Wikipedia:Today's featured article/September 14, 2017

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Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Monteverdi

Seven of Claudio Monteverdi's operas are lost, apart from a few fragments, out of ten the Italian composer wrote in whole or in part between 1607 and 1643. A few librettos from these early baroque works have survived. Opera as a genre emerged during Monteverdi's creative lifetime, and he became a principal exponent of this new form, first at the Mantuan court and later as director of music at St Mark's Basilica in Venice. The loss of these works, written during a critical period of early opera history, has been much regretted by historians and musicologists, but reflects the habit of the times, when stage music was thought to have little relevance beyond its initial performance and often vanished quickly. Contemporary documents, including many letters written by Monteverdi, have provided most of the available information on the lost works, and have established that four of them were completed and performed in the composer's lifetime. Of the little music that has survived, the lamento from L'Arianna (1608) is frequently performed. (Full article...)

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