Research question: How the relationship between seconda prattica (Claudio Monteverdi) and poetica del gesto (Luciano Berio) can be absorbed in a singing study process and which are the practical results/vocal consequences?
This research wants to investigate through a personal vocal approach the nature of the connection between music and text in Claudio Monteverdi’s and Luciano Berio’s compositions. It started with my personal wish as a singer to be able to express feelings behind words in such a way that the relation between both becomes more clear. I found in the connection between these two composers the perfect ground to build this vocal study path which I documented with recordings. This vocal path has proven to be full of inspiration and stimuli: on one side the open, honest and modern full of love language of Monteverdi, which shapes the harmony according to the meaning of the text (pone l’armonia serva all’orazione). On the other side the inspiring, rich, creative and fascinating writing of Luciano Berio that with his poetics of the gesture seems to reveal in a direct and elegant way a world of infinite possibilities of colorful combinations between musical sounds and words. This research exposition, is divided in four main chapters. The first one is an introduction to Monteverdi and his seconda prattica in which the doctrine of affections is exposed with a special focus at the Lamento d'Arianna along with my research about vocal interpretation. The second chapter describes the musical context in Italy at the beginning of the 20th-century observing how the new composers looked back at the past and in particular at Monteverdi and his contemporaries; in the third chapter Luciano Berio's poetics of gesture will be exposed and it will be observed how some of his composition refer to Monteverdi's seconda prattica. A final chapter will show, with a video recording, my vocal research during the approach to their music.