Today, May 13th is Ascension Day. I'm fresh out of fanfares, but this will act as a "substitute" very nicely.
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643) was an Italian composer, string player, choirmaster, and priest. A composer of both secular and sacred music, and a pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and Baroque periods of music history.
Born in Cremona, Monteverdi developed his career first at the court of Mantua (c. 1590–1613) and then until his death in the Republic of Venice where he was maestro di cappella at the basilica of San Marco. His surviving letters give insight into the life of a professional musician in Italy of the period, including problems of income, patronage and politics.
Much of Monteverdi's output, including many stage works, has been lost. His surviving music includes nine books of madrigals, large-scale religious works, such as his Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vespers for the Blessed Virgin) of 1610, and three complete operas. His opera L'Orfeo (1607) is the earliest of the genre still widely performed; towards the end of his life he wrote works for Venice, including Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and L'incoronazione di Poppea.
While he worked extensively in the tradition of earlier Renaissance polyphony, as evidenced in his madrigals, he undertook great developments in form and melody, and began to employ the basso continuo technique, distinctive of the Baroque.
This fine transcription of the exciting "Coronation March" was done by the famous English organist, Simon Preston (b. 1938), famous for his work as a solo performer, and also from his positions at Christ Church, Oxford, and at Westminster Abbey.
This is the first recording I did with the "new" (meaning as it is IRL) repitched Hill organ. More to follow!
Contact me directly if you are interested in the score.
Attached are several paintings of Monteverdi and several photos of Simon Preston.