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Claudio Monteverdi

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Claudio Monteverdi (Cremona, May 15, 1567 – Venice, November 29, 1643) was an Italian composer, violinist and singer.

His work marks the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music. During his long life he produced work that can be classified in both categories, and he was one of the most significant revolutionaries that brought about the change in style. Monteverdi wrote the earliest dramatically viable opera, Orfeo, and was fortunate enough to enjoy fame during his lifetime.

Claudio Monteverdi was born in 1567 in Cremona, Lombardy. His father was Baldassare Monteverdi, a doctor, apothecary and amateur surgeon. He was the oldest of five children. During his childhood, he was taught by Marc’Antonio Ingegneri, the maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of Cremona. The Maestro’s job was to conduct important worship services in accordance with the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Monteverdi learned about music by being part of the cathedral choir. He also studied at the University of Cremona. His first music was written for publication, including some motets and sacred madrigals, in 1582 and 1583.

His first five publications were: ‘Sacrae cantiunculae’, 1582 (a collection of miniature motets); ‘Madrigali Spirituali’, 1583 (a volume of which only the bass partbook is extant); ‘Canzonette a tre voci’, 1584 (a collection of three-voice canzonettes); and the five-part madrigals ‘Book I’, 1587, and ‘Book II’, 1590.

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