LASSO, Orlando di

A cosmopolitan master of all the important vocal genres of his age, Orlando di Lasso became the most published composer of the sixteenth century. He was born in Mons, the capital of the province of Hainaut in present-day Belgium. By the time of his birth, singers employed by the churches of Hainaut and its neighboring territories and choirboys trained in the schools attached to these churches were sought by churches and courts throughout Europe. Samuel Quick­elberg, Lasso's first biographer, reported in 1566 that the composer received his early education at such a school in Mons and was three times abducted on account of the beauty of his voice. Twice his parents secured his return; the third time he remained with his abductor, Fernando Gonzaga, viceroy of Sicily and general in the army of Emperor Charles V.* Following the Peace of Crepy in 1544, Lasso traveled through France to Mantua, Sicily, and Milan with Gon­zaga, whom he served until after the age of sixteen, when his voice began to change. In 1549 he traveled to Naples, where he remained for approximately three years in the service of Giovanni Battista d'Azzia, Marchese della Terza, whose poem Euro gentil he set to music. In late 1551 Lasso moved to Rome, where by 1553 he had become choirmaster at the Church of St. John Lateran, the same post Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina* assumed in 1555. Having learned that his parents were gravely ill, Lasso returned to Mons in 1554, only to find that both parents had already died.
Following sojourns in England and France, he settled in Antwerp, where he enjoyed the support of a circle of prominent citizens. His first compositions were published there and in Venice in 1555, and during the next forty years his music appeared in over 530 publications. In 1556 Lasso became tenor in the court chapel of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria in Munich. From the beginning his salary exceeded that of his superior, the choirmaster Ludwig Daser, and in 1562 Lasso replaced Daser. His duties required him to provide music both for the liturgical services of the duke's chapel (mainly for the Mass and vespers) and the secular entertainments of the court. Despite his increasing international fame and offers of employment from King Charles IX of France in 1574 and Prince August of Saxony in 1580, Lasso chose to remain in Munich for the rest of his life. Several months before his death in 1579, Duke Albrecht had guaranteed Lasso four hundred gulden annually for the rest of his life; in 1587 Lasso re­ceived from Albrecht's successor, Wilhelm V, an additional guarantee that his wife would receive one hundred gulden per year in the event he preceded her in death. Two of Lasso's sons became composers and served in the Bavarian court chapel.
Lasso's unparalleled international popularity derived from his mastery of di­verse genres, stylistic versatility, and ability to mirror in his music the sense of his verbal texts, whose themes range from the frivolous and obscene to the most profound expressions of Counter-Reformation piety. His enormous oeuvre in­cludes around 150 French chansons, around 200 Italian madrigals, around 90 German lieder, around 70 masses, 101 magnificats, and over 500 motets.
J. Haar, "Orlande de Lassus," in The New Grove High Renaissance Masters, 1984.
David Crook

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lasso, Orlando di — ▪ Flemish composer Latin  Orlandus Lassus,  also called  Roland De Lassus  born 1530/32, Mons, Spanish Hainaut died June 14, 1594, Munich  Flemish composer whose music stands at the apex of the Franco Netherlandish style that dominated European… …   Universalium

  • Orlando di Lasso — (* 1532 in Mons, Burgundische Niederlande; † 14. Juni 1594 München, Herzogtum Bayern), auch Orlande oder Roland de Lassus; auch lat. Rolandus Lassus (Orlando selbst unterschrieb oft in einer Mischform dieser Versionen) war einer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Orlando di Lasso — Orlando di Lasso. Orlando di Lasso, conocido también como Orlandus Lassus, Roland de Lassus, Roland Delattre, Orlande de Lassus (1532 14 de junio de 1594) fue un compositor franco flamenco del Renacimiento tardío. Junto con Palestrina y Victoria… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lasso [2] — Lasso, Orlando di L., Roland de Latre, geb. 1530 in Mons im Hennegau, wurde als Knabe wegen seiner schönen Stimme entführt, kam in die Dienste Ferdinands Gonzaga, Vicekönigs von Neapel, welcher ihn mit nach Italien nahm u. dort für seine… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Lasso [2] — Lasso, Orlando di, s. Lassus …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Lasso [2] — Lasso, Orlando di, oder Orlandus Lassus, nächst Palestrina der größte Tonsetzer des 16. Jahrh., geb. 1520 zu Mons, 1541 – 49 Kapellmeister an der Kirche San Giovanni in Laterano in Rom, seit 1557 Kapellmeister in München, gest. das. 14. Juni… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Lasso [2] — Lasso, Orlando di, oder Orlandus Lassus, nach Palestrina der berühmteste Componist seiner Zeit, geb. 1530 zu Mons, kam jung nach Italien, wo er sich in der Musik ausbildete, ward 1551 Kapellmeister bei St. Lateran in Rom, hierauf bei Herzog… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Orlando di Lasso — Roland de Lassus Roland de Lassus Orlando di Lasso, Orlande de Lassus, Roland Delattre Naissance 1532 Mons …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Orlando Lassus — Roland de Lassus Roland de Lassus Orlando di Lasso, Orlande de Lassus, Roland Delattre Naissance 1532 Mons …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Orlando de Lassus — Roland de Lassus Roland de Lassus Orlando di Lasso, Orlande de Lassus, Roland Delattre Naissance 1532 Mons …   Wikipédia en Français

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