Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

By: Ryan McDonough

Biographical Details

  • Most people think that he was born on December 27th 1525 but there is no proof of this.
  • No matter what the date was he was born in Palestrina, Italy.
  • He spent most of his life in Rome, Italy.
  • "During this formative period he probably trained with one of the Franco-Flemings in Rome: Robin Mallapert, Firmin Le Bel, or Jacques Arcadelt" (Palestrina).
  • He was a composer supported by important figures of the church. They gave him freedom to compose.
  • He wrote many madrigals, motets, and masses.
  • Some examples of these are: "Assumpta est Maria," "Lamentations," and "Stabat Mater."
  • Some of his patrons were Pius IV, Gregory XIII, and Marcellus II.
  • Work Cited: "Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da (1525-1594)." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Biography in Context. Web. 9 Jan. 2013.
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His Work

  • "Missa Papae Marcelli" which means Pope Marcellus Mass.
  • This piece was created in 1562.
  • It is performed and recorded frequently.
  • This piece has different parts for different voices. It is freely composed which means that it was not based on music of the past. The words can also be heard in the performance. It sounds different from the music of today. (Otten).
  • I find this piece interesting because it changes volume of sound from soft to loud. Another reason why I think that it is interesting is because it has different voices working together.
  • Palestrina was a good example of the opposite of secularism because his music was religious. He avoided making secular music. His aim was to create music that supported religious texts.
  • Work Cited: Otten, Joseph. "Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.
'Kyrie': Missa Papae Marcelli * Palestrina / Tallis Scholars 1980