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Born: 1567, CremonaDied: 1643, Venice

"Rest assured that, as far as consonances and dissonances are concerned, there is another point of view to be considered besides the already existing one, and that this other point of view is justified by the satisfaction it gives both to the ear and to the intelligence."

Monteverdi was a pivotal composer in the transition from Renaissance to Baroque styles in music. He was precocious - publishing his first book of sacred music when he was 15 - and prolific in almost every genre of contemporary vocal music, from madrigals to opera. His reputation as a radical was well earned, but he was concerned to be acknowledged as a master of the older styles as well. He took an opportunistic approach to styles, techniques, and forms, using anything to project human emotion in his music. His dramatic power was such that his surviving operas are again almost repertory staples.

Further listening:

L'Orfeo (opera, 1607)Rogers, London Baroque, Medlam (EMI)

Madrigals of Love and War (1638)Concerto Italiano, Alessandrini (Opus 111)