Messa a quattro voci da capella (1650)
Claudio Monteverdi was born in Cremona, where he also received his first musical education with the choral director at the local cathedral. He was then engaged as singer, musician (viola) and chapel master by the Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga in Mantua. There he started composing his first two operas, “L’Orfeo” and “Arianna”, and a vesper. In 1613 he was appointed musical director at San Marco cathedral in Venice, where he stayed until his death, composing both worldly and sacral music. It is not certain when exactly he composed “Messa a quattro voci da capella”, which was however first officially published in 1641. Similarly to the work of Palestrina, the mass is devised for four polyphonic parts. In 1650 a further mass was published under the same title. Again conceived for four parts, this mass however combines both polyphonic and homophonic elements.
Translation: Nora Tunkel
Organist: Elke Eckerstorfer
Choir: Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna State Opera men's choir, Choralschola of the Imperial Court Chapel
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