The sounds of angels

Claudio Monteverdi was born 450 years ago

Nowhere in the history of music do two angels sing as beautifully as in “Duo Seraphim” from Claudio Monteverdi’s “Vespro della Beata Vergine”. The duet, which expands to become a trio, is a high point of the composer’s output rich in high points, at the threshold of the renaissance to the baroque. 450 years ago, on 15 May 1567, Claudio Monteverdi was baptised in Cremona. His career, which did not always run in a way which reflected his talents, ultimately took him to St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice.

Since the epoch-making rediscovery of his stage works by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle at the end of the 1970s in Zurich, “L’Orfeo”, “L’incoronazione di Poppea” and “Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria” have become firm fixtures on operatic stages throughout the world.