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Alessandro Grandi


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Alessandro Grandi (1586 – after June 1630, but in that year) was a northern Italian composer of the early Baroque era, writing in the new concertato style. He was one of the most inventive, influential and popular composers of the time, probably second only to Monteverdi in northern Italy.

Grandi was probably born in Ferrara and spent the first part of his life there, likely studying with Giovanni Gabrieli at Venice, which was nearby. He held several posts in Ferrara as maestro di cappella at different cathedrals and academies. In 1617 he won a post at St. Mark’s in Venice, during the time Monteverdi was choirmaster there. Eventually he became Monteverdi’s assistant, and during this time seems to have chosen to write works in some of the smaller forms which Monteverdi was neglecting. In 1627 he went to Bergamo, probably because he had an opportunity to be maestro di cappella at a place where he could build up the music program from scratch. Most likely he met Heinrich Schütz on that composer’s second visit to Italy. Unfortunately, after only three years at Bergamo, Grandi died in 1630 during an outbreak of the plague.

Most of his music is vocal with instrumental accompaniment. Stylistically, his early music is similar to that of Giovanni Gabrieli, with alternating short passages of greatly contrasting rhythms and texture; however he usually wrote for smaller forces. Most of his early compositions are motets in the concertato style: some are duets and trios, an innovation in motet writing, which usually involved larger groups.

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  • Epitymbidia

    Aah, no entry yet, only 77 listeners, the few songs listed here horribly tagged - I just can't believe it. Anyway, Vulnerasti cor meum is such a wonderful collection of motets, I really love it. He was a phantastic composer!

    16 Apr 2008 Reply

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