10 milestones in the history of western music
From Monteverdi's "ravishingly sensuous" opera to Leona Lewis's triumph in the multi-media extravaganza The X Factor, Tim Blanning chooses 10 moments in music history that have struck a chord with western ears
Drama and spectacle
First performed during the 1642–43 season in Venice, this was Monteverdi’s last opera and probably his last work too. Its ravishingly sensuous music perfectly complements Busenello’s libretto (text), recounting the beautiful but amoral Poppaea’s successful campaign to ensnare the Emperor Nero – at his wife, Octavia’s, expense.