| Share
 

Claudio Monteverdi

Monteverdi, Claudio (klouˈdyō mōntāvĕrˈdē) [key], 1567–1643, Italian composer; first great figure in the history of opera. His earliest published works, a set of three motifs, appeared when he was only 15. In 1590 he entered the service of the duke of Mantua, becoming choir master in the ducal court in 1601. Monteverdi's first opera, Orfeo, performed at Mantua in 1607, was revolutionary in its combination of dramatic power and expressive orchestral accompaniment. Of his next opera, Arianna (1608), only the celebrated lament, which Monteverdi himself arranged as a five-part madrigal, is extant. In 1613, Monteverdi was appointed choirmaster of St. Mark's, Venice, where he remained until his death. He took holy orders in 1632. Although he wrote mostly church music after settling in Venice, he continued to develop his dramatic gifts in many secular madrigals and dramatic cantatas such as Il combattimento di Tancredi e di Clorinda (1624). After the first public opera house opened in Venice in 1637, the aged Monteverdi produced his last operas, including Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria (1641) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (1642), which show marked development in characterization and emotional power. They set the style of later Venetian opera. Of his 21 dramatic works, only six, including three operas, are extant. He was among the first composers to use the tremolo and pizzicato effects with strings, and his music shows a strong sense of modern tonality. In his operas he used large orchestras, whose members he grouped into specific combinations to portray characters on stage. His brother Giulio Cesare Monteverdi, 1573–?, was a composer, organist, and critic, and Claudio's assistant at the court of Mantua.

See studies by D. Arnold (1963 and 1968) and L. Schrade (1950, repr. 1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Claudio Monteverdi from Infoplease:

  • Monteverdi: meaning and definitions - Monteverdi: Definition and Pronunciation
  • Renaissance: Music - Music Renaissance music took great liberties with musical form. In 1300 the most popular music was ...
  • COMPOSITION - Most music is imagined first and then written down as a composition in a SCORE. The music might be vocal or instrumental, for a single singer or a big
  • May 15 Birthdays: Pierre Curie - May 15 birthdays: Pierre Curie, Claudio Monteverdi, Madeleine Albright, Richard Avedon, Paul A. Samuelson, Katherine Anne Porter, Richard Joseph Daley, Jasper Johns, James Mason, Lyman Frank Baum
  • opera: Early Opera - Early Opera Florentine Beginnings Although musical drama, such as The Play of Daniel (12th cent.), ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring