Monteverdi opera - early 17th c.
theorist who hated Monteverdi's early works - M. responded that A. was stuck in the Prima Prattica (Palestrina)
Prolific composer: one opera, but many books of motets and madrigals. Seconda prattica. Disagreed with Artusi. Meaning of text is most important. Music is meant to stir the affections. He did not write any purely instrumental music.
- Term coined by Monteverdi in his dispute with Artusi. The term originally had to do with the way dissonances are approached and resolved, but came to be a blanket term for the more traditional contrapuntal, rule-based compositions of Palestrina, Josquin, and Ockeghem. Music first, words second. late 16th c.
Gesualdo, Luzzaschi, Monteverdi - late 16th c. - Words first, music second. Dissonances were used as expressive devices depending on the meaning of the text.
Florence - late 16th c. Noblemen who met at house of de Bardi - philosophers, composers (Caccini - not a nobleman). Discussed why music affects us. Greek style (solo singing), clean textures, clear diction, no excessive ornamentation - all this so text could be clearly understood. Also: discussed the importance of rhetoric (art of persuasion); liberal arts. Music was approached mathematically (intervals: perfect/imperfect) Recitative was the focus, not arias.
Musical scenes entirely sung before, in between, and after spoken plays. Early ones were allegorical (symbolic representation) sung at large events like weddings. recitative-style singing, fancy staging, mythological stories. Not opera - these are vignettes unrelated to the play
Euridice - Renuccini's libretto
1st surviving opera. 1600. Most music by Peri, some by Caccini (Peri gets credit). Original story: Orfeo gets eaten alive by creatures of Hell. Renuccini's libretto changes the ending because it is written for performance at a wedding.
Le nuove muische
- Caccini - collection of monody - early17th c. - conforms to Florentine Camerata
- strophic arias (metrical, dance-like)
- solo madrigals (Declamatory, florid)
- strophic variations (similar to madrigals' styles)
Caccini's preface to Le Nuove musiche
- conforms with Florentine Camerata: Music should be passionate rather than merely pleasurable through:
- elimination of counterpoint
- restriction of vocal embellishment
- solo vocal line more like "speaking in music" by means of "Nonchalance in singing"
- for long texts
- not strophic
- can be well-molded to the expression of the text
- fewer formulas and cadences at the ends of lines
- lots of monotone
- slow moving bass line
- ex. Peri's Euridice, "Per quel vago Boschetto"