Monteverdi- Vespers (1610) (Cambridge Music Handbooks) by John Whenham

By John Whenham

Monteverdi's Vespers is a phenomenal choice of sacred tune, either within the inventiveness of the compositions that it includes and within the debate that it has provoked over its use within the 17th century and over Monteverdi's intentions in publishing it. This instruction manual offers a advisor to the tune in all its points – from an creation to the carrier of Vespers itself, during the perform of chanting psalms in plainsong to research of Monteverdi's settings, starting from the rhetoric of the motet 'Nigra sum' to the sub-text of the psalm 'Laetatus sum'. It additionally examines the problems excited about appearing the Vespers and evaluates a number of scholarly debates at the song, demanding the long-held rules that the sacred concertos are antiphon substitutes and that the tune couldn't were played at Santa Barbara, Mantua. The publication comprises the texts and plainsongs utilized by Monteverdi, and a discography.

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Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2010)

Extra resources for Monteverdi- Vespers (1610) (Cambridge Music Handbooks)

Sample text

Even here there is a variant - the added C in the second phrase found in MS 11, f. 48V. Melody (c) is a version found in a late sixteenth-century Roman psalter-hymnal; melody (d) is from the Antiphonale of 1912. 30 To draw any firm conclusions from this limited evidence alone, however, would be to fall into the same trap that befell Jeppesen. Moreover, as is shown in the introduction to Appendix 2, 33 Vespers (1610) most of the variants in the texts set by Monteverdi are found in both Roman and Santa Barbara sources, suggesting that they would have been acceptable in either context, while the evidence of ligature variants in the psalm tones is inconclusive.

He responded in a controlled but deeply bitter letter in which he complained of the treatment that he had received during the 1608 wedding festivities, comparing his poor financial reward with those of other musicians of similar status, and finally asking again to be discharged from his duties at Mantua. 39 This was not granted. Baldassare Monteverdi's letter of 9 November 1608 illustrates the quandary in which Monteverdi found himself. Soured by the experience of the preceding year, he wished to leave Vincenzo Gonzaga's service.

This is the first and the only secure information that we have of Monteverdi's performing church music for Vincenzo Gonzaga. 19 His letter suggests, for one thing, that he had applied for the post of organist of the ducal chapel of Santa Barbara on the death of Francesco Rovigo in 1597. He now asked for the appointment formerly held by Giaches de Wert, and to be maestro 'both of the chamber and of the church'. This may mean that he was asking to be given control both of the court cappella and that of Santa Barbara, despite the fact that in 1601 Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi still held the title of maestro of Santa Barbara.

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