Orlando di Lasso, classical music composer

Orlando di Lasso image

Orlando di Lasso

Biography

Orlando de Lassus (or di Lasso) was one of the three most prominent and influential composers—the other two being Palestrina and Victoria—at the close of the sixteenth century. An extremely prolific composer, Lassus composed over two thousand works spanning all the known vocal genres at his time. Curiously, despite this prolific output, there are no surviving purely instrumental compositions, nor is Lassus known to have written any at all.

Born in Mons in Hainaut, now modern-day Belgium, in 1532, little is known about Lassus's early years. At twelve years of age, he left his homeland with Ferrante Gonzaga, and traveled to Mantua, Sicily, and Milan. In the early 1550s, he was working as a singer and a composer for Costantino Castrioto in Naples, during which time his first works likely appeared. From Naples, Lassus went to Rome where he was in the employ of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1553, at the young age of twenty-one, he was appointed maestro di cappella of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. Yet, despite this significant post, Lassus remained there for only one year.

For the year 1554, Lassus's whereabouts are uncertain, though it is possible he traveled to France and England. However, after a brief return to the Low Countries in 1555, he secured a position in the court of Albrecht V, Duke of Bavaria, who was seeking to make Munich a music rival to the major courts of Italy. Lassus was among several Netherlanders to work at the Munich court, and was apparently quite happy there. Two years after arriving, he married, and in 1563, was appointed maestro di cappella. By this time, Lassus's fame was widespread. Composers, including Andrea Gabrielli and possibly Giovanni, traveled to Munich to study with him, and honors were bestowed upon him—Emperor Maximilian II conferred nobility upon him in 1570, and he was knighted by Pope Gregory XIII. Lassus also received numerous and more lucrative offers from other nobility that wished to woo him away from Munich. However, Lassus remained in Munich until his death. During the late 1570s and 1580s, he traveled several times to Italy. Though he would have experienced the latest musical styles and trends there, Lassus's own style remained rather conservative in the face of the burgeoning early Baroque. In the 1590s, his health began to decline, though he still composed and traveled. Lassus died in Munich on June 14, 1594.


Composer Title Date Action
Orlando di Lasso Matona, mia cara 12/30/2013 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Missa pro defunctis 04/30/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Prophecies of the Sibyls 04/30/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Prolongati sunt dies mei, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/07/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Nectar et ambrosiam, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/07/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Deficiat in dolore vita mea, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/07/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Qui timet Deum, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/07/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Ego cognovi quod erit bonum, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/07/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Respicit Dominus vias hominis, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/07/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Timor Domini principium sapientiae, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Ad Dominum cum tribularer, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Vidi calumnias quae sub sole gerentur, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Beatus homo, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Cantabant canticum Moysi, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Quam bonus Israel Deus, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Recordare Jesu pie, from Cantiones sacrae sex vocum 05/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso The Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah (For Thursday in Holy Week) 05/28/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso The Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah (For Friday in Holy Week) 05/28/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso The Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah (For Saturday in Holy Week) Lamentatio Prima 05/28/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Orsus, Filles, Que L'on Me Donne 05/29/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso La Nuict Froide & Sombre 05/29/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Bon Jour Mon Coeur 05/29/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Bon Jour Mon Coeur (2) 05/29/2014 Play Add to playlist
Orlando di Lasso Carmina chromatico, from Prophetiæ Sibyllarum 05/14/2017 Play Add to playlist