Orfeo Analysis

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Orfeo, officially L’Orfeo, was a momentous opera piece that was composed by Claudio Monteverdi. Written in five acts, the storyline that follows the underlying music delves into many aspects of humanity. Happiness, love, religion, death, and loss, concomitant with heartbreak, are the main themes expressed and explored which yield foresight into the time period Monteverdi himself lived in, as well as the influence of the Venice, the floating city. The opera was revolutionary for its time essentially from the Greek influence, but even more so because of the accompanying music as it was more complex on many levels due to the difficulty as well as the custom innovations Monteverdi made to instrument sections. Through the use of musical deviation …show more content…
However, one of Monteverdi’s most well known signature of his music was the fact that he used dissonance to create tension where it was needed to be felt. (D’Epiro 254) When the opera was first heard by an audience, they marveled at the sounds that they had never heard before. Notes that were not meant to be played together, became harmonized and allowed the listener to know the setting and tone during a specific part of the opera. In short, Monteverdi’s music was rebellious. “In a preface to a Milanese edition, the publisher called the publisher called the music of fifth book ‘a tyrant of the mind.’” (D’Epiro …show more content…
The actually music that was written for the piece was challenging to physically play. Monteverdi gave vast amounts of credit to the heavily trained musicians that played the first public showing of the opera in Mantua, Italy. (D’Epiro 256) In terms of skill, the opera was demanding, but the innovations Monteverdi specifically made to certain instrument sections that were never seen before, were especially noted for their ingenuity. For example, Monteverdi wrote a section in Orfeo where trombones and doubles basses would play in harmony. “The instrumental score [Orfeo] had novel features and made great technical demands on the instrumentalists.” (D’Epiro

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