Orlande de Lassus

Orlande de Lassus

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Orlande de Lassus (1532 (possibly 1530) – 14 June 1594) was a Franco-Flemish
Franco-Flemish School
In music, the Franco-Flemish School or more precisely the Netherlandish School refers, somewhat imprecisely, to the style of polyphonic vocal music composition in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, and to the composers who wrote it...

 composer of the late Renaissance
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

. He is today considered to be the chief representative of the mature polyphonic
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 style of the Franco-Flemish school
Franco-Flemish School
In music, the Franco-Flemish School or more precisely the Netherlandish School refers, somewhat imprecisely, to the style of polyphonic vocal music composition in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, and to the composers who wrote it...

, and one of the three most famous and influential musicians in Europe at the end of the 16th century (the other two being Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition...

 and Victoria
Tomás Luis de Victoria
Tomás Luis de Victoria, sometimes Italianised as da Vittoria , was the most famous composer of the 16th century in Spain, and one of the most important composers of the Counter-Reformation, along with Giovanni da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso. Victoria was not only a composer, but also an...

).

Life



Lassus was born in Mons
Mons
Mons is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, of which it is the capital. The Mons municipality includes the old communes of Cuesmes, Flénu, Ghlin, Hyon, Nimy, Obourg, Baudour , Jemappes, Ciply, Harmignies, Harveng, Havré, Maisières, Mesvin, Nouvelles,...

 in the County of Hainaut
County of Hainaut
The County of Hainaut was a historical region in the Low Countries with its capital at Mons . In English sources it is often given the archaic spelling Hainault....

 (modern day Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

). Information about his early years is scanty, although some uncorroborated stories have survived, the most famous of which is that he was kidnapped three times because of the singular beauty of his singing voice. At the age of twelve, he left the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 with Ferrante Gonzaga
Ferrante Gonzaga
Ferrante I Gonzaga was an Italian condottiero, a member of the House of Gonzaga and the founder of the branch of the Gonzaga of Guastalla.-Biography:...

 and went to Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

, Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, and later Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 (from 1547 to 1549). While in Milan, he made the acquaintance of the madrigalist Spirito l'Hoste da Reggio, a formative influence on his early musical style.

He then worked as a singer and a composer for Costantino Castrioto in Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 in the early 1550s, and his first works are presumed to date from this time. Next he moved to Rome, where he worked for Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo I de' Medici was Duke of Florence from 1537 to 1574, reigning as the first Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1569.-Biography:...

, who maintained a household there; and in 1553, he became maestro di cappella of the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the ecumenical mother church of Rome and a spectacularly prestigious post indeed for a man only twenty-one years old. However, he stayed there for only a year. (Palestrina would assume this post a year later, in 1555.)

No solid evidence survives for his whereabouts in 1554, but there are contemporary claims that he traveled in France and England. In 1555 he returned to the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 and had his early works published in Antwerp (1555–1556). In 1556 he joined the court of Albrecht V, Duke of Bavaria
Albert V, Duke of Bavaria
Albert V was Duke of Bavaria from 1550 until his death. He was born in Munich to William IV and Marie Jacobaea of Baden.-Early life:Albert was educated at Ingolstadt under good Catholic teachers...

, who was consciously attempting to create a musical establishment on a par with the major courts in Italy. Lassus was one of several Netherlanders to work there, and by far the most famous. He evidently was happy in Munich and decided to settle there. In 1558 he married Regina Wäckinger, the daughter of a maid of honor of the Duchess; they had two sons, both of whom became composers. By 1563 Lassus had been appointed maestro di cappella, succeeding Ludwig Daser in the post. Lassus remained in the service of Albrecht V and his heir, Wilhelm V
William V, Duke of Bavaria
William V, Duke of Bavaria , called the Pious, was Duke of Bavaria from 1579 to 1597.- Education and early life :...

, for the rest of his life.

By the 1560s Lassus had become quite famous, and composers began to go to Munich to study with him. Andrea Gabrieli
Andrea Gabrieli
Andrea Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist of the late Renaissance. The uncle of the somewhat more famous Giovanni Gabrieli, he was the first internationally renowned member of the Venetian School of composers, and was extremely influential in spreading the Venetian style in Italy as...

 went there in 1562, and possibly remained in the chapel for a year; Giovanni Gabrieli
Giovanni Gabrieli
Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, and represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School, at the time of the shift from Renaissance to Baroque idioms.-Biography:Gabrieli was born in Venice...

 also possibly studied with him in the 1570s. His renown had spread outside of strictly musical circles, for in 1570 Emperor Maximilian II conferred nobility upon him, a rare circumstance for a composer; Pope Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII , born Ugo Boncompagni, was Pope from 1572 to 1585. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally-accepted civil calendar to this date.-Youth:He was born the son of Cristoforo Boncompagni and wife Angela...

 knighted him; and in 1571, and again in 1573, the king of France, Charles IX
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

, invited him to visit. Some of these kings and aristocrats attempted to woo him away from Munich with more attractive offers, but Lassus was evidently more interested in the stability of his position, and the splendid performance opportunities of Albrecht's court, than in financial gain. "I do not want to leave my house, my garden, and the other good things in Munich," he wrote to the Duke of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 in 1580, upon receiving an offer for a position in Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

.

In the late 1570s and 1580s Lassus made several visits to Italy, where he encountered the most modern styles and trends. In Ferrara
Ferrara
Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km north...

, the center of avant-garde activity, he doubtless heard the madrigal
Madrigal (music)
A madrigal is a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, polyphonic madrigals are unaccompanied; the number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six....

s being composed for the d'Este
Este
The House of Este is a European princely dynasty. It is split into two branches; the elder is known as the House of Welf-Este or House of Welf historically rendered in English, Guelf or Guelph...

 court; however his own style remained conservative and became simpler and more refined as he aged. In the 1590s his health began to decline, and he went to a doctor named Thomas Mermann for treatment of what was called "melancholia hypocondriaca", but he was still able to compose as well as travel occasionally. His final work was often considered one of his best pieces: an exquisite set of twenty-one madrigali spirituali known as the Lagrime di San Pietro
Lagrime di San Pietro
The Lagrime di San Pietro is a cycle of 20 madrigals and a concluding motet by the late Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus. It is structured as 3 sequences of 7 compositions in each sequence, and is for seven voices. The Lagrime di San Pietro was his last composition, written in 1594, and...

("Tears of St. Peter"), which he dedicated to Pope Clement VIII
Pope Clement VIII
Pope Clement VIII , born Ippolito Aldobrandini, was Pope from 30 January 1592 to 3 March 1605.-Cardinal:...

, and which was published posthumously in 1595. Lassus died in Munich on 14 June 1594, the same day that his employer decided to dismiss him for economic reasons; he never saw the letter.

Music and influence


One of the most prolific, versatile, and universal composers of the late Renaissance, Lassus wrote over 2,000 works in all Latin, French, Italian and German vocal genres known in his time. These include 530 motet
Motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

s, 175 Italian madrigal
Madrigal (music)
A madrigal is a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, polyphonic madrigals are unaccompanied; the number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six....

s and villanella
Villanella
In music, a villanella is a form of light Italian secular vocal music which originated in Italy just before the middle of the 16th century...

s, 150 French chanson
Chanson
A chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specialising in chansons is known as a "chanteur" or "chanteuse" ; a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.-Chanson de geste:The...

s, and 90 German lied
Lied
is a German word literally meaning "song", usually used to describe romantic songs setting German poems of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf...

er. No strictly instrumental music by Lassus is known to survive, or ever to have existed: an interesting omission for a composer otherwise so wide-ranging and prolific, during an age when instrumental music was becoming an ever-more prominent means of expression, all over Europe. The German music publisher Adam Berg dedicated 5 volumes of his Patrocinium musicum (published from 1873–1880) to Lassus' music.

Sacred music



Lassus remained Catholic during this age of religious discord, although not dogmatically so, as may be seen from his more worldly secular songs as well as his parody Masses and Magnificats based on secular compositions. Nevertheless the Catholic Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

, which under Jesuit influence was reaching a peak in Bavaria in the late sixteenth century, had a demonstrable impact on Lassus' late work, including the liturgical music for the Roman Rite, the burgeoning number of Magnificats, the settings of the Catholic Ulenberg Psalter (1588), and especially the great penitential cycle of spiritual madrigals, the 'Lagrime di San Pietro' (1594).

Masses


Almost 60 masses have survived complete; most of them are parody masses based on secular works written by himself or other composers. Technically impressive, they are nevertheless the most conservative part of his output. He usually conformed the style of the mass to the style of the source material, which ranged from Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

 to contemporary madrigals, but always maintained an expressive and reverent character in the final product. Some of his masses are based on extremely secular French chansons, some of which are frankly obscene (Entre vous filles de quinze ans, "Oh you fifteen-year old girls", by Clemens non Papa, gave him source material for his 1581 Missa entre vous filles, probably the most scandalous of the lot). That this practice was not only accepted but encouraged by his employer is confirmed by evidence from their correspondence, much of which has survived.

In addition to his traditional parody masses, he wrote a considerable quantity of missae breves, "brief masses," syllablic short masses meant for brief services (for example, on days when Duke Albrecht went hunting: evidently he did not want to be detained by long-winded polyphonic
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 music). The most extreme of these is a work actually known as the Jäger Mass (Missa venatorum)—the "Hunter's Mass."

Some of his masses show influence from the Venetian School, particularly in their use of polychoral
Venetian polychoral style
The Venetian polychoral style was a type of music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras which involved spatially separate choirs singing in alternation...

 techniques (for example, in the eight-voice Missa osculetur me, based on his own motet). Three of his masses are for double choir, and they may have been influential on the Venetians themselves; after all, Andrea Gabrieli
Andrea Gabrieli
Andrea Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist of the late Renaissance. The uncle of the somewhat more famous Giovanni Gabrieli, he was the first internationally renowned member of the Venetian School of composers, and was extremely influential in spreading the Venetian style in Italy as...

 visited Lassus in Munich in 1562, and many of Lassus's works were published in Venice. Even though Lassus used the contemporary, sonorous Venetian style, his harmonic language remained conservative in these works: he adapted the texture of the Venetians to his own artistic ends.

Motets and other sacred music


Lassus is one of the composers of a style known as musica reservata
Musica reservata
In music history, musica reservata is either a style or a performance practice in a cappella vocal music of the latter half of the 16th century, mainly in Italy and southern Germany, involving refinement, exclusivity, and intense emotional expression of sung text.The exact meaning, which appears...

—a term which has survived in many contemporary references, many of them seemingly contradictory. The exact meaning of the term is a matter of fierce debate, though a rough consensus among musicologists is that it involves intensely expressive setting of text, chromaticism
Chromaticism
Chromaticism is a compositional technique interspersing the primary diatonic pitches and chords with other pitches of the chromatic scale. Chromaticism is in contrast or addition to tonality or diatonicism...

, and that it may have referred to music specifically written for connoisseurs. A famous example of a composition by Lassus which is a representative of this style is his series of 12 motets entitled Prophetiae Sibyllarum, which is in a wildly chromatic style reminiscent of Gesualdo
Carlo Gesualdo
Carlo Gesualdo, known as Gesualdo di Venosa or Gesualdo da Venosa , Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, was an Italian nobleman, lutenist, composer, and murderer....

; some of his chord progressions in this piece were not to be heard again until the 20th century.

Lassus wrote four settings of the Passion, one for each of the Evangelists, St. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All are for a cappella
A cappella
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato...

voices. He sets the words of Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 and the narration of the Evangelist as chant, while setting the passages for groups polyphonically.

As a composer of motets, Lassus was one of the most diverse and prodigious of the entire Renaissance. His output varies from the sublime to the ridiculous, and he showed a sense of humor not often associated with sacred music: for example, one of his motets satirizes poor singers (super flumina Babylonis) which includes stuttering, stopping and starting, and general confusion; it is related in concept if not in style to Mozart's A Musical Joke
A Musical Joke
A Musical Joke K. 522, is a composition by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; the composer entered it in his Verzeichnis aller meiner Werke on June 14, 1787...

. Many of his motets were composed for ceremonial occasions, as could be expected of a court composer who was required to provide music for visits of dignitaries, weddings, treaties and other events of state. But it was as a composer of religious motets that Lassus achieved his widest and lasting fame.

Lassus's setting of the seven Penitential Psalms
Penitential Psalms
The Penitential Psalms or Psalms of Confession, so named in Cassiodorus's commentary of the 6th century AD, are the Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143 . These are specially expressive of sorrow for sin. Four were known as 'penitential psalms' by St. Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th century...

 of David (Psalmi Davidis poenitentiales) is one of the most famous collections of psalm settings of the entire Renaissance. The counterpoint is free, avoiding the pervasive imitation
Imitation (music)
In music, imitation is when a melody in a polyphonic texture is repeated shortly after its first appearance in a different voice, usually at a different pitch. The melody may vary through transposition, inversion, or otherwise, but retain its original character...

 of the Netherlanders such as Gombert
Nicolas Gombert
Nicolas Gombert was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance. He was one of the most famous and influential composers between Josquin des Prez and Palestrina, and best represents the fully developed, complex polyphonic style of this period in music history.-Life:Details of his early life are...

, and occasionally using expressive devices foreign to Palestrina. As elsewhere, Lassus strives for emotional impact, and uses a variety of texture and care in text setting towards that end. The final piece in the collection, his setting of the De profundis
Psalm 130
Psalm 130 , traditionally De profundis from its Latin incipit, is one of the Penitential psalms.-Commentary:...

(Psalm 129/130), is considered by many scholars to be one of the high-water marks of Renaissance polyphony, ranking alongside the two settings of the same text by Josquin des Prez
Josquin Des Prez
Josquin des Prez [Josquin Lebloitte dit Desprez] , often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance...

.

Among his other liturgical compositions are hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s, canticle
Canticle
A canticle is a hymn taken from the Bible. The term is often expanded to include ancient non-biblical hymns such as the Te Deum and certain psalms used liturgically.-Roman Catholic Church:From the Old Testament, the Roman Breviary takes seven canticles for use at Lauds, as follows:*...

s (including over 100 Magnificat
Magnificat
The Magnificat — also known as the Song of Mary or the Canticle of Mary — is a canticle frequently sung liturgically in Christian church services. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn...

s), responsories for Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

, Passions, Lamentations
Lamentations (music)
The Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet have been set by various composers.-England:Thomas Tallis made two famous sets of the Lamentations. Scored for five voices , they show a sophisticated use of imitation, and are noted for their expressiveness. The settings are of the first two lessons for...

, and some independent pieces for major feasts.

Secular music


Lassus wrote in all the prominent secular forms of the time. In the preface to his collection of German songs, Lassus lists his secular works: Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 madrigals and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 chansons, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 and Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 songs. He is probably the only Renaissance composer to write prolifically in five languages - Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 in addition to those mentioned above - and he wrote with equal fluency in each. Many of his songs became hugely popular, circulating widely in Europe. In these various secular songs, he conforms to the manner of the country of origin while still showing his characteristic originality, wit, and terseness of statement.

Madrigals


In his madrigals, many of which he wrote during his stay in Rome, his style is clear and concise, and he wrote tunes which were easily memorable; he also "signed" his work by frequently using the word 'lasso' (and often setting with the sol-fege syllables la-sol, i.e. A-G in the key of C). His choice of poetry varied widely, from Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

 for his more serious work to the lightest verse for some of his amusing canzonetta
Canzonetta
In music, a canzonetta was a popular Italian secular vocal composition which originated around 1560...

s.

Lassus often preferred cyclic madrigals, i.e. settings of multiple poems in a group as a set of related pieces of music. For example, his fourth book of madrigals for five voices begins with a complete sestina by Petrarch, continues with two-part sonnet
Sonnet
A sonnet is one of several forms of poetry that originate in Europe, mainly Provence and Italy. A sonnet commonly has 14 lines. The term "sonnet" derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning "little song" or "little sound"...

s, and concludes with another sestina: therefore the entire book can be heard as a unified composition with each madrigal a subsidiary part.

Chansons


Another form which Lassus cultivated was the French chanson, of which he wrote about 150. Most of them date from the 1550s, but he continued to write them even after he was in Germany: his last productions in this genre come from the 1580s. They were enormously popular in Europe, and of all his works, they were the most widely arranged for instruments such as flute and piano. Most were collected in the 1570s and 1580s in three publications: one by Pierre Phalèse the Elder
Pierre Phalèse the Elder
Pierre Phalèse the Elder was an important Flemish music editor and engraver of the sixteenth century....

 in 1571, and two by Le Roy and Ballard in 1576 and 1584. Stylistically, they ranged from the dignified and serious, to playful, bawdy, and amorous compositions, as well as drinking songs suited to taverns. Lassus followed the polished, lyrical style of Sermisy
Claudin de Sermisy
Claudin de Sermisy was a French composer of the Renaissance. Along with Clément Janequin he was one of the most renowned composers of French chansons in the early 16th century; in addition he was a significant composer of sacred music...

 rather than the programmatic style of Clément Janequin
Clément Janequin
Clément Janequin was a French composer of the Renaissance. He was one of the most famous composers of popular chansons of the entire Renaissance, and along with Claudin de Sermisy, was hugely influential in the development of the Parisian chanson, especially the programmatic type...

 for his writing.

One of the most famous of Lassus's drinking songs was used by Shakespeare in Henry IV, Part II. English words are fitted to Un jour vis un foulon qui fouloit (as Monsieur Mingo) and sung by the drunken Justice Silence, in Act V, Scene iii.

German lieder


A third type of secular composition by Lassus was the German lied
Lied
is a German word literally meaning "song", usually used to describe romantic songs setting German poems of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf...

. Most of these he evidently intended for a different audience, since they are considerably different in tone and style from either the chansons or madrigals; in addition, he wrote them later in life, with none appearing until 1567, when he was already well-established at Munich. Many are on religious subjects, although light and comic verse are represented as well. He also wrote drinking songs in German, and contrasting with his parallel work in the genre of the chanson, he also wrote songs on the unfortunate aspects of overindulgence.

Dutch songs


In the preface to his collection of German songs, Lassus states to have composed Dutch songs. However, no Dutch song has been preserved.

Coat of arms


Lassus bore the following arms:
Azure, a pile and a pile reversed Argent, on each a crosslet Or;
on a fess Argent a sharp, flat and natural, over all a bordure Or.

Media



External links


  • Listen to a streaming recording of a complete live performance by Chanticleer of "The Divine Orlando" at Instant Encore