Matteo Asola: Missa defunctorum tribus vocibus


  • Composer(s): Matteo Asola
  • Edition: Da Vinci Edition
  • Editor: Roberto Cascio
  • Format: A4 - Paperback
  • Genre: Sacred
  • Instrumentation: Vocal
  • ISMN: 9790216218801
  • Pages: 36
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Publication year: 2022
SKU: DV 22000 Category:

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Giammateo [Giovanni Matteo] Asola [Asula, Asulae], (b Verona, ?1532 or earlier; d Venice, 1 Oct 1609). Italian composer. On 7 May 1546 he entered the congregation of secular canons of S Giorgio in Alga. After this he probably studied with Vincenzo Ruffo in Verona. From 1566 until his death he held benefices at S Stefano, Verona. After 1569, not wishing to take monastic vows, he left the congregation, became a secular priest and on 1 June 1571 went to work in the parish of S Maria in Organo, Verona. In 1577 he was appointed maestro di cappella at Treviso Cathedral but after a year accepted a better position at Vicenza Cathedral. In 1582 he probably went to Venice and in 1588 was appointed one of four chaplains at S Severo, a church under the jurisdiction of the monks of S Lorenzo. In 1590–91 he was again in Verona but otherwise probably remained at S Severo until his death. His most notable pupils were Leone Leoni and Amadio Freddi.

Asola’s large body of sacred music is close in style to that exemplified by the late works of Palestrina, whom, in a dedication, he called the greatest musician of the period. Like Palestrina’s his music is based essentially on the polyphonic combination of flowing, balanced melodic lines. There are no chromaticisms, disjunct dissonant intervals or extreme contrasts. Homophonic and canonic passages appear, but most of his music is in a freely imitative contrapuntal style balanced occasionally by brief sections of non-imitative texture. Some of the less spectacular innovations of the Venetian school, particularly in the treatment of cori spezzati, can be found in the eight-part works and to a lesser extent in those for six voices. Too much has been made of the dubious assertion that Asola was one of the first composers to write an independent continuo part.