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An added bonus was from Robert Hollingsworth as he shared his understanding of Monteverdi, pointing out fascinating turns of phrase, piercing discords, a subtly mesmerising ground bass, war-like effects and so on.
Take for example the opening, which contrasts different layers of string writing (a quietly insistent ground bass and firefly-dancing violins) with chanting women and loud interjections of "Rex Israel' from the tenors and basses - clear cut but so effective; or the second movement's repeated fortissimo cries of "Woman, Behold thy Son
The composer's Seventh Symphony proved distasteful to some of the critics of his day, with its monotonous ground bass in the first movement and obsessive rhythms in the finale.