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Biography

Johannes de Sarto (* before 1430, † after 1440) was a Franco-Flemish composer, singer and priest of the early Renaissance.

The date of birth and place of birth of Johannes de Sarto could not yet be determined by the music-historical research, nor the date of his death and the place of death. He is one of the many people of the Middle Ages, of which only the traditional mostly handwritten works bear witness, which carry in a favorable case, a temporal classification or allow indirectly. It is likely that John de Sarto comes from the Liège area. His compositionally active years were between 1430 and 1440. The identity of his person was in earlier years partly associated with the person of Johannes Brassart , with whom he was also confused. From the archival documents some similar names have become known, which could refer to de Sarto, so by Jean de Sarto , 1401-1430 canons at the collegiate church of Saint Jean l'Évangéliste in Liège, and Johannes Doussart , who in 1457 um has applied for a chaplaincy near Liège. Less likely he is the Jean du Sart (or Dussart), who was singer and choirmaster in Cambrai from 1455 until the end of the 1460s; the latter is mentioned in the motet "Omnium bonorum plena" by Loyset Compère .

When King Albrecht II of Habsburg died in 1439, the funeral motto "Romanorum rex inclite" was performed for the occasion; in this de Sarto and Brassart appear together with other singers from the service of the king. This motet, without a note from the composer, was first attributed to Brassart because of its style, and more recently (BJ Blackburn, EE Lowinsky, and Cl. A. Miller: A Correspondence of Renaissance Musicians , Oxford 1991) a document from the early 16th century has been described in which G. Del Lago assigned this motet to the presbyter Johannes de Sarto .

Six sacred works are directly attributed to de Sarto in manuscripts from around 1430 to 1450; sometimes they carry the additional note "presbyter". In two of them, the name "Brassart" was crossed out in the list and replaced by "de Sarto". The four surviving motets de Sartos are written in an elegant and sometimes highly expressive style, with well-dosed dissonances and occasional use of imitation . The motets "Verbum Patris" and "Romanorum rex inclite" are characterized by sophisticated tenor canons , and it is the last-named motet with its complex, double- isorhythmic framework that extends beyond its other compositions and many pieces by its contemporaries. The intros ascribed to John de Sarto are lofty, as was characteristic of the style around 1430, and show incomplete consonances , occasional imitation, and the use of fauxbourdon .

Due to his lifetime and his musical style, Johannes de Sarto belongs to the first generation of Franco-Flemish music.

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