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Contents

Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries

CHAPTER 1 Opera from Monteverdi to Monteverdi

Princely and Public Theaters; Monteverdi’s Contributions to Both

Chapter:
CHAPTER 1 Opera from Monteverdi to Monteverdi
Source:
MUSIC IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

Richard Taruskin

Nino Pirrotta, an outstanding historian of Italian music, once proposed the title of this chapter as a joke, but it contains an important insight and provides an excellent frame for discussing some issues of major consequence.1 Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), previously best known as a composer of polyphonic part-songs, or madrigals, was also a major player in the “monodic revolution,” the rise to dominance of harmony–supported solo singing in the first decade of the seventeenth century. Owing to the unusual length of his career and the places where he happened to live, moreover, he made distinguished contributions to the burgeoning repertoire of music for the stage during more than one phase of its development. His first “musical tale,” as the nascent opera was called, dates from 1607, his last from shortly before his death, thirty-six years later. The first was performed before an invited assembly of nobles in Mantua and had a mythological theme. The last was performed before a paying public in Venice and had a theme from history. Stylistically as well as socially and thematically, the two works were worlds apart. To all intents and purposes, whether historical, theoretical, or practical, they belonged to different genres. It was the second that actually bore the designation opera, and that still looks like one.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Opera from Monteverdi to Monteverdi." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-chapter-01.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 1 Opera from Monteverdi to Monteverdi. In Oxford University Press, Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries. New York, USA. Retrieved 15 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-chapter-01.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Opera from Monteverdi to Monteverdi." In Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 15 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-chapter-01.xml
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