Monteverdi and his constellation: Podcast series

John Eliot Gardiner presents a new podcast series exploring Monteverdi’s role at the centre of seismic shifts and tumultuous advances in all the arts and sciences during the early 1600s, spearheaded by his contemporaries - Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, Shakespeare, Caravaggio and Rubens.

“Rewarding, knowledgeable and beautifully produced, with a glorious soundtrack.”
The Sunday Times

“Gardiner is the ideal guide with 70 years of experience.”
De Volkskrant

“With a great deal of carefully chosen musical illustrations and handpicked expert interviewees, John Eliot Gardiner guides listeners in a veritable investigation into the development of the modern mind at the start of the Baroque age… Listening to Gardiner talking, telling stories, it’s a pleasure!”
FranceMusique

“The series is a pioneering attempt to bring new and old together by making use of a media format of our time to convey a much older art.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Across eight episodes, with the help of specially recorded musical illustrations and a handpicked team of experts, Gardiner guides listeners through an in-depth investigation into the development of the early-modern mind.

All eight episodes in the series are now available - listen on our website by clicking here, or stream/download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Deezer.

The series at a glance
The first three decades of the 17th century saw intellectual ferment bubbling up across Europe, epitomised by a single generation of visionary artists and scientists, all born in the 1560s or ’70s. Galileo, Kepler, and Bacon spearheaded a scientific and philosophical revolution, while Shakespeare, Caravaggio and Rubens made radical innovations in the arts, as did a pioneer group of women creative artists and interpreters. This constellation of game-changers extended the map of human knowledge, overturned traditional views, and helped usher in the modern world. But why do historians routinely overlook their exact contemporary, the composer Claudio Monteverdi, whose contributions were no less ground-breaking. Bringing his work and its historical context to life with the help of specially recorded musical illustrations and a handpicked team of experts, Sir John Eliot Gardiner guides listeners through an in-depth investigation into the causes of this seismic shift and the development of the early-modern mind.

​Podcast Producer: Bill Lloyd

Episode 1: Something in the air

Episode 2: The “Intertrafficke of the minde”

Episode 3: The new art of science

Episode 4: How music catches up

Episode 5: The anatomy of melancholy

Episode 6: “More beautiful than the truth”

Episode 7: Celebrating the self

Episode 8: The window of opportunity closes

​Monteverdi Podcast recording sessions - Beatus vir


Podcast series contributors

Reinhold Baumstark
Tim Carter
David Freidberg
Roseen Giles
Jonathan Jones
Charles Nicholl
Sir Roger Penrose
Elieen Reeves
Ellen Rosand
Dame Janet Suzman
Raymond Tallis
Oliver Webber
Richard Wistreich
Laurie Stras
Elizabeth Kenny
Marco Postinghel

Recording soloists

​Anna Dennis soprano
Silvia Frigato soprano
Francesca Biliotti alto
Krystian Adam tenor
Peter Davoren tenor
Gareth Treseder tenor
John Taylor Ward bass-baritone

Recording instrumentalists

Kati Debretzeni, Oliver Webber
violins
Kinga Gaborjani
viola da gamba and lirone
Valerie Botwright
double bass
Paolo Zanzu
harpsichord & organ
Elizabeth Kenny
chitarrone & renaance guitar
Gwyneth Wentink
triple harp