There is no detailed account of the premiere, although Francesco wrote on 1 March that the work had "been to the great satisfaction of all who heard it", and had particularly pleased the Duke. The music, observing due propriety, serves the poetry so well that nothing more beautiful is to be heard anywhere". Francesco wrote to the Duke of Tuscany on 8 March, asking if he could retain the services of the castrato Magli for a little longer. There are suggestions that in the years following the premiere, L'Orfeo may have been staged in Florence, Cremona, Milan and Turin,  though firmer evidence suggests that the work attracted limited interest beyond the Mantuan court.
After years of neglect, Monteverdi's music began to attract the interest of pioneer music historians in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and from the second quarter of the 19th century onwards he is discussed increasingly in scholarly works. This edition was the basis of the first public performance of the work in two-and-a-half centuries, a concert performance at d'Indy's Schola Cantorum on 25 February An edition of the score by the minor Italian composer Giacomo Orefice Milan, received several concert performances in Italy and elsewhere before and after the First World War.
This edition was the basis of the opera's United States debut, another concert performance at the New York Met in April In the London Saturday Review , music critic Dyneley Hussey called the occasion "one of the most important events of recent years"; the production had "indicated at once Monteverdi's claim to rank among the great geniuses who have written dramatic music". Among a flurry of revivals after was Paul Hindemith 's edition, a full period reconstruction of the work prepared in , which was staged and recorded at the Vienna Festival in This performance had a great impact on the young Nikolaus Harnoncourt , and was hailed as a masterpiece of scholarship and integrity.
Schonberg because, to accommodate a performance of Luigi Dallapiccola 's contemporary opera Il prigioniero , about a third of L'Orfeo was cut.
By the latter part of the 20th century the opera was being shown all over the world. L'Orfeo is, in Redlich's analysis, the product of two musical epochs.
It combines elements of the traditional madrigal style of the 16th century with those of the emerging Florentine mode, in particular the use of recitative and monodic singing as developed by the Camerata and their successors. The singers are required to do more than produce pleasant vocal sounds; they must represent their characters in depth and convey appropriate emotions.
Monterverdi's recitative style was influenced by Peri's, in Euridice , although in L'Orfeo recitative is less preponderant than was usual in dramatic music at this time. It accounts for less than a quarter of the first act's music, around a third of the second and third acts, and a little under half in the final two acts. The importance of L'Orfeo is not that it was the first work of its kind, but that it was the first attempt to apply the full resources of the art of music, as then evolved, to the nascent genre of opera. In L'Orfeo , Monteverdi extends the rules, beyond the conventions which polyphonic composers, faithful to Palestrina, had previously considered as sacrosanct.
The opera begins with a martial-sounding toccata for trumpets which is repeated twice. When played on period wind instruments the sound can be startling to modern audiences; Redlich calls it "shattering". The ritornello is repeated in shortened form between each of the prologue's five verses, and in full after the final verse. Its function within the opera as a whole is to represent the "power of music";  as such it is heard at the end of act 2, and again at the beginning of act 5, one of the earliest examples of an operatic leitmotiv. After the prologue, act 1 follows in the form of a pastoral idyll.
Two choruses, one solemn and one jovial are repeated in reverse order around the central love-song "Rosa del ciel" "Rose of the heavens" , followed by the shepherds' songs of praise.
Orfeo: looking back at Monteverdi’s masterpiece
The buoyant mood continues into act 2, with song and dance music influenced, according to Harnoncourt, by Monteverdi's experience of French music. The centrepiece of act 3, perhaps of the entire opera, is Orfeo's extended aria "Possente spirto e formidabil nume" "Mighty spirit and powerful divinity" , by which he attempts to persuade Caronte to allow him to enter Hades. Monteverdi's vocal embellishments and virtuoso accompaniment provide what Carter describes as "one of the most compelling visual and aural representations" in early opera.
This array, according to music historian and analyst John Whenham , is intended to suggest that Orfeo is harnessing all the available forces of music to support his plea. The cold sounds of the sinfonia from the beginning of act 3 then remind us that the Underworld is, after all, entirely devoid of human feeling.
This dance, says Ringer, recalls the jigs danced at the end of Shakespeare 's tragedies, and provides a means of bringing the audience back to their everyday world, "just as the toccata had led them into another realm some two hours before. The toccata and the moresca unite courtly reality with operatic illusion. The first recording of L'Orfeo was issued in , a freely adapted version of Monteverdi's music by Giacomo Benvenuti ,  given by the orchestra of La Scala Milan conducted by Ferrucio Calusio.
The advent of LP recordings was, as Harold C. Schonberg later wrote, an important factor in the postwar revival of interest in Renaissance and Baroque music,  and from the mids recordings of L'Orfeo have been issued on many labels.
L'Orfeo - Wikipedia
The recording by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Concentus Musicus, using Harnoncourt's edition based on period instruments, was praised for "making Monteverdi's music sound something like the way he imagined". After the publication of the L'Orfeo score in , the same publisher Ricciardo Amadino of Venice brought it out again in Facsimiles of these editions were printed in and respectively. Most of the editions that followed d'Indy up to the time of the Second World War were arrangements, usually heavily truncated, that provided a basis for performances in the modern opera idiom.
Many of these were the work of composers, including Carl Orff and and Ottorino Respighi in In the post-war period, editions have moved increasingly to reflect the performance conventions of Monteverdi's day. This tendency was initiated by two earlier editions, that of Jack Westrup used in the Oxford performances,  and Gian Francesco Malipiero 's complete edition which sticks closely to Monteverdi's original. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the Monteverdi opera. For other uses, see Orfeo. Orpheus , the hero of the opera, with a violin, by Cesare Gennari.
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List of musical items in Claudio Monteverdi's L'Orfeo. For the complete discography, see L'Orfeo discography. Later groups with similar aims are also loosely referred to as "Camerata". Modern productions have generally allocated the parts to soprano, alto, tenor and bass singers. See Carter , pp. Retrieved 4 September Retrieved 5 September Journal of the American Musicological Society.
Retrieved 22 September Retrieved 12 September L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia in Italian. The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September Archived from the original on Retrieved 15 September Retrieved 26 March British Broadcasting Corporation , Radio 3. Retrieved 11 May The Royal Opera House.
Just when there was a bloody collision between the Reformation and Counter-Reformation comes a pagan challenge and a secular alternative to the Christian narrative. When that happens it leaves our nerve-endings painfully exposed to the force of raw emotion. Even the rests with which Monteverdi punctuates his vocal line figure like catches in the throat of a someone on the brink of tears. It may be that the radicalism of Monteverdi has yet to be fully grasped. That was over-modest on his part; for like Beethoven some years later, he soon mastered and exhausted the musical tradition he inherited.
Aristotle traced the origin of drama to the moment when the leader of the dithyrambic chorus stood apart from his 50 men and boys and began to sing back to them. This formed the basis of the oppositional stance which allowed tragedy to embody conflict rather than merely allude to it, and it later to became a vital creative device — litany, dialogue and antiphony — used by composers in church music and opera.
But where Euripides was all-too-conscious that he came at the end of great tradition of Greek tragedy, Monteverdi was aware that he was in the vanguard of a new art form. He did not belong in the rarified intellectual milieu of the Florentine camerata ; but he raised their experiments to a level of superb craftsmanship, sublime musicality and vastly enhanced emotional force. Order by newest oldest recommendations. The financial crisis forces the small college to let Els go, and in his boredom, and fretful over his declining mental powers, Els conceives the idea of recording his compositions in bacterial DNA.
When Els' dog Fidelio dies, Els calls in a panic. He realizes his mistake and hangs up, but two police officers are dispatched to his house anyway. They chat in a friendly manner, but the home laboratory set up disturbs the police officers, and the next day two agents from the "Joint Security Agency" pay a visit. They ask technical questions, learn how he assembled everything on the cheap, and decide to take the precaution of confiscating his incubator, entirely unconcerned about issues of legality.
The next day, after a pre-dawn early jog, he heads back home and finds a media circus has popped up while biohazard teams strip his house, even unburying his dog. Upset, he considers his options, and decides to teach his scheduled weekly music appreciation class at a local retirement home without cleaning up.
Afterwards, one of the home members, learning of his situation, offers her son's vacation cabin as a place of refuge, which he accepts. From there, he begins an odyssey taking him back to Indiana, then visiting his ex-wife in St. She points him to Bonner in Arizona, who is in early-stage Alzheimer's. He encourages him to tweet his story to the world, one last hurrah performance with the biggest audience he's ever had, as they both agree the Feds will crush Els.
Els then visits his daughter, who has spent the past several days arranging potential legal defenses. Arriving at night, they talk.
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Els hears the arrival of numerous security forces, and takes a glass bud vase, shaped like a chemistry flask. Sara realizes belatedly what is happening outside, and starts to lose it. The novel ends with Els saying some last words to his daughter, intending to run out, holding the vase high, the "downbeat of a little infinity. Parts of the story of Peter Els are closely modeled on events in the life of bioartist Steve Kurtz. In , Kurtz called after the death of his wife. Police assumed his home laboratory was suspicious, and called in the FBI, leading to charges of bioterrorism and mail, wire fraud.
Powers, in an earlier visit to Stanford, spent time assisting in the laboratory of biochemist Aaron Straight, which helped shape the details of Els' DIY lab. Powers also learned, from English professor and novelist John L'Heureux , of the neurological problems that are sometimes associated with aging and music, and in the novel, a fictional Dr.
L'Heureux diagnoses Els with these problems. Music, including descriptions, history, and its effects on listeners, form a major portion of the narrative. The novel has been reviewed widely.