IV. The High Renaissance (16th Century)
IVo: Sacred Music in the Italian Cinquecento outside Venice and Rome.
The only Italian rival that
had in the cultivation of sacred music in the cinquecento was undoubtedly
, but various other centers made noteworthy contributions also,
Naples, where the Spanish Court fostered music for the church. The
excellent Spanish composer and theorist,
Diego Ortiz , summoned by the Duke of Alba, served as
of the Viceroyal Chapel, 1555 to 1570. His successors included
Francisco Martinez di Loscos (1570-1583), Bartolomeo Roy
Jean de Macque , and Macque's pupil,
Giovanni Maria Trabaci .
Among other contributors to Neapolitan
sacred music of the time were
Pomponio Nenna ; the native Neapolitan, Gian Domenico Montella (b. 1570), who
entered the Viceroyal Chapel as a lute-player in 1591; the
Calabrian, Rocco Rodio, whose five-part
Missa de Beata Virgine
may be rendered à 4 by omitting the
Pars quinta , or à 3 either by omitting that voice and the
or by having only the three top parts sung; and
Gesualdo , whose sacred works reveal the liking for chromaticism so
conspicuous in his madrigals.
Florence, Bologna, Modena, and Ferrara
Florence, interest was very clearly concentrated on secular music.
is known to have written a setting of the Lamentations, but this
does not survive.
Alessandro Striggio , though primarily a madrigalist, has left two Masses and a few
motets. Francesco Corteccia was also noted both for his sacred music and the secular, particularly madrigals.
Bologna, the chief musician of the period was
Banchieri . Although essentially a composer of secular music, his
of 1595, containing music for double chorus, has the distinction
of being one of the oldest prints containing an organ part. This,
designated as a
gives the bass of the first chorus and also -- evidently as an
aid to the organist in determining the harmony -- the superius.
Barring is used. The terms "à 4" and "à 8" are
inserted here and there to show whether only the first chorus is
singing or both. A note
A gli sig. organisti
tells the player that where "à 8" appears the superius and
bass of the second chorus are to be added. Banchieri wrote also
Masses, psalms, etc.
Modena, as might be expected,
wrote sacred works much affected by secular traits.
produced a collection of motets à 5 (printed 1598). Here,
too, Paolo Isnardi, musician to the Duke and
maestro di cappella
at the Cathedral, composed Masses, motets, Lamentations, etc.
and, as his successor,
Viola , held the post of
maestro di capella
to Duke Ercole II of Ferrara.
Sacred Music at Mantua
proved himself a worthy incumbent of the post of
maestro di cappella
of Santa Barbara by writing sacred music of high excellence.
Wert's probable assistant, published Masses, motets, vesper
psalms, etc., while Pallavicino , Wert's successor as
to the duke, brought out a volume of motets à 8, à
12, and à 16. Girolamo Belli, who sang in the duke's
choir, printed volumes of
etc. At the Cathedral of St. Peter's in Mantua,
-- who was
from 1594 to 1609 -- made an important early stride in the
history of baroque music with his
Cento concerti ecclesiastici
of 1602. Mantua was the scene also of the composition of
Salomone Rossi 's collection,
Hashirim Asher Lishlomo,
was printed at Venice in 1622. It consists of settings of psalms,
hymns, and prayers for sabbaths and other occasions. The music is
in Italian Renaissance style, without any special Hebraic
character. While the music reads, of course, from left to right,
the Hebrew text runs from right to left.
Sacred Polyphony at Genoa and Milan
Simone Molinaro 's activity included the composition of Masses, motets, and
Magnificats, some being provided with organ bass.
Mathias Hermann Werrecore, a transplanted Netherlander appointed maestro di cappella at the Cathedral, published a collection of sacred motets in 1555, but
was the outstanding composer of sacred music, beginning in 1563,
the year both of his appointment as maestro at the Cathedral and
of the earliest sessions of the Council of Trent devoted to
music. The production of Masses, motets, Magnificats, etc., of
the other notable composer active at Milan--
--includes a collection entitled
Motetti di Orfeo Vecchi Maestro di Cappella di S. Maria della
Scala e d'altri eccellentiss. Musici (1598).
Among the contents are a
which are actually motet adaptations, by Orfeo, of
Vestiva i colli
Io son ferito.
Pre-eminently a church composer, Orfeo at the same time is
clearly a member of a new generation: his Masses are provided
Sacred Polyphony at Cremona, Bergamo, and Brescia
is the chief composer whose career ran its course at
Cremona, the main events of
Monteverdi 's career having unfolded elsewhere. Ingegneri followed the
course of his teacher
in writing Masses in simple style, but did not compose them to
the exclusion of Masses making a greater use of polyphonic
technique. Massaini became
maestro di cappella
in Cremona in 1595, after having formerly served in the same
capacity at Salò, Prague, and Salzburg, and later on at
Piacenza and Lodi. He published Masses, motets, hymns,
Lamentations, etc. Born at Cremona, though active mainly in
Germany, was Cesare Zacharia (Zachariis), who wrote motets,
Bergamo, the Masses and motets of
reveal him in a favorable light.
Antegnati , outstanding in the musical life of
Brescia, where he was born and where he served as cathedral organist, we
have motets, psalms, two books of Masses, etc. Likewise born at
Brescia, but more active at
Trent, was Giovanni Contino (c. 1513-1574), perhaps
Marenzio 's teacher,
maestro di cappella
to the court of Mantua, 1561-1565. His surviving works--all
printed in 1560-1561---include a book of Masses, one of
Lamentations, and two of motets.
Sacred Polyphony in Cities Near Venice
In the vicinity of Venice--and at times in
the city itself--we find
Giovanni Matteo Asola
Costanzo Porta , Balbi,
(not to be confused with Girolamo Belli) at least on occasion at
Composer´s bibliography and music