But people keep being wrong on the internet, and I’m not the only one who cares. My friend and colleague Andrew Dell’Antonio (co-editor of The Avid Listener) spotted a trend in the way newspapers are using Claudio Monteverdi to boost tourism, and he offered to write a guest post. My sincere thanks to Andrew for his contribution!
As a long-time admirer of Linda Shaver-Gleason’s insights on the perils of musical-historical cliché, I am absolutely honored that she has given me this opportunity to have my say on an instance of celebratory flim-flam from my own musical-historical backyard.
Portrait by Bernardo Strozzi
Most recently hype has bubbled up in a pair of posts from the travel sections of UK newspaper web sites The Guardian and The Telegraph, in conjunction with a planned performance in Venice of the three surviving operas by Monteverdi by prominent English ensembles directed by John Eliot Gardiner. Stephen Pritchard of The Guardian gushes:
The first composer to break through convention and display the true nature of humanity… a man who moved music out of the Renaissance into the Baroque, as much a revolutionary in his own artform as his contemporaries Shakespeare, Galileo, Cervantes, Caravaggio and Rubens were in theirs.