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|The body of Claudio Monteverdi’s madrigals is contained in nine books and, for the most part, can be divided into three parts that correspond to the three periods of the life of the Cremonese composer.
The first two books date back to the early years of his apprenticeship in Cremona (until 1590), under the strong influence of his teacher, Marcantonio Ingegneri.
During his time in Mantua (1591-1612), Monteverdi conceived three more books of madrigals (nn. 3-5) that mark a turning point in the musician’s output. The stylistic innovations of the Fifth Book also feature the introduction of continuo, provided ad libitum for the majority of the pieces of this collection and which is an integral part of the instrumentation for the others.
In 1613, Monteverdi moved to Venice as a result of his appointment as maestro di cappella at S. Marco. The Sixth, the Seventh and the Eighth books, to which would be added posthumously the Ninth book, all contain pieces in concertato style and therefore include continuo and, in some cases, an instrumental body.
This is the first complete Urtext publication including the entire corpus of madrigals composed by the great Cremonese master. An edition which was impatiently expected by musicologists and musicians who have until now had to use the admirable, albeit timeworn Malipiero edition.
[Introductory Texts in Italian and English]