La Venexiana CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI Settimo Libro dei Madrigali

In 1619 Monteverdi dedicated his Seventh Book of Madrigals to Catherine de’ Medici, Duchess of Mantua. He chooses a title which in itself is a declaration of intentions: Concerto. The concerto’s dimension implies a certain diversity, and in this sense the Seventh Book marks a turning-point. The new publication renounces the classic five-voice setting (that had monopolized the first six books) in favour of a very ample formal variety: madrigals for one, two, three, four and six voices are found side by side with “other song genres”, as the composer specifies on the frontispiece. In its extreme variety of accents, forms and settings (for the first time the instruments have a prominent role and are not limited to that of continuo), the Seventh Book forms a kind of imaginary theatre: stories which unfold and disappear, fragments of idylls, tragedies and even comedies, but of whose protagonists, temporal and spatial setting we are totally unaware. (GLOSSA)

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