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Clementi’s “ Biographie des Musiciens”; Hogarth's “ History of the Opera”; Sutherland Edwards's “History of the Opera”; Schlüter's

History of Music”; Chorley's “Thirty Years' Musical Reminiscences”; Stendhall's “Vie de

' Rossini”; Bellasys's “ Memorials of Cherubini”; Grove's “ Musical Dictionary”; Crowest's “Musical Anecdotes”; and the various articles in the standard cyclopædias.

“ The Great Italian and French Composers” is a companion work to “The Great German Composers,” which was published earlier in the series in which the present volume appears.

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THE GREAT ITALIAN AND FRENCH

COMPOSERS.

PALESTRINA.

I.

THE Netherlands share other glories than that of having nursed the most indomitable spirit of liberty known to mediæval Europe. The fine as well as the industrial arts found among this remarkable people, distinguished by Erasmus as possessed of the patientia laboris, an eager and passionate culture. The early contributions of the Low Countries to the growth of the pictorial art are well known to all. But to most it will be a revelation that the Belgian school of music was the great fructifying influence of the fifteenth century, to which Italy and Germany owe a debt not easily measured. The art of interweaving parts and that science of sound known as counterpoint were placed by this school of musical scholars and workers on a solid basis, which enabled the great composers who came after them to build their beautiful tone fabrics in forms of imperishable beauty and symmetry.

For a long time most of the great Italian churches had Belgian chapel-masters, and the value of their example and teachings was vital in its relation to Italian music.

The last great master among the Belgians, and, after Palestrina, the greatest of the sixteenth century, was Orlando di Lasso, born in Hainault, in the year 1520. His life of a little more than three score years and ten was divided between Italy and Germany. He left the deep imprint of his severe style, though but a young man, on his Italian confrères, and the young Palestrina owed to him much of the largeness and beauty of form through which he poured his genius in the creation of such works as have given him so distinct a place in musical history. The pope created Orlando di Lasso Knight of the Golden Spur, and sought to keep him in Italy. Unconcerned as to fame, the gentle, peaceful musician lived for his art alone, and the flattering expressions of the great were not so much enjoyed as endured by him. A musical historian, Heimsoeth, says of him : “ He is the brilliant master of the North, great and sublime in sacred composition, of inexhaustible invention, displaying much breadth, variety, and depth in his treatment; he delights in full and powerful harmonies, yet, after allowing

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