Willaert, Adriaan


Willaert, Adriaan
(ca. 1490-1562)
   Flemish composer. He was trained by Jean Mouton in Paris but spent most of his career in Italy. By 1515 he was in the service of Cardinal Hippolito d' Este at Rome and travelled to Ferrara in the cardinal's household. After the cardinal's death in 1520, he entered the service of Duke Alfonso I d'Este at Fer-rara, and in 1527 he became maestro di cappella at St. Mark's in Venice, one of the principal musical appointments in Italy. Willaert made visits home to Flanders in 1542 and 1556-1557 but spent the rest of his career at St. Mark's. He trained many leading musicians of the next generation, including Cipriano de Rore, Andrea Gabrieli, and Gioseffe Zarlino. Most of his work was in the form of motets for church use, though he also was an early composer of madrigals, a sec-ular genre in which he followed the tradition of the Venetian humanist Pietro Bembo, who in turn was responsible for the revival of Petrar-chan influence in Italian poetry. More than most Franco-Flemish com-posers of his time, Willaert was strongly influenced by humanism and by native Italian musical practices. He paid great attention to the stress of Latin pronunciation, took care never to permit a rest to interrupt a word or thought, and insisted that printers of music place each syllable of a word directly under the matching musical note. His major publica-tion was a collection of motets and madrigals, Musica nova (1559).

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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