Research Update

May 2009

Sailing through The Cambridge Companion to Monteverdi by John Whenham and Richard Wistreich (2008, page 11), I read a paragraph which jumped off the page at me and made me whoop with job. It directly pertains to and necessitates the topic of my dissertation, and I think this is the most beautiful set of sentences I've read in a long time: "Again, Monteverdi is one of the earliest composers for whom we are tempted to associate the steps in his musical development with three rather neat geographical locations -- Cremona (1567 - 90), Mantua (1590 - 1612), and Venice (1613 - 43) -- and link them to his early, middle and late styles on the nineteenth-century 'progressive trajectory' model established for Bach (Weimar, Cothen, Leipzig), Mozart (Salzburg, Italy, Vienna) and other composers. Those who do not quite fit the style-place development model seem to have a harder time fixing themselves in our historical consciousness, no matter how talented. Among Monteverdi's contemporaries, Luca Marenzio and Sigismondo d'India may particularly have fallen into this historiographical trap, as is evidenced by their rather poor showing in the present performing and recording arenas."