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Monteverdi’s Work Sample

Monteverdi’s Mass and Vespers of the Blessed Virgin of 1610, his first major publication of sacred music, is dedicated both to the Virgin, whom his patrons, the Gonzaga dukes of Mantua, claimed as the special protectress of their city, and to Pope Paul V, whose envoy had proclaimed a plenary indulgence in Mantua’s principal church of Sant-Andrea in 1607.  It seems apparent that with this publication Monteverdi was seeking to establish himself as a suitable candidate for a position of maestro di capella in a major Italian church—his ticket out of the debilitating pressures and penury of his employment at the Gonzaga court which had even caused him unsuccessfully to seek dismissal from court service in 1608.

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