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Subject: Claudio Monteverdi: a 451st Birthday Celebration!
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Tue, 15 May 2018 14:51:55 -0400

text/plain (56 lines)

Today is the 451st celebration of the birth of one of the greatest of them all 
and one of the true godfathers of opera - Claudio Monteverdi.  

I can’t imagine my life without the music of this man who has played such 
an enormous part of my life.  Some of my earliest musical memories were 
of the incredible 1610 Vespers “Della Beata Vergine,” and arrangements of 
antiphonal brass music played at church.  Early on I discovered the operas 
and fell completely and instantly in love with each of them, though “Il 
ritorno d’Ulisse in patria” remains my not only my favorite Monteverdi, but in
in my top ten favorite operas by ANY composer.  There are so many mo
moments to celebrate of this great man.

Some may balk at Leppard’s arrangement, but Frederica von Stade 
captures the despair and beauty of Penelope’s opening aria better than anyo
anyone before or since (though Dame Janet gives her a run for the money).

And here, we have the scintillatingly sung – and danced(!) Orfeo of Simon Keen
Keenlyside in a performance with the Trisha Brown Dance Company.

The exquisite madrigal, “Ecco mormorar l’onde” sung by a young student, Saloum 
Saloum Diawara, and his friends.  Breathtaking.

The tremendous, thundery opening of the 1610 Vespers (Orfeo, anyone?)

Arguments about as to who composed the final duet “Pur ti miro.”  I’m 
sticking with Monteverdi, but whoever it was, he/she composed one of the 
most exquisite endings to any opera before or since.  Here is the 
marvelous Max Emanuel Cencic as Nero with Sonya Yoncheva as Poppea sing
singing about as beautifully as she ever has.

Thank you, Claudio – half a millennium later we are still singing your 
praises – and your glorious, heaven-on-earth music!


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