Orlando di Lasso(redirected from Lassus, Orlandus)
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Lasso, Orlando di
See A. Einstein, The Italian Madrigal (1949); G. Reese, Music in the Renaissance (2d ed. 1961); and studies by W. Boettiches (1958) and H. Leuchtmann (1976).
Lasso, Orlando Di
(or Roland de Lassus). Born circa 1532 in Mons; died June 14, 1594, in Munich. Franco-Flemish composer.
Lasso was the foremost representative of the Netherlands school and one of the greatest masters of polyphony. As a child he was a choirboy in Mons. He entered the service of Duke Ferdinand of Gonzaga in 1544 and traveled with him to Sicily, Italy, France, and England. He moved to Munich in 1556; he sang in the ducal chapel, which he directed from 1563 until his death in 1594.
Lasso was famous throughout Europe. A Renaissance man, he combined various national music cultures in his music and created model works of choral polyphony in diverse genres of secular and sacred music. His music expresses a range of emotions from deep sorrow to humor, and his lyrics vary from philosophical meditations to a rather vulgar everyday-life setting; Lasso set stormy dramatic passions and subtle spiritual feelings to music. Most of the more than 2,000 songs he wrote were based on folk melodies.
Lasso’s greatest sacred works are his motets (more than 1,200; The Great Music Creation, a collection of 516 motets, was published posthumously in Monaco in 1604), Penitential Psalms (1565), and Masses (57; mostly a capella). The choral and orchestral sound of his polyphonic works is colorful and full of splendor, succulence, and dramatic force.
Lasso used verses by classical and contemporary poets as well as his own words as lyrics for his secular works—Italian madrigals, French part-songs, and German polyphonic lieder (his song “Echo” is known throughout the world and is performed by Soviet choirs). The colloquialisms, humor, and imagery of his works are characteristic of the Netherlands “genre” style. Lasso founded a school of composition; G. Gabrieli was his greatest student.
REFERENCESBulychev, V. (M. V. Ivanov-Boretskii). Orlando Lasso: Biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1908.
Boetticher, W. Orlando di Lasso und seine Zeit. Kassel-Basel, 1958.
B. V. LEVIK