Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/278

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


to the Villanella, or Fa la. On the occasion of the marriage of Cosmo I. de' Medici with Leonora of Toledo, in 1539, Corteccia, in conjunction with Matteo Rampollini, Pietro Masaconi, Baccio Moschini, and the Roman Composer, Costanzo Festa, wrote the Music for an entertainment consisting almost entirely of Madrigals, inter- mixed with a few Instrumental pieces, the whole of which were printed at Venice, by Antonio Gardane. A similar performance graced the marriage of Francesco de' Medici with Bianca Capello, in 1579, on which occasion Palestrina contributed his Madrigal ' felice ore.' For such festivities as these, the Florentines were always ready ; but their greatest triumph was reserved for a later period, which must be discussed in the second division of our subject.

IX. THE SCHOOLS or LOMBARDT were always very closely allied to those of Venice : indeed, the geographical relations of the two Provinces favoured an interchange of Masters which could scarcely fail to produce a close similarity, if not identity of style. Costanzo Porta, the greatest of Lombard Masters, though a native of Cre- mona, spent the most productive portion of his life at Padua. Orazio Vecchi wrote most of his best works at Modena. Apart from these, the best writers of the School were Ludovico Balbo (Porta's greatest pupil), Giac. Ant. Pic- cioli, Giuseppe Caimo, Giuseppe Biffi, Paolo Cima, Pietro Pontio, and, lastly, Giangiacomo Gastoldi, who brought the Fa la, the Frottola, and the Balletto, to a degree of perfection which ha;} rarely, if ever, been equalled. The Lombard School also claims as its own the famous Theo- rist, Franchinus Gafurius, who wrote most of his more important works at Milan, though the earliest known edition of his earliest production appeared at Naples, in 1480.

X. To THE NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL belongs another Theorist of distinction, Joannes Tinctoris, the compiler of the first Musical Dictionary on record. 1 Naples also claims a high place, among her best Composers, for Fabricio Dentice, who lived so long in Rome, that he is usually classed among the Roman Masters, though he was un- doubtedly, by birth, a Neapolitan, and a bright ornament of the School ; as were also Giov. Leon, Primavera, Luggasco Luggaschi, and other accomplished Madrigalists, whose lighter works take rank with the best Balletti and Frottole of Milan and Florence.

XI. THE SCHOOL OF BOLOGNA exhibits so few characteristics of special interest, that we may safely dismiss it, with those of other Italian cities of less importance, from our present enquiry, and proceed to study the progress of Polyphony in other countries.

XII. The Founder of THE GERMAN POLY- PHONIC SCHOOL was Adam de Fulda, born about 1460; a learned Monk, more celebrated as a writer on subjects associated with Music, than as a Composer, though his Motet, 'Overa lux

1 Joan. Tinctoris ' Termlnorum Musicae difflnitorlum.' No date. Only a very few copies are believed to be in existence : but a cheap reprint may be had ot Messrs. Cocks & Co.. New Burlington Street.


et gloria,' printed by Glareanus, shows that his knowledge of Counterpoint was not confined to its theoretical side. This remarkable Composi- tion, like the more numerous works of Heinrich Finck (a contemporary writer, of great and varied talent), Thomas Stolzer, Hermann Finck (a nephew of Heinrich), Heinrich Isaak, Ludwig Senfl, and others long forgotten even by their own countrymen, bears so close an analogy to the style cultivated in the Netherlands, that it is im- possible to imagine the German Masters obtaining their knowledge from any other source than that provided by their Flemish neighbours. Isaak born about 1440 was one of the most learned Contrapuntists of the period, and, in all essential particulars, a follower of the Flemish School; though his talent as a Melodist was altogether exceptional. It seerns quite certain that he was the Composer of the grand old Tune, ' Inspruck, ich muss Dich lassen,' afterwards known as ' Nun ruhen alle W alder,' and ' O Welt, ich muss Dich lassen,' and treated over and over again by Sebastian Bach, in his Cantatas. 2 And this cir- cumstance introduces us to an entirely new and original feature in the German School. The pro- gress of the Reformation undoubtedly retarded the development of the higher branches of Polyphony very seriously. With the discontinuance of the Mass, the demand for ingenuity of construction came to an end ; or was, at best, confined to the Saecular Chanson. But, at the same time, there arose a pressing necessity for that advanced form of the Faux-bourdon which so soon developed itself into the Four-part Choral ; and, in this, the German Composers distinguished themselves, if not above all others, at least as the equals of the best contemporary writers witness the long list of Choral books, from the time of Walther to the close of the 1 7th century. We all know to what splendid results this new phase of Art eventually led ; but, for the time being, it acted only as a hindrance to healthful progress ; and, notwithstanding the good work wrought by Nicholas Paminger, the last great Master of the School, who died at Passau in 1608, it would, in all probability, have produced a condition of absolute stagnation, but for an unforeseen in- fusion of new life from Italy.

XIII. THE SCHOOLS OP MUNICH AND NUREMBERG must be regarded, not as later de- velopments of Teutonic Art, but as foreign im- portations, to which Germany was indebted for an impulse which afterwards proved of infinite service to her. They were founded, respectively, by Orlando di Lasso, and Hans Leo Hasler ; the first a Netherlander, and the last a true Ger- man. Of Orlando di Lasso, so much has al- ready been recorded, in our second volume, that it is unnecessary to dilate upon his history here. Suffice it then to say, that, thanks to his long residence in Italy, his style united all the best qualities of the Flemish and the Italian Schools, and enabled him to set an example, at Munich, which the Germans were neither too cold to appreciate, nor too proud to turn to their own

2 See vol. i. p. 761 b.

�� �