Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi Da


(Palestrina). Born circa 1525 in Palestrina, near Rome; died Feb. 2, 1594, in Rome. Italian composer; head of the Roman school of polyphony.

From 1544 to 1551, Palestrina was organist and choirmaster at the principal church in the town of Palestrina. In 1551 he came to Rome, where he held positions in the pontifical choir, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the Sistine Chapel. Most of his creative work is religious a capella music. He created striking examples of a transparent polyphony that does not obscure the text. His music is distinguished for a balance between polyphonic and harmonic principles, as well as for a tranquil euphony. Dramatic effects and sharp contrasts, which are typical of works by many of his contemporaries, are alien to his art, which is serene and reflective.

Palestrina achieved a new, clearer, more flowing expressiveness in polyphonic music. He transformed vocal polyphony, revealing its harmonic possibilities. For this reason, like other composers of his time, Palestrina is considered a forerunner of the stylistic revolution of the turn of the 17th century. He wrote more than 100 masses and approximately 180 motets, as well as hymns, magnificats, and spiritual and secular madrigals.


Werke, vols. 1–33. Leipzig, 1862–1903.
Le opere complete, vols. 1–29. Rome, 1939–62. (Publication in progress.)


Ivanov-Boretskii, M. V. Palestrina. Moscow, 1909.
Ferracci, E. II Palestrina. Rome, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rostirolla, `La Cappella Giulia in San Pietro negli anni del magistero di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina', Atti del convegno di studi palestriniani, 28 settembre -- 2 ottobre 1975, ed.
Trinita party in Perugia: 'conducevano una musica di voci eletti, capo del quale era Giovanni da Palestrina illustro compositore'.
Mischiati, 'Il manoscritto corsiniano dei Ricercari di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina', Atti del II convegno internazionale di studi palestriniani, pp.177--201.
Only seventeen editions do not include at least brief observations about the individual piece; mysteriously, ten of the eleven works by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina omit such information, as do three of the four Victoria pieces.
And, in fact, Julius himself was the first person to abuse his own reform, when on 13 January 1555 he ordered the choir to accept a favourite musician, none other than Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, as a member without examination ('absque ullo examine secundum motum proprium quod habebamus et absque consensu cantorum', grumpily remarks the diarist of the papal choir recording the entrance of the man who more than any other composer was to personify music in the Sistine Chapel).(11)
The disc's third and last section is an audio-only selection of performances culled from previous Tallis Scholars recordings, including one of a piece by a composer other than Byrd--Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's double-choir setting of Nunc dimittis.
Bach's Fugue in G Major (BWV 577), Samuel Scheidt's Canzon Cornetto a 4, and a lovely ricercar by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Lesser-known pieces by Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Gilles Jullien, and Johannes Brahms are also included.
Fondazione Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, vicolo Pierluigi 3, 1-00036 Palestrina, Italy.
1485-1545), the first representative of the Roman School that culminated with the music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, wrote a series of counterpoint exercises on a cantus firmus, but the collection was assumed lost.
One particularly pleasing inclusion within the anthology that one would not necessarily have predicted are motets by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso, chosen to illustrate the prima pratica.
Nine of the motets discussed extensively in Macey's book do appear in the edition, but these seven important motets do not: Josquin Desprez's Miserere mei, Deus (the earliest Savonarolan motet), settings of Infelix ego by Cipriano de Rore, Nicola Vicentino, Orlando di Lasso, and William Byrd, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's Tribularer si nescirem, and Lupus Hellinck's In te, Domine, speravi.
The Misa Iste confessor also demonstrates the complexity of Spanish and Italian connections by incorporating long passages of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's paraphrase Mass on this chant.