Monteverdi and his constellation podcast

4. How music catches up - Monteverdi and his constellation

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Music can help us to grasp the true modernity of this enormous shift in human consciousness. Monteverdi’s first opera, L’Orfeo (1607), is almost a manifesto for the power of music now elevated to a level of virtuoso craftsmanship and universal human emotion far beyond anything previously attained or experienced - an example of what Stephen Sondheim describes as “skill in the service of passion.” Monteverdi was mapping out a new terrain for music, capable henceforth of pursuing a life if its own - a fresh vision which would dominate composition for ever afterwards. John Eliot Gardiner guides listeners through two centuries of musical and poetic evolution which laid the foundations for this remarkable achievement.

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