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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
Casimiri, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: nuovi documenti biografici, (Rome, 1918), p.30.
Edizione nazionale delle opere di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. [2 April 2003] [6 p.
9, "Come havra vit', Amor," quotes in three places an earlier setting of t he same text by Ruggiero Giovanelli, which itself quotes earlier madrigals by Cipriano da Rore and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. In fact, most of the motives in Quagliati's setting are related to Giovanelli's; the more direct quotes are valuable illustrations for the solo performance of polyphonic madrigals.
(Musica e Musicisti nel Lazio, 3.) Palestrina, Italy: Fondazione Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1995.
Powers juxtaposes Lasso with his great Italian contemporary, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Tables 1 and 2 (pp.
Faced with such impersonal performers' parts, conceptually so distant from (say) the generative sketches of Ludwig van Beethoven or Igor Stravinsky, it is easy for the reader to forget that every motet by Josquin des Prez or mass by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina also passed through a process of gestation and formation, conceivably as turbulent as those of the "Eroica" Symphony or The Rite of Spring.
This style of composition, derived ultimately from homophonic falsobordone psalmody (Cavalli's setting of Domine probasil me even contains a passage in falsobordone}, reveals a second kind of stile antico of the seventeenth century alongside the contrapuntal model of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Cavalli's psalms using cori spezzati also represent a continuing Venetian tradition fulfilling certain liturgical requirements specific to St.
The volume begins, appropriately, with the "Palestrina legend" as handed down by Giuseppe Baini, who wrote the first major biography of the composer (Memorie storico-critiche della vita e delle opere di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina [Rome: Dalla Societa tipografica, 1828; reprinted 1967]).
The prefatory essays by Francesco Luisi and Clemente Lunelli are briefer than one would like and offer few insights into the compositions or manuscripts (represented are mostly little-known Roman musicians but also Orazio Benevoli, Giacomo Carissimi, Agostino Diruta, Giovanni Gabrieli, Orlando di Lasso, Luca Marenzio, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina).
True, we are in fairly good shape with the most high-profile composers of the genre: we have complete (or nearly complete) editions of Jacques Arcadelt, Adrian Willaert, Cipriano de Rore, Orlando di Lasso, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Andrea Gabrieli, Giaches de Wert, Luca Marenzio, and Claudio Monteverdi.