RORE, Cipriano de

(c. 1516-1565)
Cipriano de Rore, a Flemish composer active in Italy, enhanced the expressive power of the Italian madrigal by fusing its lyric poetry with a passionate and affective form of musical expression. As a pioneer of the so-called seconda prattica, his concern was for music to serve the text.
Rore was born in the Netherlands, but it is assumed that he went to Italy early in his life. During the 1540s he studied in Venice with Adrian Willaert,* maestro di cappella at St. Mark's Cathedral. He assumed the post of maestro di cappella at Ferrara around 1547 and in 1561 traveled to Parma to serve Ottavio Farnese. He briefly succeeded Willaert at St. Mark's in 1563, but soon returned to Parma in 1564, where he remained until his death. Rore's madrigals are among the finest of the Renaissance. He carefully se­lected poetry of the highest quality and was particularly fond of setting the sonnets of Petrarch. He strove in his madrigals to make the music serve its text not only by making the words intelligible but by conveying a sense of the text's imagery and emotion in his musical setting. Rore, with his setting of Petrarch's Vergine belle as a set of eleven madrigals in 1548, is credited with creating the madrigal cycle, a form that subsequently became very popular for the remainder of the sixteenth century. Although Rore is best known for his madrigals, he also wrote secular Latin motets, French chansons, and sacred masses and motets. Rore had a profound impact upon the work of all madrigal composers who followed him in the sixteenth century. That impact is evident in the work of Claudio Monteverdi.*
A. Johnson, "Cipriano de Rore," in The New Grove Dictionary ofMusic and Musicians, ed. S. Sadie, vol. 16, 1980:185-90.
Tucker Robison

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

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