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Jacob Arcadelt

(c.1505 - 1568)

Arcadelt was a distinguished Renaissance musician, singer and composer. Little is known of the details of his life, and almost nothing is known of his early years. He likely died in Paris, no earlier than 1568 and possibly as late as 1570 or 1575. His early influences were probably Josquin Desprez and the Franco-Flemish school.

We know Arcadelt was a singer at the court in Florence prior to his relocation to Rome in 1539 to take charge of the boys' choir at St. Peter's Bascillica. This appointment led to his acceptance into the Papal ed the Papal choir as a singer. Here he remained for a decade before traveling as a court musician to Paris where he remained until his death.

Arcadelt was a prolific composer of masses, published in three volumes in Paris in 1557. However his importance as a teacher and a composer was to lay the foundations of the Italian Madrigal school. His numerous madrigals for five voices, published in six volumes in Venice between 1538 and 1556 are seminal works in the genre.

Recommended Recordings


Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77162-2-RC
22 Madrigals from Book 1 & Motet "O sacrum convivium"/RCA Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77162-2-RC
Anthony Rooley/Consort of Musicke