This tradition sought to create a union of the arts, especially of words and music, so that he should not be judged simply as a composer using conventional musical devices.Moreover, the artwork must be powerful enough to “move the whole man,” and this again might mean the abandonment of certain conventions.
The composer who influenced him the most seems to have been the Flemish composer , a modernist who, although no longer a young man, was still in the middle of an avant-garde movement in the 1590s.
The crux of his style was that music must exactly match the mood of the verse and that the natural declamation of the words must be carefully followed.
He was ordered back to Mantua in November 1608 but refused to go.
He eventually returned, but thereafter he hated the court, which he maintained had undervalued and underpaid him, though he gained a raise in pay and a small pension for his success with L’Arianna.
As yet, however, Monteverdi’s aim appeared to be to charm rather than to express passion; it is exemplified at its best in such a madrigal as the well-known setting of the poem “Behold the Murmuring Sea” by about 1590 as a string player.
He immediately came into contact with some of the finest musicians, both performers and composers, of the time.
On the other hand, he declared his faith in another and older tradition, in which music was itself supreme, and which was, in effect, represented by the pure .
Thus, there were two “practices,” as he called them; and that view, which became immensely influential, was to prove the basis of the preservation of an old style in certain types of church music, as opposed to a modern style in , performed in 1607, that finally established him as a composer of large-scale music rather than of exquisite miniature works.
Still more remarkable is the vespers music, a virtual compendium of all the kinds of modern church music possible at the time—grand psalm settings in the Venetian manner, virtuoso music for solo singers, instrumental music used for interludes in the service, even an attempt to use up-to-date operatic music to set the expressive, emotional words of the .
He finally took up his appointment in the autumn of 1613.
In a more vigorous vein, he wrote some church music, which he published in 1610 in a volume containing a .