Friday, 18 January 2008

36. Claudio Monteverdi - Combattimento (1624)


Title: Combattimento
Performer: Le Concert d'Astrée
Director: Emmanuelle Haim
Year: 2006
Length: 18 minutes


And now for something completely different. I have to take my hat off to Monteverdi his stuff is always phenomenal in the context of the age in which he was doing it, this is a clear example of that, not even in Orfeo did Monteverdi make a more expressive piece of music.

And that is the key word here, expressiveness, and that is also where this recording is particularly successful, the performers imbue the work with all the emotion it requires without ever modernising the music.

The musical effects of battle music, horses riding and also expressing Tancredo's emotions is superb, and again Monteverdi has all the credit. I am really impressed by this bit of music and hope it will reflect itself in the future operas of Monteverdi that we will have here on the list. Look out for them.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Il combattimento contains one of the earliest known uses of pizzicato in classical music, in which the players are instructed to set down their bows and use two fingers of their right hand to pluck the strings. It also contains one of the earliest uses of the string tremolo, in which a particular note is reiterated as a means of generating excitement. This latter device was so revolutionary that Monteverdi had considerable difficulty getting the players of his day to perform it correctly. These innovations, like the fourfold division of the strings, were not taken up by Monteverdi’s contemporaries or immediate successors.

Three minutes of Combattimento:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just saw this on the Finnish television. Standing ovation here! (OK. There was only I...)

What a fantastic piece of music, what a performance!

Recorded in June 2008 at St. Denis.

Why, I may even get interested in "Early Music".