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He opened an eye in cooperation with the national educational radio presents on his 400 anniversary with a series of four programs written and narrated by conductor and musicologist. And now. Within the Catholic church ritual there are certain functions which are especially suited for a musical setting. They are the mass itself and second only to it. The best for service. Published in think in a volume containing a vesper service and a mass called in a low tempo. It is especially in the best service that we are interested today and I would like to elaborate somewhat on the form of this truly genial work. It is one of the most extraordinary psychic compositions of all times and stands as the first in a series of exceptional problematic Catholic works which go far beyond the traditional scope of liturgical
composition. For me this series includes among other things the Bach B Minor Mass the Beethoven misses L.A. The Gotta be mass in D Minor and the Verdi Requiem. This work the vespers of the Virgin Mary consists of 14 separate sections among which are two versions of the one you forgot one. A variant of the other. It can be assumed that either one was to be performed not both at the same service. The order and arrangement of this curious setting has caused scholars to scratch their heads for many years. If one looks up the order for the canonical hours of the office one will find a prescribed order which has the basic structure of the opening vertical of five songs. The reading of the gospel the hymn The canticle. In other words when you pick out the prayers and the closing vertical. Furthermore the Psalms are always framed by antiphons suited to the particular day and occasion the reading of the Gospel is followed by a response or as in this case a hymn which has the
same function as that of the antiphons to heighten the emphasis on the particular feast day in an even more defined fashion. The cancer go when you pick up that is is the climax of the vesper service after the closing vesicle. It has been customary since the 13th century for one of the four out of funds to be sung. Now most of that is vespers of the Virgin Mary are constructed basically according to this scheme as he has not included any specific antiphonal chant. We do not know what exact day this vesper service was intended. Furthermore he adds as mentioned on the title page of the printed edition quote several sacred concertos unquote which separate the psalm sections from one another. The form now looks like this. Number 1 dominee. May Festina. This being the second line of the opening vertical of the liturgy it would be natural to have that opening line. They are seven out of ten day chanted thus.
The composer has written a solemn opening piece in the introduction of Eddie's new super imposes a mighty choral structure the Major in which the text is recited homophonic laid upon an orchestral to cough up for strings and brass is this to call the curiously enough is none other than that which he had used in the overture to his opera or fail. The decanter is broken off twice by the intrusion of a dance like retaught Nello only to appear in its full statement at the words secret in contrast to the original setting of the or Fey overture Monta Verdi has extended the orchestral texture a second voice in Kanada imitation. At the close of the chorus and orchestra join in a great out of who we are as.
We all as it were. Number two saw Saddam in us all Saddam's in this vespers service our country's firmest motets. By this I mean they are compositions built on the melodic line of the appropriate Gregorian chant for that particular song. While the various settings of this song. Has hardly its counterpoint in any music composed before and therefore this composition deserves special attention and the characteristic style of the Gregorian Chant is retained while placing the melody within an established original rhythmic pattern. The verses are divided alternately. Numbers 1 3 5 and 7 are set in old fashioned Renaissance church style speed and Tico as motivated called it. While the even verses
2 4 and 6 are given an individual treatment that which meant a very cold steel mill. Each section is connected to the succeeding by means of an instrumental taut metal echoing the last phrase of the preceding section. Further contrast is created by the use of a six part chorus for the odd numbered sections and three voices for the even ones. Number three negress throne is a solo Moutet written in Malta very refers to as the country Tato or excited style that which we have seen already in his oratory of ballet. You come back you meant to explode into this is the first of the four sacred concertos separating the songs. Number four the second psalm Psalm One hundred twelve loud but witty. What is the first song contrasted s. a GATE s.. This Psalm is a unified whole. Employing a rich palette of what motivated called Representative writing or word painting. And number five it's another Malta Verdi style appears in this word. His so-called concerted
style by which is meant the contrast and interplay of voices and instruments both in competition interchange and in also on board. It is this word and concept that has given us the term concerto. While negro storm was a solo motive this composition is a concerted duet number 6. One hundred twenty one. They talk to a storm this is a magnificent structure embodying three formal principles. Again the verses are divided alternately the odd verses numbers 1 3 5 7 and 9 are all constructed on a bus o ostinato over an ever repeating motif in the bass. The number of upper voices increases each time the section appears. Starting with the Gorean chant melody sung by the tenors and unison closing in the ninth section with a free setting for six parts the even numbered verses are also contrast did verses 2 and 6 are written in rich polyphonic over two independent bass lines
verses 4 and 8 lines spanned over an organ point or a single held note in the bass. Put all together and contrast it. We find ourselves before a vast Rondo form in nine sections A B A C A B A C A C. This is followed by a Gloria Patri. Here now are the nine sections of the LES taught us so much.
The load of urban settings in the vesper service. The fan is the most interesting and elaborate. It makes use of a vocal called rhetorical technique. At my disposal he observes the text with care. Point out that where I mentioned only thing where the text sound occurs. There are three voices and so naturally the words sung by one alone it is a hymn of praise to the Divinity sung by thought of him and the celestial one at that.
The number 8. Ps. one twenty six dominoes. This Psalm is set for a double car in which the tenor part of each choir sings to a Gorean chant at the words at the opening section Rickers thereby making this composition a huge copper form. Number nine. How do you trade on this is the last separating the songs constructed in two parts the first is built on the concept of an Alltek recitation of the Florentine Monody making touching use of an echo effect on such words as Gowdy o o d o and so forth the second half is a corky magical for six voices. Closing with the most moving Benedict s as a hymn of praise to the Virgin. Number 10. On Psalm 147 Nada Jerusalem this last psalm
balances the previous dominoes in its setting for double quire. However it too has its own personal and original form the contest for most is given to the tenor who delivers the text in a rapid Parlato style while two three part choirs singing back and forth to one another in a happy almost secular vein in the Gloria Patri of the song the soprano and two basses take over the function of performing the woodgrain chant. After the reading of the gospel which mall today did not say it it would have been intoned by the priest. We come to number 11 the hymn ave modest stuff. Hail star of the sea. One of the most beautiful of Catholic hymns. This is a strong thick song based on the hymn which in itself is derived from Gregorian chant. It consists of seven strong views interspersed with four instrumental written out i.e. dust forming a song can talk to mount a pair he has invented three different settings for the seven verses. Here now is one of them.
Yes this is an independent instrumental composition. During the course of which the words sank to Madea or a pro nobis taken from the Gregorian Chant our song almost like a litany 11 times. In its construction this piece is a complement to the opening chorus damane Vendome a Festina as it employs the same orchestral forces the vocal part consists only of one line repeated over and over. But the orchestral part is like a rich tapestry of rhythmic variations shifting accents change of tempi and lengthening or shortening of time that the number 13 minute because as mentioned above this is the climax and purpose of the whole vesper service. Up to here there have been twelve separate pieces to the service and 12 is always a mystic number. The menu itself is built equally of 12 sections and each section has an individual treatment each one a marvel of musical invention. The chord on a melody is ever present
yet never in the same way. I would like to show you one of these sections which I found particularly impressive and only regret. There is not time to present the whole menu to you. The section I have chosen is fake shit potentiometer. Oh and. Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah.
Yeah. A whole. Hundred. It is of interest that the first performance of this work in modern times did not take place until 1935. But since then it is gaining increasing recognition. Truly this vesper service is one of the greatest compositions in the history of Christian church music and it is fitting that this series of talks commemorating mounted parities for 100th birthday should come to a close on this note.
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Monteverdi and the French influence
Producing Organization
Radiotelevisione italiana
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program explores Monteverdi's historical relationship to France and the incorporation of the French style into part of his music.
Other Description
A discussion of the work of Monteverdi, hosted by Newell Jenkins and featuring musical illustrations.
Media type
Host: Jenkins, Newell
Producing Organization: Radiotelevisione italiana
Writer: Jenkins, Newell
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-48-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:41
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Chicago: “Monteverdi; Monteverdi and the French influence,” 1967-11-27, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 17, 2022,
MLA: “Monteverdi; Monteverdi and the French influence.” 1967-11-27. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 17, 2022. <>.
APA: Monteverdi; Monteverdi and the French influence. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from