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Reform at Court

Donald Macleod describes how music in Munich began to change under the influence of the Jesuits and the Counter-Reformation.

A cosmopolitan composer who became so famous he was known as "The Divine Orlando", this week Donald Macleod surveys the life and music of Orlande de Lassus.

Wilhelm succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria in 1579. He found the court finances in a perilous state and quickly imposed drastic savings, including staff cuts at the Ducal Chapel. Lassus, as Music Director, now found himself with fewer musicians to work with. His music also had to accomodate changes in religious style, as the Jesuits came to have a powerful influence in Munich. His Missa Entre vous filles is introspective and sombre.

During the 1580s Ferdinand Lassus, one of Orlande's sons, began to take over some of his father's duties in the court chapel. Orlande's music during this period reflects his state of mind, including his madrigal Io son si stanco sotto, "I am so weary under the ancient burden of my sins". In his last decade Lassus began to suffer from depression. His final works include a collection of motets, Cantiones sacrae, and a set of spiritual madrigals, the monumental Lagrime di San Pietro.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 16 Jan 2015 18:30

Music Played

  • Orlande de Lassus

    Al gran Guglielmo nostro

    Ensemble: Odhecaton Ensemble. Director: Paolo da Col.
    • Musique En Wallonie: MEW1474.
    • 1.
  • Orlande de Lassus

    Missa Entre vous filles for 5 voices - Sanctus & Agnus Dei

    Conductor: Jeremy Summerly. Choir: Oxford Camerata.
    • NAXOS : 8 55-0842.
    • NAXOS.
    • 4.
  • Orlande de Lassus

    Io son si stanco sotto for 5 voices

    Ensemble: Huelgas Ensemble. Conductor: Paul Van Nevel.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901828.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 9.
  • Orlande de Lassus

    Madrigal: Arse la fiamma (1587)

    Ensemble: Odhecaton Ensemble. Director: Paolo da Col.
    • Musique En Wallonie: MEW1474.
    • 16.
  • Orlande de Lassus

    Prolongati sunt dies mei, from Cantiones sacrae

    Performer: Collegium Vocale Gent. Director: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901984.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 2.
  • Orlande de Lassus

    Deficiat in dolore vita mea - motet for 6 voices

    Performer: Collegium Vocale Gent. Director: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901984.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 3.
  • Orlande de Lassus

    Lagrime di S Pietro - sacred madrigal cycle with final motet for 7 voices [1595]

    Ensemble: Huelgas Ensemble. Director: Paul Van Nevel.
    • SONY SK53373.
    • Sony.
    • 21.

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