Carlo Gesualdo Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa. Carlo Gesualdo (Venosa, 8 March 1560 – Gesualdo, 8 September 1613), also known as Gesualdo da Venosa (Gesualdo from Venosa), Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, was an Italian nobleman, lutenist, composer and murderer. Biography Early life Gesualdo's family had acquired the principality of Venosa in 1560. In addition to Nenna, Gesualdo's accademia included the composers Giovanni de Macque, Scipione Dentice, Scipione Stella, Scipione Lacorcia, Ascanio Mayone, and the nobleman lutenist Ettorre de la Marra. The murders In 1586 Gesualdo married his first cousin, Donna Maria d'Avalos, the daughter of the Marquis of Pescara. Details on the murders are not lacking, as the depositions of witnesses to the magistrates have survived in full. The murders were widely publicized, including in verse by poets such as Tasso and an entire flock of Neapolitan poets, eager to capitalize on the sensation. Accounts on events after the murders differ.
Roman School History and characteristics While composers had almost certainly been working in Rome continuously for the thousand years since the time of Gregory the Great, the development of a consistent style around the middle of the 16th century, due in part to the musical requirements of the Counter-Reformation, led to their being grouped together by music historians under this single label. The combination of the reforms of the Council of Trent with the presence of the extremely talented composers inheriting the Franco-Netherlandish style, was the production of a body of music which has sometimes been held to represent the peak of perfection of Renaissance polyphonic clarity. The subject matter of "16th Century Counterpoint" or "Renaissance Polyphony" as taught in contemporary college music curricula is invariably the codified style of the Roman School, as it was understood by Johann Fux in the early 18th century. Composers References and further reading
Missa Papae Marcelli Style History The mass was composed in honor of Pope Marcellus II, who reigned for three weeks in 1555. Recent scholarship suggests the most likely date of composition is 1562, when it was copied into a manuscript at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Starting in the late 16th century, a legend began that the second of these points, the threat that polyphony might have been banned by the Council because of the unintelligibility of the words, was the impetus behind Palestrina's composition of this mass. Jesuit musicians of the 17th century maintained this rumor, and it made its way into music history books into the 19th century, when historian Giuseppe Baini, in his 1828 biography of Palestrina, couched him as the "savior of polyphony" from a council wishing to wipe it out entirely: On Saturday, 28 April 1565, by order of Cardinal Vitellozzi, all the singers of the papal chapel were gathered together at his residence. Analysis References
Guillaume Dufay Guillaume Dufay (French: [dyfɛ]; also Du Fay, Du Fayt; August 5, c. 1397 – November 27, 1474) was a Franco-Flemish composer of the early Renaissance. As the central figure in the Burgundian School, he was the most famous and influential composer in Europe in the mid-15th century. Life Early life From the evidence of his will, he was probably born in Beersel, in the vicinity of Brussels. He was the illegitimate child of an unknown priest and a woman named Marie Du Fayt. Marie moved with her son to Cambrai early in his life, staying with a relative who was a canon of the cathedral there. From Cambrai to Italy and Savoy From November 1418 to 1420 he was a subdeacon at Cambrai Cathedral. Cardinal Aleman was driven from Bologna by the rival Canedoli family in 1428, and Dufay also left at this time, going to Rome. Return to Cambrai Dufay was to remain in Cambrai through the 1440s, and during this time he was also in the service of the Duke of Burgundy. Play
Western Classical Music (history) Montage of some great classical music composers. From left to right: Top row: Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven; second row: Gioachino Rossini, Felix Mendelssohn, Frédéric Chopin, Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi; third row: Johann Strauss II, Johannes Brahms, Georges Bizet, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonín Dvořák; bottom row: Edvard Grieg, Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninoff, George Gershwin, Aram Khachaturian The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to distinctly canonize the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Beethoven as a golden age. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1836. Characteristics Literature The most outstanding characteristic of classical music is that the repertoire tends to be written down in musical notation, creating a musical part or score. Instrumentation
Josquin des Prez 1611 woodcut of Josquin des Prez, copied from a now-lost oil painting done during his lifetime Josquin des Prez (or Josquin Lebloitte dit Desprez; French: [ʒɔskɛ̃ depʁe]; c. 1450/1455 – 27 August 1521), often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Netherlandish composer of the Renaissance. He is also known as Josquin Desprez and Latinized as Josquinus Pratensis, alternatively Jodocus Pratensis. During the 16th century, Josquin gradually acquired the reputation as the greatest composer of the age, his mastery of technique and expression universally imitated and admired. Life Birth and early career Little is known for certain of Josquin's early life. Around 1466, perhaps on the death of his father, Josquin was named by his uncle and aunt, Gille Lebloitte dit Desprez and Jacque Banestonne, as their heir. The first definite record of his employment is dated 19 April 1477, and it shows that he was a singer at the chapel of René, Duke of Anjou, in Aix-en-Provence. Milan
Renaissance music (1400-1600) Musicians, ca 1600 Renaissance music is music written in Europe during the Renaissance. Consensus among music historians – with notable dissent – has been to start the era around 1400, with the end of the medieval era, and to close it around 1600, with the beginning of the Baroque period, therefore commencing the musical Renaissance about a hundred years after the beginning of the Renaissance as understood in other disciplines. Music, increasingly freed from medieval constraints, in range, rhythm, harmony, form, and notation, became a vehicle for personal expression. From the Renaissance era both secular and sacred music survives in quantity, and both vocal and instrumental. Overview The main characteristics of Renaissance music are: Music based on modes.Richer texture in four or more parts.Blending rather than contrasting strands in the musical texture.Harmony with a greater concern with the flow and progression of chords. Genres Theory and notation
List of Renaissance composers This is a list of composers active during the Renaissance period of European history. Since the 14th century is not usually considered by music historians to be part of the musical Renaissance, but part of the Middle Ages, composers active during that time can be found in the List of Medieval composers. Composers on this list had some period of significant activity after 1400, before 1600, or in a few cases they wrote music in a Renaissance idiom in the several decades after 1600. Timeline Burgundian The Burgundian School was a group of composers active in the 15th century in what is now northern and eastern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, centered on the court of the Dukes of Burgundy. Franco-Flemish The Franco-Flemish School refers, somewhat imprecisely, to the style of polyphonic vocal music composition in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. 1370–1450 1451–1500 1501–1550 1551–1574 French 1370–1450 1451–1500
Adagio for Strings History Barber's Adagio for Strings began as the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11, composed in 1936 while he was spending a summer in Europe with his partner Gian Carlo Menotti, an Italian composer who was a fellow student at the Curtis Institute of Music. The inspiration came from Virgil's Georgics. In the quartet the Adagio follows a violently contrasting first movement (Molto allegro e appassionato) and is succeeded by music which opens with a brief reprise of the music from the first movement (marked Molto allegro (come prima) – Presto). In January 1938 Barber sent an orchestrated version of the Adagio for Strings to Arturo Toscanini. The conductor returned the score without comment, which annoyed Barber. Toscanini took Adagio for Strings on tour to South America and Europe, the first performances of the work on both continents. Composition Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings is a short instrumental piece for orchestra. Critical reception G.
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) Biography Early years Childhood home of Samuel Barber in West Chester, Pennsylvania Barber was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of Marguerite McLeod (née Beatty) and Samuel Le Roy Barber. He was born into a comfortable, educated, social, and distinguished American family. At a very early age, Barber became profoundly interested in music, and it was apparent that he had great musical talent and ability. Dear Mother: I have written this to tell you my worrying secret. Barber attempted to write his first opera, entitled The Rose Tree, at the age of 10. Middle years Barber served in the Army Air Corps in World War II, where he was commissioned to write his Second Symphony, a work he later suppressed. Later years Barber died of cancer in 1981 in New York City at the age of 70. Achievements and awards Barber was initiated, as a full collegiate member, into the Zeta Iota chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity at Howard University in 1952.