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date: 18 October 2019

Gonzaga, Guglielmolocked

  • Iain Fenlon

Extract

(b Mantua, April 24, 1538; d Goito, nr Mantua, Aug 14, 1587). Italian composer and patron of music. Shortly before he succeeded his uncle, Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, as Duke of Mantua in 1556, he founded the palatine basilica of S Barbara, which was completed in 1565 with an impressive organ designed by Girolamo Cavazzoni and constructed by the Brescian builder Graziadio Antegnati (i). Throughout his reign he maintained a strong interest in the music of the new chapel, then directed by Wert and Gastoldi, as well as in court music. He secured from Pope Gregory XIII a concession, dated 10 November 1583, for S Barbara's specially constituted college of canons to practise an independent liturgy, and he was personally involved in attempts to attract Marenzio and Annibale Zoilo to Mantua. Although he failed in this, mainly because of Vatican political machinations, his relationship with Palestrina seems to have been close; Palestrina composed a series of masses on chants from the S Barbara liturgy, which reflect the ...

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