Continuing on the tangent of Claudio Monteverdi, is a ten minute radio presentation by Jan Swafford, author of those penetrating biographies of Brahms and Charles Ives. It's a basic overview of Claudio's life, where he had musical posts, what triggered certain waves of compositions, and quotes from first hand documentation that presents us with a sliver of his volatile character. The musical excerpts are most enlightening, here is someone playing with form and colour not long after the passing of Palestrina. From the strict 4 part Mass to the dancing rhythms of the Vespers of 1610 is a bold advance indeed. And whether Monteverdi was the pioneer that forged his way into the New World suppleness and invention of the Baroque, or whether he was merely one who saw before the others the path that music would lead, you can investigate for yourself.
A neat little intro into the Life and Works of Claudio Monteverdi. Courtesy of NPR and their Performance Today series of broadcasts. Here