Spotlight on the Netherlands: Italianate Austrians

Program: #07-04   Air Date: Jan 15, 2006

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Frequent Festival favorites Concerto Palatino give us two composers influenced by Gabrieli--Johann Stadlmayr (c. 1580-1648) and Giovanni Valentini (1582/3-1649).

We continue our long and fruitful association with our partners at Radio Netherlands in presenting a series of concerts from the 2006 Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht.

We will also direct listeners to their web site, which will provide more in-depth information about the music and performers we hear as well as more information about the festival (

For its 25th anniversary, the entire 2006 Festival was dedicated to the early Italian 17th century:

NOTE: All of the music on this program was performed by the ensemble Concerto Palatino, and is dedicated to the work of Austrian composers who were heirs to the Venetian legacy of Giovanni Gabrieli. As the program notes:

The Bavarian Johann Stadlmayr, after a brief period of employment in Salzburg, spent his entire life at the Hapsburg court in Innsbruck, first under Archduke Maximilian, and then under his successor Leopold V. Stadlmayr enjoyed a close relationship with his first patron, who even bought his Kapellmeister a house and included him in his will. After Maximilian's death in 1618, Stadlmayr saw more difficult times, since Leopold had his own retinue of musicians at his Alsatian residence, and did not immediately reappoint Stadlmayr.

During this period Stadlymayr was even reduced to taking an extra job as a government meat inspector to supplement his salary. Fortunately, he was given the position of Kapellmeister again in 1624, and after Leopold's death in 1632, the Archduke's widow Claudio de'Medici continued to support him and help him finance his works. Stadlmayr was held in the highest esteem by his contemporaries...being almost exclusively a composer of Catholic sacred music, much of it in the Venetian polychoral style, which he handled with great skill.

That Giovanni Valentini should remain almost completely unknown today is especially surprising, since for almost a quarter of a century he held one of the most important pots in the musical world, that of Viennese Hofkapellmeister, and was highly valued by his contemporaries. Even though Valentini's later career is well documented, many details of his early life remain obscure. His death certificate in Vienna in 1649 reports he was 66 years old, placing his birth in 1582 or 1583, probably in Venice, since he is described by a later writer as "a Venetian of the famous school of the Gabrielis."

Part of the reason for Valentini's obscurity lies in the fact that large parts of his works have been lost or only incompletely preserved. Of his first motet collection in 1611, only one partbook survives, but it does identify Valentini as chamber organist to the Polish court of Sigismund III. In 1614, Valentini was appointed organist at the court of Ferdinand II in Graz; when Ferdinand became Emperor, he moved his court to Vienna, and in 1626, he named Valentini Hofkapellmeister. Most of Valentini's surviving works are from his period in Graz and Vienna, since from the time he was appointed Hofkapellmeister he never published another work.

GIOVANNI VALENTINI (1582/3-1649): Canzon a 6.

JOHANN STADLMAYR (c. 1580-1648): Domine Dominus noster a 18 (from Apparatus musicus sacrarum cantionum).

GIOVANNI VALENTINI (1582/3-1649): Canzon a 3.
GIOVANNI VALENTINI: Gelobet sey der Herr a 16.

GIOVANNI VALENTINI (1582/3-1649): Canzon a 6.

ALESSANDRO GRANDI (1586-1630): Bone Iesu a 6.

JOHANN STADLMAYR (c. 1580-1648): Missa Bone Iesu (Missa V a 12, from Missae concertatae...Innsbruck, 1631).
JOHANN STADLMAYR: Exultate Deo a 18 (from Apparatus musicus sacrarum cantionum...Innsbruck, 1645).

Composer Info

GIOVANNI VALENTINI (1582/3-1649), JOHANN STADLMAYR (c. 1580-1648), ALESSANDRO GRANDI (1586-1630)

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