If you consult your Wikipedia you will find out:
Seconda pratica, literally "second practice", is the counterpart to prima pratica and is more commonly referred to as Stile moderno. The term "Seconda prattica" was coined by Claudio Monteverdi to distance his music from that of e.g. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Gioseffo Zarlino and describes early music of the Baroque period which encouraged more freedom from the rigorous limitations of dissonances and counterpoint characteristic of the prima pratica.
Stile moderno was coined as an expression by Giulio Caccini in his 1602 work Le nuove musiche which contained numerous monodies. New for Caccini's songs were that the accompaniment was completely submissive in contrast to the lyric; hence, more precisely, Caccini's Stile moderno-monodies have ornamentations spelled out in the score, which earlier had been up to the performer to supply. Also this marks the starting point of basso continuo which also was a feature in Caccini's work.
In the preface of his 5th Book of Madrigals (1605) Monteverdi announced a book of his own: Seconda pratica, overo perfettione della moderna musica. Such a book is not extant. But the preface of his 8th Book of Madrigals (1638) seems to be virtually a fragment of it. Therein Monteverdi claims to have invented a new “agitated” style (Genere concitato, later called Stile concitato) to make the music "complete/perfect" ("perfetto").
|Stile Moderno - Arthur Neele, Christopher Bagan, Angela Malmberg, Konstantin Rusianov Bozhinov, Natalie Mackie|
Since I am not completely ignorant of the above I can add that the 17th century is sometimes called the fantastic period of the baroque.
Think of young Turks not wanting to be part of the establishment. Think about punks tired of long, over-the-top guitar solos. Think of Schoenberg wanting to exist music as he knew it. Think experimental.
It seems that in this fantastic period composers dallied with dissonant notes. A few years ago I could hear them in the works of Pandolfi and, amazingly in some Vivaldi cello sonatas. I could not hear, except for a few nicely jarring ones today in a concert that was billed as Dance and Dissonance.
One of my fellow concert goers Marc Destrubé, a virtuoso violinist, who specializes in just about every period of music beginning in the 16th century to the present (and I could be wrong) said, “Those notes were there, you simply have become used to them.”
You could compare that to trying to remember what it was like to first listen to the music of Thelonius Monk. They sounded like wrong notes to me at first and then they became the “right”, wrong notes!
I had a similar experience listening to a Vancouver punk band, the Modernettes for the first time in the late 70s. I could not believe that musicians could possibly be professional and sing off key. I had no idea that the singer, Buck Cherry (aka John Armstrong) was doing his best to sing off key to emulate the music of the proto-punk band The New York Dolls. It was their way, their version of stile moderno to escape the clutches of sugary pop music.
Stile Moderno played the music of composers Andrea Falconieri (c.1585-1656), Dario Castello (?1585-?1630), Giovanni Battista Buonamente (?1595-1642), Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), Salamone Rossi (c.1570-1630). Biagio Marini (1594-1663), and Marco Uccelini (1603-1680). I must confess, and I am not ashamed to, that I only know of three from that batch. I have CDs of Biagio Marini and Falconieri and I first heard Frescobaldi played in a baroque Mexican church in the early 60s. The other composers were empty ciphers. Of note (all nicely explained by Neel) is Salamone Rossi, a virtuoso violinist who was so good that he was accepted by his fellow Mantua musicians and composers in spite of the fact that he was Jewish.
What all that means that with the exception of the Biagio Marini I was listening to new music played by musicians in the know who with their smiles were plainly having fun and we the audience were almost superfluous!
There was a harpsichord solo, Frescobaldi’s Aria detta la Frescobalda in which Bagan explained that it provided later composers with what really is an ancient custom called “sampling”. The first part it would seem was later borrowed by Bach for his famous violin chaconne and the second part was a version of Greensleeves. In Biagio Marini’s Passacalio we were able (and this is indeed rare) listen to the great theorbo very nicely played by Bozhinov. At one point his nose was over the edge of the huge instrument in sort of a baroque version of WWII’s Kilroy Was Here. The base notes of a theorbo have a resonance that no other instrument, be it a guitar or a cello can possibly match. I would say that these notes, this sound is something like vibrating a tuning fork and placing it close to another of a similar frequency. It, too will vibrate in sympathy. As I did.
|Andrea Falconieri - Batalla de Barabaso yerno de Satanás|
I was intrigued by Biagio Marini’s Sonata sopra la Monica (I have it played by Monica Huggett) since I had never noted its name. Neel told me that Monica was a popular tune of the time. I used my imagination and the soothing Sonata for me represented the long suffering Monica waiting for her terrible son, (St. Augustine) to abandon his wicked ways.
The concert ended like the Wedding at Cana, the best was saved for last. Stile Moderno played Marco Uccellini’s Aria Sopra la Bergmesca. This was a wonderful ground with that repeating bass line in which the violins played a melody and everybody smiled including this transfixed concert goer listening with the excitement music I had never heard before.