Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) [Composer Of The Week]

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Procrastinator Extraordinaire20200217

Donald Macleod focuses his attention on the excuses Monteverdi gave throughout his letters for being constantly behind with his commissions.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

A man devoted to making music for his patrons, Monteverdi perhaps took on more work than he could manage. Despite his best efforts, he often penned a letter offering yet another reason why he was unable to complete a composition on time. Donald tells the stories that surround these letters; from an over-abundance of commissions around the Christmas period to personal matters which took his mind off the task of composing for long periods of time. We also touch upon the way in which letters were sent and received in 17th-century Italy, and Monteverdi’s deftness in manipulating various patrons to wait, patiently, for his compositions to arrive.

Chiome d’oro
L’Arpeggiata
Nuria Rial, soprano
Christina Pluhar, director

Cantai un tempo, & se fu dolc’il canto
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director

L’Orfeo: Prologue and Act I
Lynne Dawson, soprano (La Musica)
Nancy Argenta, soprano (Ninfa)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor (Orfeo)
Julianne Baird, soprano (Euridice)
Mark Tucker, tenor (Pastori)
Nigel Robson, tenor (Pastori)
Michael Chance, countertenor (Pastori)
Simon Birchall, bass baritone (Pastori)
The Monteverdi Choir
The English Baroque Soloists
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Dixit Dominus
I Fagiolini
Robert Hollingworth, conductor
The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble
The 24

Lamento d’Arianna a voce sola
The Consort of Musicke
Anthony Rooley, leader
Emma Kirkby, soprano

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod focuses on the excuses Monteverdi gave for late delivery of commissions.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

01The Man from Cremona20170515

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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02First Steps in Opera20170516

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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02Italian Hierarchy20200218

Donald Macleod turns his attentions to the Italian hierarchy and Monteverdi’s place in the political pecking order.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

Donald tells stories about Monteverdi’s life growing up in Cremona, under Spanish rule, before moving to Mantua to the court of Duke Vincenzo I and then on to St. Mark’s, as the Director of Music, in Venice. We hear, through Monteverdi’s letters, his opinions of singers, and how highly these opinions were regarded by his employers.

Cantate Domino
The Monteverdi Choir
Andrew Davis, organ
Christopher van Kempen, cello
Simon Carrington, double bass
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Concentus musicus Wien
Tölzer Knabenchor, Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor

Con che soavità
L’Arpeggiata
Nuria Rial, soprano
Christina Pluhar, director

L’Incoronazione di Poppea: Act II: Amici, è giunta l’hora
City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor
Gregory Reinhart, bass (Seneca)
Lynton Atkinson, tenor (Famigliari di Seneca)
Mark Tucker, tenor (Famigliari di Seneca)
Brian Bannatyne-Scott, bass (Famigliari di Seneca)
Mark Beesley, bass (Famigliari di Seneca)

Ballo delle ingrate
Le Nuove Musiche
Krijn Koetsveld, artistic leader
Jennifer van der Hart, soprano (Amor, una delle ingrate)
Wendy Roobol, soprano (Venere)
Bas Ramselaar, bass (Plutone)
Hugo Naessens, alto
Falco van Loon, tenor

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod turns his attentions to Monteverdi\u2019s place in the political pecking order.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03Holy Orders20170517

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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03Unreliable Income20200219

Donald Macleod considers Monteverdi’s financial struggles and the unreliability of his income with his numerous employers.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

Finally feeling as though he was earning good money, Monteverdi was robbed on a journey from Mantua to Este, where he lost almost everything he owned. This is just the first of many stories of Monteverdi’s financial struggles that we hear through his letters; from needing to pay a ransom to release his son from prison to, even in his 60s, worrying about how much money he was earning and whether he could then support his two sons financially.

‘Batto’, qui pianse Ergasto
Chiaroscuro
London Baroque
Nigel Rogers, director

L’incoronazione di Poppea: Prologue and Act I: Extracts
City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor
Catherine Pierard, mezzo-soprano (Fortuna)
Juliet Booth, soprano (Virtù)
Samuel Linay, treble (Amore)
James Bowman, countertenor (Ottone)

Lamento d’Arianna a 5
The Consort of Musicke
Anthony Rooley, leader
Evelyn Tubb, soprano
Mary Nichols, alto
Joseph Cornwell, tenor
Andrew King, tenor
Richard Wistreich, bass

Adoramus te
The Monteverdi Choir
Andrew Davis, organ
Christopher van Kempen, cello
Simon Carrington, double bass
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

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

Quel sguardo sdegnosetto
Danielle de Niese, soprano
The English Concert
Harry Bickett, conductor

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod considers Monteverdi\u2019s financial struggles and his unreliable income.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04Catarrh and Plague20200220

Donald Macleod focuses on the many illnesses that affected Monteverdi’s life, both his own illnesses, and the illnesses his loved ones faced. Some perished. Others lived on.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

It seems that Monteverdi was a sickly man, at least that’s the impression given throughout his letters. However, he lived to the grand old age of 76, so perhaps his health was better than expected for the time. We hear the part sickness plays throughout Monteverdi’s life, from the pains he suffered himself to his son, Massimiliano, seeming to suffer with a bout of the measles, though recovering in time.

L’Orfeo: Toccata
The English Baroque Soloists
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Lamento della Ninfa
Tavener Consort and Players
Andrew Parrott, director

Missa In illo tempore
Bach Collegium Japan chorus and orchestra
Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
Concerto Palatino, cornetto and trombone
Naoko Imai, organ
Midori Suzuki, soprano
Yukari Nonoshita, soprano
Mutsumi Hatano, alto
Yuko Anazawa, alto
Gerd Türk, tenor
Stephan Van Dyck, tenor
Stephan MacLeod, bass
Yoshitaka Ogasawara, bass

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria: Act V: O dolor, o martir
Boston Baroque
Martin Pearlman, music director
Marc Molomot, tenor (Iro)

L’incoronazione di Poppea: Act III: Pur ti miro
City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor
Della Jones, mezzo-soprano (Nerone)
Arleen Auger, soprano (Poppea)

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod focuses on the many illnesses that affected Monteverdi\u2019s life.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04In Time of Plague20170518

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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05Importance of Family20200221

Donald Macleod looks at Monteverdi’s family and his love and devotion for them, bringing up his two boys single-handedly after the death of his wife Claudia.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

Donald tells us a few stories detailing the importance Monteverdi placed on his family life, from mourning the death of his young wife to fighting a lawsuit surrounding his father-in-law’s property, to establishing his sons in their lifelong careers, and defending Massimiliano when he found himself the wrong side of the law.

Damigella tutta bella
L’Arpeggiata
Nuria Rial, soprano
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor
Jan van Elsacker, tenor
Cyril Auvity, tenor
Nicolas Achten, baritone
Joaõ Fernandez, bass
Christina Pluhar, director

L’Orfeo: Act V: Extracts
Nigel Robson, tenor (Apollo)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor (Orfeo)
The Monteverdi Choir
The English Baroque Soloists
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Tirsi e Clori
Le Nuove Musiche
Krijn Koetsveld, artistic leader
Jennifer van der Hart, soprano
Wendy Roobol, soprano
Hugo Naessens, alto
Falco van Loon, countertenor
Bas Ramselaar, bass

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria: Act I: Extracts
Boston Baroque
Martin Pearlman, music director
Daniel Auchinloss, countertenor (Eumete)
Marc Molomot, tenor (Iro)
Fernando Guimarães, tenor (Ulisse)

Magnificat a 7
The Monteverdi Choir
The London Oratory Junior Choir
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
The English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Ann Monoyios, soprano
Marinella Pennicchi, soprano
Michael Chance, countertenor
Mark Tucker, tenor
Nigel Robson, tenor
Sandro Naglia, tenor
Bryn Terfel, bass
Alastair Miles, bass

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod looks at Monteverdi\u2019s family and his love and devotion for them.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05Songs of Love and War20170519

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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202001Procrastinator Extraordinaire20200217

Donald Macleod focuses his attention on the excuses Monteverdi gave throughout his letters for being constantly behind with his commissions.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

A man devoted to making music for his patrons, Monteverdi perhaps took on more work than he could manage. Despite his best efforts, he often penned a letter offering yet another reason why he was unable to complete a composition on time. Donald tells the stories that surround these letters; from an over-abundance of commissions around the Christmas period to personal matters which took his mind off the task of composing for long periods of time. We also touch upon the way in which letters were sent and received in 17th-century Italy, and Monteverdi’s deftness in manipulating various patrons to wait, patiently, for his compositions to arrive.

Chiome d’oro
L’Arpeggiata
Nuria Rial, soprano
Christina Pluhar, director

Cantai un tempo, & se fu dolc’il canto
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director

L’Orfeo: Prologue and Act I
Lynne Dawson, soprano (La Musica)
Nancy Argenta, soprano (Ninfa)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor (Orfeo)
Julianne Baird, soprano (Euridice)
Mark Tucker, tenor (Pastori)
Nigel Robson, tenor (Pastori)
Michael Chance, countertenor (Pastori)
Simon Birchall, bass baritone (Pastori)
The Monteverdi Choir
The English Baroque Soloists
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Dixit Dominus
I Fagiolini
Robert Hollingworth, conductor
The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble
The 24

Lamento d’Arianna a voce sola
The Consort of Musicke
Anthony Rooley, leader
Emma Kirkby, soprano

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod focuses on the excuses Monteverdi gave for late delivery of commissions.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202002Italian Hierarchy20200218

Donald Macleod turns his attentions to the Italian hierarchy and Monteverdi’s place in the political pecking order.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

Donald tells stories about Monteverdi’s life growing up in Cremona, under Spanish rule, before moving to Mantua to the court of Duke Vincenzo I and then on to St. Mark’s, as the Director of Music, in Venice. We hear, through Monteverdi’s letters, his opinions of singers, and how highly these opinions were regarded by his employers.

Cantate Domino
The Monteverdi Choir
Andrew Davis, organ
Christopher van Kempen, cello
Simon Carrington, double bass
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Concentus musicus Wien
Tölzer Knabenchor, Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor

Con che soavità
L’Arpeggiata
Nuria Rial, soprano
Christina Pluhar, director

L’Incoronazione di Poppea: Act II: Amici, è giunta l’hora
City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor
Gregory Reinhart, bass (Seneca)
Lynton Atkinson, tenor (Famigliari di Seneca)
Mark Tucker, tenor (Famigliari di Seneca)
Brian Bannatyne-Scott, bass (Famigliari di Seneca)
Mark Beesley, bass (Famigliari di Seneca)

Ballo delle ingrate
Le Nuove Musiche
Krijn Koetsveld, artistic leader
Jennifer van der Hart, soprano (Amor, una delle ingrate)
Wendy Roobol, soprano (Venere)
Bas Ramselaar, bass (Plutone)
Hugo Naessens, alto
Falco van Loon, tenor

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod turns his attentions to Monteverdi's place in the political pecking order.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202003Unreliable Income20200219

Donald Macleod considers Monteverdi’s financial struggles and the unreliability of his income with his numerous employers.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

Finally feeling as though he was earning good money, Monteverdi was robbed on a journey from Mantua to Este, where he lost almost everything he owned. This is just the first of many stories of Monteverdi’s financial struggles that we hear through his letters; from needing to pay a ransom to release his son from prison to, even in his 60s, worrying about how much money he was earning and whether he could then support his two sons financially.

‘Batto’, qui pianse Ergasto
Chiaroscuro
London Baroque
Nigel Rogers, director

L’incoronazione di Poppea: Prologue and Act I: Extracts
City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor
Catherine Pierard, mezzo-soprano (Fortuna)
Juliet Booth, soprano (Virtù)
Samuel Linay, treble (Amore)
James Bowman, countertenor (Ottone)

Lamento d’Arianna a 5
The Consort of Musicke
Anthony Rooley, leader
Evelyn Tubb, soprano
Mary Nichols, alto
Joseph Cornwell, tenor
Andrew King, tenor
Richard Wistreich, bass

Adoramus te
The Monteverdi Choir
Andrew Davis, organ
Christopher van Kempen, cello
Simon Carrington, double bass
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

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

Quel sguardo sdegnosetto
Danielle de Niese, soprano
The English Concert
Harry Bickett, conductor

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod considers Monteverdi's financial struggles and his unreliable income.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202004Catarrh And Plague20200220

Donald Macleod focuses on the many illnesses that affected Monteverdi’s life, both his own illnesses, and the illnesses his loved ones faced. Some perished. Others lived on.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

It seems that Monteverdi was a sickly man, at least that’s the impression given throughout his letters. However, he lived to the grand old age of 76, so perhaps his health was better than expected for the time. We hear the part sickness plays throughout Monteverdi’s life, from the pains he suffered himself to his son, Massimiliano, seeming to suffer with a bout of the measles, though recovering in time.

L’Orfeo: Toccata
The English Baroque Soloists
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Lamento della Ninfa
Tavener Consort and Players
Andrew Parrott, director

Missa In illo tempore
Bach Collegium Japan chorus and orchestra
Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
Concerto Palatino, cornetto and trombone
Naoko Imai, organ
Midori Suzuki, soprano
Yukari Nonoshita, soprano
Mutsumi Hatano, alto
Yuko Anazawa, alto
Gerd Türk, tenor
Stephan Van Dyck, tenor
Stephan MacLeod, bass
Yoshitaka Ogasawara, bass

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria: Act V: O dolor, o martir
Boston Baroque
Martin Pearlman, music director
Marc Molomot, tenor (Iro)

L’incoronazione di Poppea: Act III: Pur ti miro
City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor
Della Jones, mezzo-soprano (Nerone)
Arleen Auger, soprano (Poppea)

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod focuses on the many illnesses that affected Monteverdi's life.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202005 LASTImportance Of Family20200221

Donald Macleod looks at Monteverdi’s family and his love and devotion for them, bringing up his two boys single-handedly after the death of his wife Claudia.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

Donald tells us a few stories detailing the importance Monteverdi placed on his family life, from mourning the death of his young wife to fighting a lawsuit surrounding his father-in-law’s property, to establishing his sons in their lifelong careers, and defending Massimiliano when he found himself the wrong side of the law.

Damigella tutta bella
L’Arpeggiata
Nuria Rial, soprano
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor
Jan van Elsacker, tenor
Cyril Auvity, tenor
Nicolas Achten, baritone
Joaõ Fernandez, bass
Christina Pluhar, director

L’Orfeo: Act V: Extracts
Nigel Robson, tenor (Apollo)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor (Orfeo)
The Monteverdi Choir
The English Baroque Soloists
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Tirsi e Clori
Le Nuove Musiche
Krijn Koetsveld, artistic leader
Jennifer van der Hart, soprano
Wendy Roobol, soprano
Hugo Naessens, alto
Falco van Loon, countertenor
Bas Ramselaar, bass

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria: Act I: Extracts
Boston Baroque
Martin Pearlman, music director
Daniel Auchinloss, countertenor (Eumete)
Marc Molomot, tenor (Iro)
Fernando Guimarães, tenor (Ulisse)

Magnificat a 7
The Monteverdi Choir
The London Oratory Junior Choir
His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts
The English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Ann Monoyios, soprano
Marinella Pennicchi, soprano
Michael Chance, countertenor
Mark Tucker, tenor
Nigel Robson, tenor
Sandro Naglia, tenor
Bryn Terfel, bass
Alastair Miles, bass

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees

Donald Macleod looks at Monteverdi's family and his love and devotion for them.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.