Domenico Maria Ferrabosco (Ferabosco) (14 February 1513 – February 1574) was an Italian composer and singer of the Renaissance, and the eldest musician in a large prominent family from Bologna. He spent his career both in Bologna and Rome. His surviving music is all vocal, consisting of madrigals and motets, although he is principally known for his madrigals, which musicologist Alfred Einstein compared favorably to those of his renowned contemporary Cipriano de Rore.
Renaissance music is vocal and instrumental music written and performed in Europe during the Renaissance era. Consensus among music historians 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 it is understood in other disciplines. As in the other arts, the music of the period was significantly influenced by the developments which define the Early Modern period: the rise of humanistic thought; the recovery of the literary and artistic heritage of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome; increased innovation and discovery; the growth of commercial enterprises; the rise of a bourgeois class; and the Protestant Reformation. From this changing society emerged a common, unifying musical language, in particular, the polyphonic style of the Franco-Flemish school, whose greatest master was Josquin des Prez.
Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, at the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million people.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
Born in Bologna, Domenico was one of four sons of Annibale Ferrabosco, members of a distinguished Bolognese family whose genealogical records date back to the middle of the 15th century. Domenico is the first of the family known to be a musician.Little is known about his early life. He was a singer at the cathedral of San Petronio, and by 1540 had established a high enough reputation for his various musical activities that the city officials gave him a lifetime stipend to oversee the palace musicians.
The Basilica of San Petronio is a minor basilica and church of the Archdiocese of Bologna located in Bologna, Emilia Romagna, northern Italy. It dominates Piazza Maggiore. The basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Petronius, who was the bishop of Bologna in the fifth century. Construction began in 1390 and its main facade has remained unfinished since. The building was transferred from the city to the diocese in 1929; the basilica was finally consecrated in 1954. It has been the seat of the relics of Bologna's patron saint only since 2000; until then they were preserved in the Santo Stefano church of Bologna.
Sometime in the 1540s he went to Rome, and he became magister puerorum (director of the boy's choir) for the Julian Chapel in 1546. However, due to family obligations he returned to Bologna in 1547, and became maestro di cappella (choir director) at San Petronio, the church where he had previously been a singer, in 1548. The Bolognese Senate also granted him a non-musical position, Regulator et scriba campionis creditorum Montis portarum.He moved back to Rome in 1550, where he was appointed to be cantore pontificio (singer in the papal chapel) on 27 November, although he did not begin performing the duties of this position until April 1551. Palestrina was one of the other composers and singers working in the principal Roman chapels at that time, and the two of them, along with all the other married singers, were removed from their posts, on pension, in September 1555 under an edict by the new Pope Paul IV, who decided to more rigidly enforce the rule on celibacy for his musicians than had his predecessors. Ferrabosco probably did not go back to Bologna after this, but instead went to Paris with his family, where three of his sons – including Alfonso, who was to become a renowned musician in England much later – enjoyed the patronage of the influential Cardinal of Lorraine, Charles de Guise.
The Cappella Giulia, officially the Reverend Musical Chapel Julia of the Sacrosanct Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, is the choir of St. Peter's Basilica that sings for all solemn functions of the Vatican Chapter, such as Holy Mass, Lauds, and Vespers, when these are not celebrated by the Pope. The choir has played an important role as an interpreter and a proponent of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony.
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition. He had a lasting influence on the development of church music, and his work is considered as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony.
Pope Paul IV, C.R., born Gian Pietro Carafa, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 23 May 1555 to his death in 1559. While serving as papal nuncio in Spain, he developed an anti-Spanish outlook that later coloured his papacy. A part of Papal States was invaded by Spain during his papacy and in response to this, he called for a French military intervention. To avoid a conflict at the same time of the Italian War of 1551–1559, the Papacy and Spain reached a compromise with the Treaty of Cave: French and Spanish forces left the Papal States and the Pope adopted a neutral stance between France and Spain.
By 1570 Ferrabosco was back in Bologna taking care of his estate, arranging for succession of his Senate-granted scribal position to his eldest son, and making out his will, which was dated 1573. He died in February 1574 in Bologna; by this time his most famous son, Alfonso, was making a name for himself in England.
Ferrabosco published only one book of his works, a large collection of 45 madrigals for four voices in 1542 (by Antonio Gardano in Venice). They were similar in style to the early madrigals by Jacques Arcadelt, Philippe Verdelot, and Costanzo Festa. Alfred Einstein praised the book, saying of Ferrabosco's art: "His work lasts, because he has access to a form of expression which was completely closed to Cipriano de Rore, namely the expression of the graceful and the attractive."Regarding the music itself he adds: "...homophony is enlivened by light polyphony and reflects a noble sentimentality which is not easily disturbed in its spiritual equilibrium." Unlike Rore, who was the most innovative madrigalist of mid-century, as well as one of the most famous, Ferrabosco was content to write in the style of the pioneers of the 1530s, such as Verdelot, in a light and graceful manner, avoiding the chromaticism and expressive intensity that defined the mid-century madrigal. Yet his music appears alongside Rore's, for example in that composer's second madrigal book for five voices (1544) which includes Ferrabosco's setting of the sonnet Più d'alto Pin ch'in mezz'un'orto sia.
Antonio Gardano was a French-born Italian composer and important music publisher based in Venice.
Jacques Arcadelt was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance, active in both Italy and France, and principally known as a composer of secular vocal music. Although he also wrote sacred vocal music, he was one of the most famous of the early composers of madrigals; his first book of madrigals, published within a decade of the appearance of the earliest examples of the form, was the most widely printed collection of madrigals of the entire era. In addition to his work as a madrigalist, and distinguishing him from the other prominent early composers of madrigals – Philippe Verdelot and Costanzo Festa – he was equally prolific and adept at composing chansons, particularly late in his career when he lived in Paris.
Philippe Verdelot was a French composer of the Renaissance, who spent most of his life in Italy. He is commonly considered to be the father of the Italian madrigal, and certainly was one of its earliest and most prolific composers; in addition he was prominent in the musical life of Florence during the period after the recapture of the city by the Medici from the followers of Girolamo Savonarola.
Some of his music shows the influence of the contemporary French chanson, for example a strambotto he set prior to 1554, in the collection De diversi autori il quarto libro de Madrigali a quattro voci a note bianche indicates a possible connection with a set of chansons published in 1548 in Lyon by Dominique Phinot, both in its subject matter, rhythm, and sonority.
A chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specializing in chansons is known as a "chanteur" (male) or "chanteuse" (female); a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.
Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.
Dominique Phinot was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance, active in Italy and southern France. He was highly regarded at the time for his motets, which anticipate the style of Palestrina, and in addition he was an early pioneer of polychoral writing.
As texts for his madrigals, Ferrabosco preferred love lyrics, including works by Petrarch, Pietro Bembo, Ludovico Ariosto, and others; many of the poets remain anonymous.
By far Ferrabosco's most famous composition was the madrigal Io mi son giovinetta, a ballata from Boccaccio's Decameron (Neifile's song from the end of the ninth day), a madrigal which became so extraordinarily popular that it appeared in dozens of madrigal prints for the next hundred years, matching the popularity of Jacques Arcadelt's Il bianco e dolce cigno. It appeared in the 1542 anthology Primo libro d'i Madrigali de diversi eccellentissimi autori a misura di breve, along with the works of many other composers; Palestrina used it as the basis for a mass for four voices, presumably after making Ferrabosco's acquaintance in Rome; he published the mass in 1570. Vincenzo Galilei, father of the astronomer, arranged it for lute, and its last known reprint dates from 1654.
In addition to his madrigals, Ferrabosco wrote motets, some of which appear in anthologies. He wrote a five-voice setting of Ascendens Christus as well as a five-voice setting of Usquequo, Domine. Ferrabosco's complete works are available in an edition by R. Charteris in Corpus mensurabilis musicae, vol. 102 (1992).
Giaches de Wert was a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance, active in Italy. Intimately connected with the progressive musical center of Ferrara, he was one of the leaders in developing the style of the late Renaissance madrigal. He was one of the most influential of late sixteenth-century madrigal composers, particularly on Claudio Monteverdi, and his later music was formative on the development of music of the early Baroque era.
Cyprien «Cipriano» de Rore was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance, active in Italy. Not only was he a central representative of the generation of Franco-Flemish composers after Josquin des Prez who went to live and work in Italy, but he was one of the most prominent composers of madrigals in the middle of the 16th century. His experimental, chromatic, and highly expressive style had a decisive influence on the subsequent development of that secular music form.
A madrigal is a secular vocal music composition of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, polyphonic madrigals are unaccompanied; the number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six. It is quite distinct from the Italian Trecento madrigal of the late 13th and 14th centuries, with which it shares only the name.
Costanzo Festa was an Italian composer of the Renaissance. While he is best known for his madrigals, he also wrote sacred vocal music. He was the first native Italian polyphonist of international renown, and with Philippe Verdelot, one of the first to write madrigals, in the infancy of that most popular of all sixteenth-century Italian musical forms.
Alfonso Ferrabosco was an Italian composer. While mostly famous as the solitary Italian madrigalist working in England, and the one mainly responsible for the growth of the madrigal there, he also composed much sacred music. He also may have been a spy for Elizabeth I while he was in Italy.
Bernardo Pisano was an Italian composer, priest, singer, and scholar of the Renaissance. He was one of the first madrigalists, and the first composer anywhere to have a printed collection of secular music devoted entirely to himself.
The Lagrime di San Pietro is a cycle of 20 madrigals and a concluding motet by the late Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus. Written in 1594 for seven voices, it is structured as three sequences of seven compositions. The Lagrime was to be Lassus’ last composition: he dedicated it to Pope Clement VIII on May 24, 1594, three weeks before his death, and it was published in Munich the next year.
Maistre Jhan was a French composer of the Renaissance, active for most of his career in Ferrara, Italy. An enigmatic figure, of whom little biographical information has yet emerged, he was one of the earliest composers of madrigals as well as a prominent musician at the Este court in the early 16th century.
Perissone Cambio was a Franco-Flemish composer and singer of the Renaissance, active in Venice. He was one of the most prominent students and colleagues of Adrian Willaert during the formative years of the Venetian School, and published several books of madrigals in the 1540s.
Pietro Taglia was an Italian composer of the Renaissance, active in Milan, known for his madrigals. Stylistically he was a progressive, following the innovations of more famous composers such as Cipriano de Rore in Venice, and his music was well-known at the time.
Sebastiano Festa was an Italian composer of the Renaissance, active mainly in Rome. While his musical output was small, he was one of the earliest composers of madrigals, and was influential on other early composers of madrigals, such as Philippe Verdelot. He may have been related to his more famous contemporary Costanzo Festa, another early madrigal composer.
Alfonso dalla Viola was an Italian composer and instrumentalist of the Renaissance. He was the principal composer at the Este court in Ferrara for about four decades in the middle sixteenth century, and was renowned as a player of several instruments, including the viola d'arco. While much of his incidental music, composed for court entertainments, is lost, several books of his madrigals have survived. His position as court composer in Ferrara paralleled that of Francesco Corteccia in the competing city of Florence.
Giacomo Fogliano was an Italian composer, organist, harpsichordist, and music teacher of the Renaissance, active mainly in Modena in northern Italy. He was a composer of frottole, the popular vocal form ancestral to the madrigal, and later in his career he also wrote madrigals themselves. He also wrote some sacred music and a few instrumental compositions.
Stefano Venturi del Nibbio was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance, active in Venice and Florence. In addition to composing madrigals in a relatively conservative style, works which were published as far away as England, he collaborated with Giulio Caccini on one of the earliest operas, Il rapimento di Cefalo (1600).
Nicolao Dorati was an Italian composer and trombone player of the Renaissance, active in Lucca. Although he was primarily an instrumentalist, all of his published music is vocal, and consists mainly of madrigals.
Ippolito Chamaterò was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance, originally from Rome but active in northern Italy. He wrote both sacred and secular music, particularly madrigals; all of his surviving music is vocal. His sacred musical style was in conformance with the Counter-Reformation musical ideals following the Council of Trent, and his madrigals were related stylistically to those of Adrian Willaert and Cipriano de Rore.
Oltremontani were those of the Franco-Flemish School of composers who dominated the musical landscape of Northern Italy during the middle of the sixteenth Century. The role of the oltremontani composers at the ducal courts of Italy was analogous to the dominance at the Spanish court of the Flemish chapel, and other composers of the Franco-Flemish School in Germany and France.
Girolamo Scotto was an Italian printer, composer, businessman and bookseller of the Renaissance, active mainly in Venice. He was the most influential member of the firm of Venetian printers, the House of Scotto, which existed from the late 15th century until 1615. At its peak in the 1560s, the Scotto firm under Girolamo was one of the preeminent publishing firms of Europe, producing volumes on law, scholasticism, philosophy, medicine, theology, and ancient literature in addition to music. Only the firm of Gardano produced more books of music in the 16th century than the House of Scotto under Girolamo; over half of Scotto's publications, 409 out of approximately 800 in total, were books of music.
Ippolito Baccusi was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance, active in northern Italy, including Venice, Mantua, and Verona. A member of the Venetian School of composers, he had a strong reputation as a master of counterpoint, and wrote both sacred and secular vocal music.