Claudio Monteverdi Madrigals of War and Love

St. Thomas Aquinas, Palo Alto 02.17.12 7:30PM
St. Mark's Episcopal, Berkeley 02.18.12 7:30PM
St. Mark's Lutheran, San Francisco 02.19.12 4:00PM

Catherine Webster, soprano
Jennifer Paulino, soprano
Andrew Rader, countertenor
Paul Elliott, tenor
Daniel Hutchings, tenor
Peter Becker, bass
Rob Diggins, violin
Jolianne von Einem, violin
Elisabeth Reed, viola da gamba
Julie Jeffrey, viola da gamba
John Dornenburg, violone
Nigel North, lute
Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord

In 1638, Claudio Monteverdi, the seventy-one year-old music director of the ducal church of St. Mark’s in Venice, published his Eighth Book of Madrigals, the final collection of his secular music to be issued in his lifetime. The Eighth Book has a retrospective character, bringing together music written as early as 1608, and was subtitled “Madrigals of War and Love.” The poetry in collection repeatedly expound the interlocking themes of love and war– the warrior as lover, the lover as warrior and the war between the sexes. In Monteverdi’s preface to the Eighth Book, the composer describes three emotional levels or styles of the music: the “soft” style for languishing and sorrowful emotions, the “tempered” style for emotionally neutral recitations, and a third “agitated” style, he claims to have invented himself.

Read more about Monteverdi’s Madrigals of War and Love

Background image from Paolo Veronese, Venus and Mars United by Love, 1570s, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.