In attempting to describe the meanings of the secular works of Claudio Monteverdi, Gary Tomlinson, in his book Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance, tells the story of Monteverdi’s compositional activities through an evolutionary model. Tomlinson’s story parallels the narratives of Leo Schrade and Denis Arnold in a number of ways, and it unfolds along the lines. Tomlinson views Monteverdi’s first madrigals as early, hesitant steps along well-trodden paths that only infrequently point ahead to the musico-rhetorical triumphs of his mature works. Tomlinson inherits the belief in the value of economical composition from previous generations of musicologists and, like Monteverdi, he follows a well-trodden path. Tomlinson’s complaints about Baci soavi e cari focus on several main defects. First, Guarini’s syntax in the strophe is long-winded at best, contorted and obscure at worst. Second, Monteverdi only partially projected this syntax in his music. Third, the composer’s musical response to the first period seems somewhat schematic.