama Europa , and the tenor Francesco Rasi. [14] Monteverdi married the court singer Claudia de Cattaneis in 1599; they were to have three children, two sons (Francesco, b. 1601 and Massimiliano, b. 1604), and a daughter who died soon after birth in 1603. [8] Monteverdi's brother Giulio Cesare joined the court musicians in 1602. [15]

When Monteverdi composed L'Orfeo he had a thorough grounding in theatrical music. He had been employed at the Gonzaga court for 16 years, much of it as a performer or arranger of stage music, and in 1604 he had written the ballo Gli amori di Diane ed Endimone for the 1604–05 Mantua Carnival. [18] The elements from which Monteverdi constructed his first opera score—the aria , the strophic song , recitative , choruses, dances, dramatic musical interludes—were, as conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt has pointed out, not created by him, but "he blended the entire stock of newest and older possibilities into a unity that was indeed new". [19] Musicologist Robert Donington writes similarly: "[The score] contains no element which was not based on precedent, but it reaches complete maturity in that recently-developed form ... Here are words as directly expressed in music as [the pioneers of opera] wanted them expressed; here is music expressing them ... with the full inspiration of genius." [20]

And here is the love duet Pur ti miro (I gaze at you) from Monteverdi’s opera L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) . You can’t see the orchestra, but it will be underneath and in front of the stage.

There is roughly an hour and a half of evening hymns in the Vespers of the Blessed Virgin 1610 (to give them their full name) and, as such, they are probably the biggest thing in sacred music the other side of Bach. It’s very possible that the whole ambitious work was written as a sort of audition piece for another court, because Monteverdi was keen to move on. If that was the case, then it might have worked; he transferred to a prestigious new job at St Mark’s in Venice less than three years later.

Recommended Recording

Michael Chance (alto); Mark Tucker (tenor); Nigel Robson (tenor); Bryn Terfel (baritone); Monteverdi Choir; London Oratory Junior Choir; English Baroque Soloists; His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts; John Eliot Gardiner (conductor). Deutsche Grammophon: 4295652.


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In direct contrast to the more typically lavish stagings John Butt’s preference for single part performance brings a welcome sense of intimacy to Monteverdi’s most famous work. In eschewing the pomp and circumstance John Butt’s approach delivers a fresh, modern performance that allows the individuality of the soloists to shine.

With a vast amount of choral and chamber music to his credit, François Couperin (1668-1733) was recognized in his day as the leading French composer. But it is for his harpsichord music that Couperin is best remembered today. He composed a great many suites (or ordres in French) consisting of dance movements and character pieces with such titles as "Butterflies," "Darkness," "Goat-footed Satyrs," and "The mysterious barricades" . This is a charming and graceful music, beguilingly ornamented, and it opened a new direction for composers of keyboard music.


Claudio Monteverdi - Richard Hickox - L'Incoronazione Di PoppeaClaudio Monteverdi - Richard Hickox - L'Incoronazione Di PoppeaClaudio Monteverdi - Richard Hickox - L'Incoronazione Di PoppeaClaudio Monteverdi - Richard Hickox - L'Incoronazione Di Poppea

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