Feature: Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) — Monteverdi Messa a 4 da Cappella

Monteverdi 150x150 Seven years after Monteverdi’s death Alessandro Vincenti published ‘the sacred relics of the works of the most excellent Monteverdi’, beginning the collection with the ‘Messa a 4 voci da Cappella‘. It’s a tightly written piece that derives much of its interest from the ingenuity with which Monteverdi made use of the descending scale of a fourth and the rising thirds of the opening theme. It’s quite a florid piece that’s closer to his concertato pieces than to anything else with lots of textural variations – duets and trios, changes of timing and some chordal writing to maintain interest. It’s a wonderful mix of the old and new and shows how Monteverdi’s close study of Gombert’s music repaid itself in the form of Monteverdi’s enhanced mastery of contrapuntal writing. Enjoy :-)


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