Claudio Monteverdi is now recognized as the towering figure of a critical transitional moment of Western music history: relentless innovator in every genre within chamber, church and theatre music; self-proclaimed leader of a 'new dispensation' between words and their musical expression; perhaps even 'Creator of Modern Music'. During recent years, as his arrestingly attractive music has been brought back to life in performance, so too have some of the most outstanding musicologists focussed intensely on Monteverdi as they worked through the 'big' questions in the historiography and hermeneutics of early Baroque music, including musical representation of language; compositional theory; social, institutional, cultural and gender history; performance practices and more. The 17 articles in this volume have been selected by Richard Wistreich to exemplify the best scholarship in English and because each, in retrospect, turns out to have been a ground-breaking contribution to one or more significant strands in Monteverdi studies.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Text and Music: Monteverdi's poetic choices, Nino Pirrotta; Madrigal, monody, and Monteverdi's 'via naturale alla immitatione', Gary Tomlinson; Monteverdi's mimetic art: 'L'incoronazione di Poppea', Ellen Rosand; Resemblance and representation: towards a new aesthetic in the music of Monteverdi, Tim Carter. Part II Theory and Genre: Artusi, Monteverdi, and the poetics of modern music, Tim Carter; Gendering modern music: thoughts on the Monteverdi-Artusi controversy, Suzanne G. Cusick; Claudio Monteverdi's Ordine novo, bello et gustevole: the canzonetta as dramatic module and formal archetype, Massimo Ossi; Monteverdi's three genera: a study in terminology, Barbara Russano Hanning. Part III Criticism, Analysis and History: Constructions of gender in Monteverdi's dramatic music, Susan McClary; The Platonic agenda of Monteverdi’s Seconda Pratica: a case study from the 8th Book of Madrigals, Geoffrey Chew; Monteverdi, two sonnets and a letter, Anthony Pryer; Tacitus incognito: opera as history in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Wendy Heller. Part IV Institutional, Source and Performance Issues: Musicians at the court of Mantua during Monteverdi's time: evidence from the payrolls, Susan Parisi; Monteverdi's Mantuan 'Orfeo': some new documentation, Iain Fenlon; Transposition in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610: an 'aberration' defended, Andrew Parrott; La Poppea Impasticciata or, who wrote the music to L'incoronazione (1643)?, Alan Curtis; Monteverdi's 'Mass of Thanksgiving' revisited, Jeffrey G. Kurtzman; Name index.