Patterns broadly recognisable in the directions taken by the visual arts during the Renaissance period -- inspiration derived from the ancient world and its cultural wealth and an interest in humanism -- can also be discerned in the music of the time. Private patrons -- usually royal or aristocratic, sometimes clerical -- began to set up their own musical establishments as a secular complement to those already found within religious institutions. The Northern French composer Josquin Desprez sang in and wrote for important choirs in Milan and Rome, as well as being employed by Louis XII of France and at the court of Ferrara. The career of Orlande Lassus a century later followed a similar pattern, with periods in Mantua, Milan, Naples, Rome and Munich forming parts of it. In the rich and seamlessly constructed polyphonic style of the church compositions of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina written towards the close of the period Renaissance polyphony reaches an apex of classical perfection.
Guide to Classical Music
on radio 3
Essential Guide to Classical Music
What's On Classical TV and Radio
Guide to the Orchestra
on the web
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