Singing Like a Native

Bernard D. Sherman

in Inside Early Music

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195169454
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865017 | DOI:
Singing Like a Native

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Alan Curtis and Rinaldo Alessandrini are gifted keyboardists who have founded vocal groups to explore the madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi and other Italian composers. The gist of their efforts is to have the music sung not by the early-music specialists—often British, who have dominated the field—but by native Italian speakers. No one else, the two believe, can equal Italian singers in this music. That may suggest nationalism, and in the 1990s many of us find ourselves recoiling from nationalism, or to be more precise, from the ideal of ethnic purity. Yet most of us do like local color. Which, then, of the two faces of nationalism show in the Monteverdi debates: the bad essentialism, or the good cultural integrity? This chapter presents the views of Curtis, Alessandrini, and Anthony Rooley on Monteverdi, Italian music, and early music.

Keywords: Claudio Monteverdi; Curtis; Rinaldo Alessandrini; Anthony Rooley; Italian music; classical music; opera; early music; nationalism

Chapter.  12080 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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