Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0120070305

With Donald Macleod.

De la bellezza le dovute lodi

Monteverdi Choir

English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Cruda Amarilli, che col nome ancora; O Mirtillo, Mirtillo, anima mia; T'amo mia vita

Concerto Italiano

Rinaldo Alessandrini (conductor)

L'Orfeo (extracts)

Ian Bostridge (tenor)

Patrizia Ciofi, Veronique Gens (sopranos)

European Voices

Les Sacqueboutiers

Le Concert d'Astree

Emmanuelle Haim (conductor)

012011032120120618

Donald Macleod discusses Monteverdi's musical obsession with sex and violence.

Donald Macleod follows Monteverdi on the road to stardom at the court of Mantua and uncovers, in this first programme, a musical obsession with sex and violence.

012011032120120618

Donald Macleod follows Monteverdi on the road to stardom at the court of Mantua and uncovers, in this first programme, a musical obsession with sex and violence.

Donald Macleod discusses Monteverdi's musical obsession with sex and violence.

01*20081013

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Donald Macleod visits Venice for this special series on Monteverdi.

1/5.

He visits St Mark's Basilica, where he meets Justine Rapaccioli, the vice maestro di capella.

Responsorium: Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina (Vespro della Beata Vergine)

Monica Piccini, Roberta Invernizzi (sopranos)

Francesco Ghelardini (alto)

Luca Dordolo, Gianluca Ferrarini (tenors)

Daniele Carnovich (bass)

Concerto Italiano

Rinaldo Alessandrini (director)

Credo (Missa in illo tempore)

King's Consort

Robert King (director)

Zefiro torna e 'l bel tempo rimena; Una donna fra l'altre onesta e bella; A dio, Florida bella (Madrigals, Book 6)

Delitiae Musicae

Marco Longhini (director)

Magnificat (Vespro della Beata Vergine)

Anna Simboli, Roberta Invernizzi (sopranos)

Gianluca Ferrarini (tenor)

Pietro Spagnoli, Furio Zanasi (baritones)

Daniele Carnovich, Antonio Abete (basses)

01From Mantua To Venice20140519

This week Donald McLeod explores the life and times of Monteverdi in his Venice years, when he became the most famous composer in Italy, if not the world.

Mantua, where Monteverdi was overworked and underpaid, had become intolerable. His wife, Claudia, had died and any ties to Mantua were sundered. With his two small sons, Monteverdi wanted to move on in the world; getting the sack from his job in Mantua simply spurred him on. When the Director of Music job at St Mark's in Venice fell vacant, Monteverdi threw his hat in the ring and landed the job. He would never look back, writing some of the most beautiful and expressive music the world has ever heard during his time in Venice.

Monteverdi is sick of Mantua. Venice beckons, as the best music job in Italy falls vacant.

01The Man From Cremona20170515

With Monteverdi's rapid rise from Cremona choirboy to string player and composer at Mantua

To mark 450 years since the composer's birth, Donald Macleod traces Claudio Monteverdi's remarkable rise from relatively humble origins in Cremona (he was the son of a barber-surgeon) to his subsequent career as instrumentalist and composer at the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga at Mantua, and his later promotion to the role of Director of Music at the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice.

In today's episode, Donald traces Monteverdi's rapid rise from Cremona choirboy, with one collection of compositions published by the time he was 15, to attaining the post of string-player at the court of Mantua, the home of the fabulously wealthy Gonzaga family. With no fewer than four books of madrigals to his name by the age of 30, Monteverdi is already set to transform the traditional form of the madrigal - and in so doing, will incur the wrath of one Canon Artusi, who is offended by the composer's 'trenchant dissonances'!

Ardo
Hugues Cuenod, tenor
Paul Durenne, tenor
Nadia Boulanger, director

Ubi duo; Quam pulchra es; Ave Maria
Gyor Girls' Chorus
Milos Szabo, director

Non si levava ancor l'alba novella
E dicea l'una sospirando allora
Ecco mormorar l'onde
Concerto Italiano
Rinaldo Alessandrini, director

Rimanti in pace
I Fagiolini
Robert Hollingworth, director

Sfogava con le stelle
Si ch'io vorrei morire
Voi pur da me partite, anima dura
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director

Cruda Amarylli
O mirtillo
Era l'anima mia
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director.

0220070306

With Donald Macleod.

Dara la notte il sol; Lamento d'Arianna

Concerto Italiano

Rinaldi Alessandrini (conductor)

Ballo delle Ingrate

Red Byrd

Parley of Instruments

Peter Holman (conductor).

0220081014

He explores the music Monteverdi wrote for St Mark's Basilica and visits Venice's State Archive, a remarkable institution chronicling the past thousand years of Venetian life.

Cantate Domino

Concerto Italiano

Rinaldo Alessandrini (director)

Magnificat

Cantus Colln

Concerto Palatino

Konrad Junghanel (lute and director)

Adoramus te

Rinaldo Alessandrini

Jubilet tota civitas; Laudate dominum in sanctis ejus

Mass for four voices

The Sixteen

Harry Christophers (director)

022011032220120619

Donald Macleod reveals how Monteverdi found work at Mantua stressful and underpaid.

Monteverdi lobbied hard to be put in charge of music at Mantua but he found the work stressful and underpaid, plus his unorthodox musical style was coming under fire. Presented by Donald Macleod

Monteverdi lobbied hard to be put in charge of music at Mantua but he found the work stressful and underpaid, plus his unorthodox musical style was coming under fire.

Presented by Donald Macleod.

022011032220120619

Monteverdi lobbied hard to be put in charge of music at Mantua but he found the work stressful and underpaid, plus his unorthodox musical style was coming under fire. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Donald Macleod reveals how Monteverdi found work at Mantua stressful and underpaid.

02Church And Theatre20140520

A son rebels, a piece of musical theatre is commissioned and a deadly plague hits Venice.

This week Donald Macleod examines the life and work of Monteverdi during the years he was the Director of Music at St Mark's in Venice. Today we hear how Monteverdi's son Francesco gave up his legal studies and takes up singing, despite his father's wishes that he should pursue a more lucrative career.

Donald plays some of the more substantial pieces from Monteverdi's early Venice years, including the dramatic music theatre piece, Il combattimento de Tancredi e Clorinda. Plus, we hear how troop movements between Mantua and Venice brought plague to Venice, wiping out 50,000 people ? one third of the population. Monteverdi composed his magnificent Gloria as part of the Mass of Thanksgiving for deliverance from the plague, celebrated at St Marks in 1631.

02Church And Theatre20140520

This week Donald Macleod examines the life and work of Monteverdi during the years he was the Director of Music at St Mark's in Venice. Today we hear how Monteverdi's son Francesco gave up his legal studies and takes up singing, despite his father's wishes that he should pursue a more lucrative career.

Donald plays some of the more substantial pieces from Monteverdi's early Venice years, including the dramatic music theatre piece, Il combattimento de Tancredi e Clorinda. Plus, we hear how troop movements between Mantua and Venice brought plague to Venice, wiping out 50,000 people ? one third of the population. Monteverdi composed his magnificent Gloria as part of the Mass of Thanksgiving for deliverance from the plague, celebrated at St Marks in 1631.

A son rebels, a piece of musical theatre is commissioned and a deadly plague hits Venice.

02First Steps In Opera20170516

Donald Macleod on how Monteverdi devised one of the world's first operas, L'Orfeo.

To mark 450 years since the composer's birth, Donald Macleod traces Claudio Monteverdi's remarkable rise from relatively humble origins in Cremona (he was the son of a barber-surgeon) to his subsequent career as instrumentalist and composer at the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga at Mantua, and his later promotion to the role of Director of Music at the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice.

In today's episode, Donald recounts the circumstances under which Monteverdi devised one of the world's first operas, Orfeo. Later, despite his personal grief on losing his wife and then one of his star singers, Monteverdi would be forced to write a further opera, on the subject of Ariadne. Overworked, underpaid, and with little sympathy from his court employers, it's small wonder that Monteverdi would pour out some of his own grief into some deeply personal madrigals, lamenting the death of a loved one.

Questi vaghi
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director

L'Orfeo, Act 1 (extract)
La Venexiana
Claudio Cavina, director

Lamento di Arianna
La Venexiana
Emanuela Galli, soprano
Claudio Cavina, director

Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro dell'amata
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director.

0320070307

Tirsi e Clori

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie (conductor)

Con che soavita, labbra odorate; Ohime, dove il mio ben

Emma Kirkby, Judith Nelson (sopranos)

Consort of Musicke

Anthony Rooley (conductor)

Il Combattimento di Tancredi et Clorinda

Catherine Bott (soprano)

Andrew King (tenor)

John Mark Ainsley (narrator)

New London Consort

Philip Pickett (conductor)

Volgendo il ciel

John Potter (tenor)

Parley of Instruments

Peter Holman (conductor).

032011032320120620

Music had always been secondary to drama in the court theatre at Mantua and across Europe, but Monteverdi was working towards a revolutionary new form called opera, that would set the template for the next four hundred years. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Donald Macleod discusses Monteverdi's work towards a revolutionary new form called opera.

Music had always been secondary to drama in the court theatre at Mantua and across Europe, but Monteverdi was working towards a revolutionary new form called opera, that would set the template for the next four hundred years.

Presented by Donald Macleod.

032011032320120620

Music had always been secondary to drama in the court theatre at Mantua and across Europe, but Monteverdi was working towards a revolutionary new form called opera, that would set the template for the next four hundred years. Presented by Donald Macleod.

03*20081015

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Donald Macleod visits Venice for this special series on Monteverdi.

3/5.

He explores Monteverdi's musical life beyond St Mark's Basilica and talks to Professor David Bryant about the extraordinary diversity of Venetian music-making in Monteverdi's day.

Come dolce hoggi l'auretta

Emma Kirkby, Judith Nelson, Poppy Holden (sopranos)

Consort Of Musicke

Anthony Rooley (director)

Fugge, anima mea

Concerto Vocale

William Christie (harpsichord)

Konrad Junghanel (theorbo)

Selva morale e spirituale (excerpts)

Soloists

Cantus Colln

Konrad Junghanel (lute and director)

Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda

Rene Jacobs (harpsichord and director)

03Holy Orders20170517

How Monteverdi, frustrated by his employers' ingratitude, turned to the Church for work.

To mark 450 years since the composer's birth, Donald Macleod traces Claudio Monteverdi's remarkable rise from relatively humble origins in Cremona (he was the son of a barber-surgeon) to his subsequent career as instrumentalist and composer at the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga at Mantua, and his later promotion to the role of Director of Music at the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice.

Today's episode finds Monteverdi increasingly frustrated by his Mantua employers' ingratitude, and turning increasingly towards the Church as a source of lucrative employment and commissions. He composes his celebrated Vespers of 1610 as a showcase of his abilities in the realm of sacred music. Begging to be released from service at Mantua, his wish is soon granted following the death of Vincenzo Gonzaga. Fortunately for the jobless and near penniless widower, he is soon snapped up by the officials running the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice, where they offer him favourable terms and conditions to become their next Director of Music. A deeply devout man, he is now indeed under holy orders. Although that doesn't preclude him from an interest in secular music, nor in alchemy.

O bone Iesu, SV 313
Mieke van der Sluis, soprano
Axel Köhler, countertenor
Lautten Compagney

Vespers 1610: Duo Seraphim; Sonata sopra Sancta Maria; Ave maris stella
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, director

Tirsi e Clori
I Fagiolini
Robert Hollingworth, director

Cantate Domino; Laudate Dominum
Concerto Italiano
Rinaldo Alessandrini, director

Laudate Pueri
Concerto Italiano
Rinaldo Alessandrini, director.

03Songs Of War And Love20140521

Featuring Monteverdi's eighth book of madrigals, Of War and Love.

Today Donald Macleod plays us a selection of music from Monteverdi's superb Eighth Book of Madrigals, '...Of War and Love'. It contains some of the most dramatic music the world had ever heard.

Monteverdi was not universally loved, and in 1637 became embroiled in an unpleasant incident with a singer who had slandered him in public. The protracted court proceeding were eventually concluded to his satisfaction; it must have been a relief to turn to the publication of his Eighth Book of Madrigals, which shows off his superb dramatic style of vocal writing. Sensuous, martial, erotic, mournful, witty, these pieces are incredibly expressive and require real vocal agility and acting skills from the performers.

At the grand old age of 76, Monteverdi went on a tour of Lombardy, which was something of a triumph. However, it seems to have worn the old man out, and he died shortly after returning to Venice. He is buried in the Lombard Chapel of the beautiful Frari church, where a plain marble slab marks his final resting place.

We'll conclude the week, tomorrow and Friday, by looking at Monteverdi's last great operatic masterpieces - The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland, and The Coronation of Poppea.

03Songs Of War And Love20140521

Today Donald Macleod plays us a selection of music from Monteverdi's superb Eighth Book of Madrigals, '...Of War and Love'. It contains some of the most dramatic music the world had ever heard.

Monteverdi was not universally loved, and in 1637 became embroiled in an unpleasant incident with a singer who had slandered him in public. The protracted court proceeding were eventually concluded to his satisfaction; it must have been a relief to turn to the publication of his Eighth Book of Madrigals, which shows off his superb dramatic style of vocal writing. Sensuous, martial, erotic, mournful, witty, these pieces are incredibly expressive and require real vocal agility and acting skills from the performers.

At the grand old age of 76, Monteverdi went on a tour of Lombardy, which was something of a triumph. However, it seems to have worn the old man out, and he died shortly after returning to Venice. He is buried in the Lombard Chapel of the beautiful Frari church, where a plain marble slab marks his final resting place.

We'll conclude the week, tomorrow and Friday, by looking at Monteverdi's last great operatic masterpieces - The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland, and The Coronation of Poppea.

Featuring Monteverdi's eighth book of madrigals, Of War and Love.

0420070308

Come dolce oggi l'auretta spira (Proserpina rapita)

Emma Kirkby, Judith Nelson, Poppy Holden (sopranos)

Jakob Lindberg, Anthony Rooley (chitarrone)

Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (excs)

Bernarda Fink (mezzo)

Christina Hogman (soprano)

Christoph Pregardien (tenor)

Concerto Vocale

Rene Jacobs (conductor).

042011032420120621

A royal wedding gave Monteverdi a chance to shine. Would the strain prove too much?

A royal wedding gives Monteverdi and the whole court at Mantua a chance to dazzle, but will the strain prove too much for the beleaguered composer? Presented by Donald Macleod.

A royal wedding gave Monteverdi a chance to shine.

Would the strain prove too much?

042011032420120621

A royal wedding gives Monteverdi and the whole court at Mantua a chance to dazzle, but will the strain prove too much for the beleaguered composer? Presented by Donald Macleod.

A royal wedding gave Monteverdi a chance to shine. Would the strain prove too much?

04*20081016

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Donald Macleod visits Venice for this special series on Monteverdi.

4/5.

All the music in this programme is associated with a single day, 21 November 1631, when Venice celebrated deliverance from the plague which had wiped out a third of its population.

Gloria a 7 voci (Selva morale e spirituale)

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie (director)

Ab aeterno ordinata sum (Selva morale e spirituale)

David Thomas (bass)

Parley of Instruments

Roy Goodman, Peter Holman (directors)

Crucifixus; Et resurrexit; Et iterum; Beatus vir; Laudate Dominum; Dixit Dominus (Selva morale e spirituale)

Soloists

Cantus Colln

Concerto Palatino

Konrad Junghanel (lute and director)

04In Time Of Plague20170518

Focusing on Monteverdi's acquiring a pet monkey as well as a plague outbreak in Venice.

To mark 450 years since the composer's birth, Donald Macleod traces Claudio Monteverdi's remarkable rise from relatively humble origins in Cremona (he was the son of a barber-surgeon) to his subsequent career as instrumentalist and composer at the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga at Mantua, and his later promotion to the role of Director of Music at the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice.

In today's episode, Monteverdi acquires the dubious gift of a pet monkey, and finds himself coming under the suspicious eye of the Inquisition, following an anonymous denunciation - possibly from a member of his choir! To add to his misfortunes, Venice is stricken by plague following the collapse of Mantua. The deadly pestilence will have far-reaching effects for the Republic - and as Donald recounts, it will even create a public taste for light music.

Maladetto sia l'aspetto
Emanuela Galli, soprano
La Venexiana

Non è di gentil core
Interotte speranze
Delitiae Musicae
Marco Longhini, director

Tancredi e Clorinda
Andrew King (tenor), narrator
Emma Kirkby (soprano), Clorinda
Paul Agnew (tenor), Tancredi
The Consort of Musicke
Anthony Rooley, director

Laetaniae della Beata Vergine, SV204
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, director

Zefiro torna
Nuria Rial, soprano
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor
L'Arpeggiata
Christina Pluhar, director.

04The Return Of Ulysses20140522

Donald Macleod on Monteverdi's penultimate operatic masterpiece, The Return of Ulysses.

Today Donald Macleod explores a masterpiece from the pens of Monteverdi and Homer - Ulysses. Monteverdi's penultimate opera is a compelling version of Homer's Odyssey, and the first opera ever to focus on real human characters and their feelings. Opera had only just been developed as a public entertainment; before 1637 the rich nobility had been the only ones who could afford this luxurious form of artistic endeavour. However, the power and expression in Monteverdi's The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland proved an immense hit with Venetian audiences.

But we begin by hearing two pieces which show Monteverdi's ability to exploit the expressive power of religious music: an Offertory and Sanctus from his collection Selva morale e spirituale (literally: "Moral and Spiritual Forest").

04The Return Of Ulysses20140522

Today Donald Macleod explores a masterpiece from the pens of Monteverdi and Homer - Ulysses. Monteverdi's penultimate opera is a compelling version of Homer's Odyssey, and the first opera ever to focus on real human characters and their feelings. Opera had only just been developed as a public entertainment; before 1637 the rich nobility had been the only ones who could afford this luxurious form of artistic endeavour. However, the power and expression in Monteverdi's The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland proved an immense hit with Venetian audiences.

But we begin by hearing two pieces which show Monteverdi's ability to exploit the expressive power of religious music: an Offertory and Sanctus from his collection Selva morale e spirituale (literally: "Moral and Spiritual Forest").

Donald Macleod on Monteverdi's penultimate operatic masterpiece, The Return of Ulysses.

05*20081017

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Donald Macleod visits Venice for this special series on Monteverdi.

5/5.

He visits the sites of the world's first two public opera houses, where the composer's late operatic masterpieces were first performed.

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, Act III (complete).

Guillemette Laurens (Melanto)

Mario Cecchetti (Eurimaco)

Marcello Vargetto (Antinoo)

Fabian Schofrin (Pisandro)

Pablo Pollitzer (Anfinomo)

Gloria Banditelli (Penelope)

Furio Zanasi (Ulisse)

Maria Cristina Kiehr (Minerva)

Ensemble Elyma

Gabriel Garrido (director)

L'Incoronazione di Poppea (excerpts)

Francesco Ellero D'Artegna (Seneca)

Dana Hanchard (Nero)

Sylvia McNair (Poppea)

Constanze Backes (Valletto)

Marinella Pennicchi (Damigella)

English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (director)

E questa vita un lampo (Selva morale e spirituale)

Cantus Colln

Konrad Junghanel (director)

05Songs Of Love And War20170519

Donald Macleod on Monteveri's final collection of madrigals and last two surviving operas.

To mark 450 years since the composer's birth, Donald Macleod traces Claudio Monteverdi's remarkable rise from relatively humble origins in Cremona (he was the son of a barber-surgeon) to his subsequent career as instrumentalist and composer at the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga at Mantua, and his later promotion to the role of Director of Music at the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice.

Today Donald completes his account of the life and music of Monteverdi by looking at the Eighth book of Madrigals ('Songs of Love and War) and his two final extant operas, written for Venice's new public opera house. For an elderly man, a canon of the Church, The Coronation of Poppea is an utterly extraordinary work: the world's first opera based on an historical subject, the rise of the courtesan Poppea as she supplants the Empress Octavia in the affections of the Emperor Nero. Lust, infidelity, love, ambition - the opera's famous immorality remains a challenge to audiences and critics alike.

Hor che'l ciel e la terra
L'Arpeggiata
Christina Pluhar, director

Altri canti d'Amore
Concerto Vocale
René Jacobs, director

Il Ritorno d'Ulisse (extract)
Ensemble Euphonia
Ensemble Elyma
Gabriel Garrido, director

L'incoronazione di Poppea (extract)
City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Arleen Auger (soprano) - Poppea
Della Jones (mezzo) - Nerone
Richard Hickox, director

Magnificat (primo) from Selva Morale Vol III
The Sixteen
Harry Chistophers, director.

05 LAST20070309

L'Incoronazione de Poppea (extracts)

Sylvia McNair (soprano)

Dana Hanchard (tenor)

Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo)

English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor).

05 LAST2011032520120622

Donald Macleod on how a Monteverdi sought a way out of service to the Dukes of Mantua.

Deeply unhappy, Monteverdi looks for a way out of his service to the Dukes of Mantua but the decision is eventually taken out of his hands. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Deeply unhappy, Monteverdi looks for a way out of his service to the Dukes of Mantua but the decision is eventually taken out of his hands.

Presented by Donald Macleod.

05 LAST2011032520120622

Donald Macleod on how a Monteverdi sought a way out of service to the Dukes of Mantua.

Deeply unhappy, Monteverdi looks for a way out of his service to the Dukes of Mantua but the decision is eventually taken out of his hands. Presented by Donald Macleod.

05 LASTThe Coronation Of Poppea20140523

Monteverdi's masterpiece, the thrillingly immoral Coronation of Poppea.

In the last of this week's programmes about Monteverdi in Venice, Donald Macleod looks at the composer's last masterwork - the thrillingly immoral Coronation of Poppea.

In his seventies, Monteverdi was coaxed back to writing for the operatic stage, and had a hit with The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland. To satisfy the demand for yet more, he wrote what many consider his masterpiece, The Coronation of Poppea, the world's first opera to be based on a real historical incident, and featuring real people on stage. The gossipy, scurrilous tone of much of the opera chimes very well with modern audiences, and seems to have done so with Monteverdi's contemporaries too. Today, we hear passages taken from a classic recording, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, given in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, in 1993.

We end the week with an unbridled, joyous recording of one of his best loved duets - the wonderful "Zefiro torna" from the ensemble L'Arpeggiata.

Monteverdi's masterpiece, the thrillingly immoral Coronation of Poppea.

In the last of this week's programmes about Monteverdi in Venice, Donald Macleod looks at the composer's last masterwork - the thrillingly immoral Coronation of Poppea.

In his seventies, Monteverdi was coaxed back to writing for the operatic stage, and had a hit with The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland. To satisfy the demand for yet more, he wrote what many consider his masterpiece, The Coronation of Poppea, the world's first opera to be based on a real historical incident, and featuring real people on stage. The gossipy, scurrilous tone of much of the opera chimes very well with modern audiences, and seems to have done so with Monteverdi's contemporaries too. Today, we hear passages taken from a classic recording, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, given in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, in 1993.

We end the week with an unbridled, joyous recording of one of his best loved duets - the wonderful "Zefiro torna" from the ensemble L'Arpeggiata.