Review by Choice Review
One can hardly imagine a more satisfactory book dealing with the life, works, and cultural environment of Montverdi, a composer whose genius is now properly celebrated in both print and performance. In contrast to stitched-together collections of essays written in ghastly prose full of unreadable jargon, this is the real thing. The contributors are the right ones, experts all; their writing is clear and pleasing, if occasionally arcane; the topics are well chosen; and the essays are rich in detail--the whole is the very model of how to present the best contemporary scholarship to a wide audience. Scholars will pore over these essays, differing with some conclusions (Monteverdi scholarship is alive and well!) while admiring the quality of research. Students will study the six "Intermedio" chapters, which analyze particular works. All will delight in chapters that illuminate late Renaissance/early Baroque musical life and cultures while integrating an understanding of what "culture" meant then (and now) and discussing Monteverdi's life and works. Particularly fascinating are the chapters on "spaces for music in late Renaissance Mantua," "Monteverdi in performance" (historically and recently), and "Monteverdi studies and 'new' musicologies." The volume includes a useful chronology, fine bibliography, and superb catalog of works. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers, all levels. W. Metcalfe emeritus, University of Vermont
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.