baptized May 15, 1567, Cremona, Lombardy – 29 November 1643, Republic of Venice
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, gambist, string player, singer, choirmaster and Roman Catholic priest. He was a composer of both secular and sacred music, and a pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods of music history.
Monteverdi developed two individual styles of composition – the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque.
Much of Monteverdi’s output, including many stage works, has been lost. His surviving music includes nine books of madrigals, large-scale sacred works such as his Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vespers) and three complete operas.
Monteverdi – Vespro della Beata Vergine, 1610; The Monteverdi Choir, Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L’Orfeo (1607), an innovative work that is the earliest surviving opera that is still regularly performed. He was recognized as an innovative composer and enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime. Towards the end of his life he wrote works for the commercial theatre in Venice, including Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and L’incoronazione di Poppea.
Claudio Monteverdi – L’incoronazione di Poppea Part 1, Rococo Theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany