Claudio Monteverdi's (Cremona 1567 - Venezia 1643) nine books of madrigals can be divided into three groups. The first two books were written in the so-called Cremonese period (until 1590), when the composer was still very much under the influence of his teacher, Marcantonio Ingegneri. Books 3-5 were composed during the Mantuan years (1591-1612); the innovative style of these compositions - especially those in the fourth book - gave origin to a controversy with Artusi and other musicians, which ended, on Monteverdi's side, with the theoretical definition of 'seconda pratica', which is mentioned in the preface to the fifth book, and further developed by his brother Cesare in the introduction to Scherzi musicali (1607). The last four books were conceived during the composer's Venetian years; in 1613 Monteverdi was hired as maestro di cappella in S. Marco, an office he held until his death; he thus became the foremost musical figure in the entire Republic. The ninth book was published posthumously in Venice (1651).This is the first complete Urtext publication including the entire corpus of madrigals composed by the great Cremonese master. An edition which was impatiently expected by musicologists and musicians who have until now had to use the admirable, albeit timeworn Malipiero edition.Every volume will be issued both in modern and original clefs. Vocal part-books and instrumental parts will be available upon request.