One such area of our learning has been music appreciation. We have always listened to a variety of music, including Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary. From time to time, we have read biographies of the famous composers and related the eras of changing music styles to the social, political and economic influences of the time. It has been the same with art appreciation.
|Claudio Monteverdi 1567-1643|
So, to one of our favourite pieces of music - Claudio Monteverdi's Deus in Adjutorium. This could well be my all-time favourite and the rest of the family, particularly Adam, enjoy it, too. The children are completely familiar with this music, having listened to it regularly, throughout their lives. Here is a Youtube video of this music being performed at St. Peter's Catholic Church, in Columbia, followed by the BBC commentary and performance of this piece, at the Proms.
Monteverdi, the son of a doctor, was born in 1567, in Northern Italy. He was active during a period when musical styles were evolving from the era of the High Renaissance to the Baroque. He began his career, as a chorister, in the cathedral at Cremona and his early work centered on the writing of madrigals, which are secular vocal compositions. In 1607, Monteverdi composed his first opera, which was a new genre of music at the time, and, in 1613, he left the Mantuan court, after 12 years of employment, to become the maestro di cappella at St. Mark's Cathedral, in Venice. It was here, as a bereaved widower with two small children, that he wrote his grand sacred compositions and here he remained, until his death in 1643.
He was known for his progressive and dramatic musical compositions. All of his works are emotional and highly expressive - he has even been compared to Shakespeare for his ability to comprehend the human condition. It is this drama and intensity which characterizes the appeal of Monteverdi for our family. Listening to his music can be likened to awakening from a slumber and being raised to loftier heights of emotional and spiritual understanding.
The music appreciation books that we mostly use for reference are 'The Great Composers' (Wendy Thompson), 'The Book of Music' (Yehudi Menuhin) and 'Music' (Frederic V. Grunfeld).