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Lewis Lockwood, Noel O’Regan and Jessie Ann Owens

[‘Giannetto’]

(b probably at Palestrina, almost certainly between Feb 3, 1525 and Feb 2, 1526; d Rome, Feb 2, 1594). Italian composer. He ranks with Lassus and Byrd as one of the towering figures in the music of the late 16th century. He was primarily a prolific composer of masses and motets but was also an important madrigalist. Among the native Italian musicians of the 16th century who sought to assimilate the richly developed polyphonic techniques of their French and Flemish predecessors, none mastered these techniques more completely or subordinated them more effectively to the requirements of musical cogency. His success in reconciling the functional and aesthetic aims of Catholic church music in the post-Tridentine period earned him an enduring reputation as the ideal Catholic composer, as well as giving his style (or, more precisely, later generations’ selective view of it) an iconic stature as a model of perfect achievement....