Monteverdi and his Contemporaries: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Monteverdi and his Contemporaries

1st Edition

By Tim Carter


270 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788232
pub: 2000-11-20

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This collection of reprinted essays takes the trends of the author's Music, Patronage and Printing in Late Renaissance Florence (also in the 'Variorum' series) in a somewhat different direction. If the focus there was primarily on archival documents, here it is on the actual music. The starting-point is similar - the rise of the 'new music' for solo voice and basso continuo in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Florence, in particular the songs of Giulio Caccini. But it moves on to broader aesthetic issues crystallized in contemporary theoretical debate and musical practice - not least the rise of aria-based styles - and concludes with a series of studies of Claudio Monteverdi's works for the theatre, including the operas Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1640) and the ever-problematic L'incoronazione di Poppea (1643).


'This is essential reading for Monteverdi enthusiasts, and not all the items are in readily accessible journals.' Early Music Review 'The other impression that emerges is of Carter’s great intellectual energy. These essays are densely packed with ideas, knowledge and wide-ranging references to other writings. He expresses in his introduction the hope that this collection might ’add up to more than the sum of its parts’: for me it certainly does…anyone with an interest in this period in musical history and this repertoire cannot but find Carter’s writings hugely informative and stimulating.' International Record Review '…rich collection of essays.' Journal of seventeenth-Century Music '… collects together a wealth of material and should be consulted by anyone involved in the performance of Italian music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque.' American Recorder 'Tim Carter's second volume for the Variorum Collected Studies Series is a valuable reference work for historians or musicologists interested in the changes in musical style and aesthetics that took place in the early seventeenth century in Italy.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Music publishing in Italy, c.1580–c.1625: some preliminary observations; On the composition and performance of Caccini’s Le nuove musiche (1602); Caccini’s Amarilli, mia bella: some questions (and a few answers); New songs for old? Guarini and the monody; ‘An air new and grateful to the ear’: the concept of aria in late Renaissance and early Baroque Italy; Artusi, Monteverdi, and the poetics of modern music; ‘Sfogava con le stelle’ reconsidered: some thoughts on the analysis of Monteverdi’s Mantuan Madrigals; Resemblance and representation: towards a new aesthetic in the music of Monteverdi; Possente spirto: on taming the power of music; Intriguing laments: Sigismondo d’India, Claudio Monteverdi, and Dido alla parmigiana (1628); ‘In Love’s harmonious consort’? Penelope and the interpretation of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria; Re-reading Poppea: some thoughts on music and meaning in Monteverdi’s last opera; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General