ORLANDO DI LASSO
Orlando di Lasso
Legend has it that the young Lassus was abducted three times because of his beautiful voice. The truth is that his parents allowed him to go to Italy to sing at a very young age. Lassus, also known as the “princeps musicorum” [the first among musicians] and the divine Orlando, ...
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Biography Orlando di Lasso
Legend has it that the young Lassus was abducted three times because of his beautiful voice. The truth is that his parents allowed him to go to Italy to sing at a very young age. Lassus, also known as the “princeps musicorum” [the first among musicians] and the divine Orlando, is the most celebrated polyphonist of all the “Fiamminghi” [Flemish]. The internationally oriented Lassus was held to be an inventive master in all genres who through his deep sensitivity to language and expressive text setting lifted vocal polyphony to a higher plane. Devoted to his work, Lassus wrote more than 2,000 highly varied and expressive compositions.
Lassus is born in Bergen (Mons), Henegouwen (Hinaut), in present-day Belgium. He may have been a choirboy at the St Nicholas Church in Bergen in present-day Belgium.
At age 12 he enters into the service of Ferdinand Gonzaga, the envoy of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. With Gonzaga, Lassus travels to Paris, Mantua, Palermo and Milan.
Lassus acquires the prestigious post of kapellmeister at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome.
He takes up residence in Antwerp. His first published music is issued by Gardano in Venice and Susato in Antwerp.
Through his increasing fame, he is given a position as a tenor at the court in Munich of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria.
Lassus becomes the kapellmeister at Albrecht V's ducal court, a post he would hold for the rest of his life. Along with providing music for the many court ceremonies and festivities, his duties include supervising the musical training of choirboys, finding singers and instrumentalists for the court chapel and overseeing music copying. Under his supervision, the “cappella” soon becomes one of Europe's most illustrious music centres. Lassus has many students, including Giovanni and Andrea Gabrieli. Aside visits to German-speaking areas, Italy and the Low Countries, Lassus never leaves the ducal court in Munich, even though he receives offers for work elsewhere. The friendly relationships he develops with his masters undoubtedly play a role in this.
Maximilian II confers noble status on Lassus, an exceptional honour for a musician at that time.
During a stay in Rome, Lassus is granted an audience with Pope Gregory XIII at which he is made a knight in the Order of the Golden Spur.
Lassus' final years are believed to have been clouded by bouts of melancholy. He dies on June 14 in Munich. Like their father, his two sons are composers and remain at the ducal court. With his death, the glorious age of Flemish polyphony comes to an end.
Most of Lassus' motets are republished in a collection titled Magnum opus musicum. This posthumous edition is a mark of his popularity and the respect he commanded.
Discography Orlando di Lasso
|Act||Orlando di Lasso|
|Type and year||CD, 2011|
|Label||Hyperion, CDA 67887|
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.
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