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The Cambridge Companion to Monteverdi by John Whenham

The Cambridge Companion to Monteverdi

Part of the Cambridge Companions to Music Series


The Cambridge Companion to Monteverdi by John Whenham

Claudio Monteverdi is one of the most important figures of 'early' music, a composer whose music speaks powerfully and directly to modern audiences. This book, first published in 2007, provides an authoritative treatment of Monteverdi and his music, complementing Paolo Fabbri's standard biography of the composer. Written by leading specialists in the field, it is aimed at students, performers and music-lovers in general and adds significantly to our understanding of Monteverdi's music, his life, and the contexts in which he worked. Chapters offering overviews of his output of sacred, secular and dramatic music are complemented by 'intermedi', in which contributors examine individual works, or sections of works in detail. The book draws extensively on Monteverdi's letters and includes a select discography/videography and a complete list of Monteverdi's works together with an index of first lines and titles.


'The book is not only informative but genuinely illuminating, particularly since it elegantly tackles details and complexities in the historical evidence ...'
Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music magazine

'One can hardly imagine a more satisfactory book dealing with the life, works, and cultural environment of Montverdi ... In contrast to stitched-together collections of essays written in ghastly prose full of unreadable jargon, this is the real thing. The contributors are the right ones, experts all ... the topics are well chosen; and the essays are rich in detail - the whole is the very model of how to present the best contemporary scholarship to a wide audience. ... All will delight in chapters that illuminate late Renaissance/early Baroque musical life and cultures ... Summing up: highly recommended. All readers, all levels.'

About the Author

John Whenham is Professor of Music History and Head of the Department of Music, University of Birmingham. Richard Wistreich is Senior Lecturer and Head of Performance at the International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th December 2007


John Whenham

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Cambridge University Press


384 pages


Individual composers & musicians, specific bands & groups



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