While his aim was still to follow the meaning of the verse in great detail, he solved the purely musical problems of thematic development and proportion.Although the dissonances became more severe and the melody sometimes still more angular, the total effect was more varied in emotion and less neurotic.He combined the opulence of dramatic entertainments of the late Renaissance with the straightforwardness of a simple pastoral tale told in recitative, which was the ideal of the Florentines.His recitative is more flexible and expressive than theirs, based on the declamatory melody of his madrigals rather than on their theories about heightened speech.It had an immediate effect on Monteverdi, whose next book of madrigals, published in his first year at Mantua, shows the influence of the new movement on him, though his understanding was imperfect.
It was the advanced musical means, especially his use of intense and prolonged dissonance, that provoked attacks by the conservatives on Monteverdi, who became a figurehead of the avant-garde group.
The crux of his style was that music must exactly match the mood of the verse and that the natural declamation of the words must be carefully followed.
Since Wert chose to use the highly concentrated, emotional lyric poetry of Tasso and Tasso’s rival Battista Guarini, Wert’s music also became highly emotional, if unmelodious and difficult to sing.
The new style and ambience seems to have upset his productivity.
Although he went on composing, he published little for the next 11 years.