Monteverdi and his constellation

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John Eliot Gardiner, Founder and Artistic Director of the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras, presents eight podcasts that explore Monteverdi’s role at the centre of seismic shifts and tumultuous advances in all the arts and sciences during the early 1600s, spearheaded by his contemporaries - Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, Shakespeare, Caravaggio and Rubens. With the help of specially recorded musical illustrations and a handpicked team of experts, Gardiner guides listeners through an in-depth investigation into the development of the early-modern mind.

48:13
5. The anatomy of melancholy - Monteverdi and his constellation

The young star chosen and coached by Monteverdi to sing the title role in his second opera, Arianna, died of smallpox just days before the scheduled première in 1608. Her replacement, an experienced singing actress, held strong views on the character of the abandoned heroine, Ariadne. This podcast explores how women suddenly step forward as creative participants and instigators in this brave new world of the senses. Monteverdi showed a particular empathy with his female protagonists and performers. Actress Dame Janet Suzman finds a resonant truthfulness in Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, and we hear how the painter Artemisia Gentileschi dealt with her real-life experience of rape and processed it in her creative work. A window of opportunity opened for women artists and musicians in this period, allowing a temporary escape from paternalistic dominance, before closing again by mid-century.

8 views 22 days ago
49:35
4. How music catches up - Monteverdi and his constellation

Music can help us to grasp the true modernity of this enormous shift in human consciousness. Monteverdi’s first opera, L’Orfeo (1607), is almost a manifesto for the power of music now elevated to a level of virtuoso craftsmanship and universal human emotion far beyond anything previously attained or experienced - an example of what Stephen Sondheim describes as “skill in the service of passion.” Monteverdi was mapping out a new terrain for music, capable henceforth of pursuing a life if its own - a fresh vision which would dominate composition for ever afterwards. John Eliot Gardiner guides listeners through two centuries of musical and poetic evolution which laid the foundations for this remarkable achievement.

20 views 27 days ago
49:35
4. How music catches up - Monteverdi and his constellation

Music can help us to grasp the true modernity of this enormous shift in human consciousness. Monteverdi’s first opera, L’Orfeo (1607), is almost a manifesto for the power of music now elevated to a level of virtuoso craftsmanship and universal human emotion far beyond anything previously attained or experienced - an example of what Stephen Sondheim describes as “skill in the service of passion.” Monteverdi was mapping out a new terrain for music, capable henceforth of pursuing a life if its own - a fresh vision which would dominate composition for ever afterwards. John Eliot Gardiner guides listeners through two centuries of musical and poetic evolution which laid the foundations for this remarkable achievement.

25 views 27 days ago
47:03
3. The new art of science - Monteverdi and his constellation

Bacon’s formulation of the inductive method - the study of the empirical fact of antecedents and consequences - gave voice to the scientific advances being made by Galileo and Kepler in the face of widespread incredulity, opposition and persecution. The mind of Europe was now poised for a new venture of thought by this exceptional generation, one dominated by mathematics and physics but paralleled by striking developments in the arts.

21 views about 1 month ago
47:03
3. The new art of science - Monteverdi and his constellation

Bacon’s formulation of the inductive method - the study of the empirical fact of antecedents and consequences - gave voice to the scientific advances being made by Galileo and Kepler in the face of widespread incredulity, opposition and persecution. The mind of Europe was now poised for a new venture of thought by this exceptional generation, one dominated by mathematics and physics but paralleled by striking developments in the arts.

24 views about 1 month ago