Ferrabosco, Alfonso, the Elder

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Ferrabosco, Alfonso, the Elder

Ferrabosco, Alfonso, the Elder, Italian composer, son of Domenico Maria Ferrabosco and father of Alfonso Ferrabosco, the Younger; b. Bologna (baptized), Jan. 18, 1543; d. there, Aug. 12, 1588. From 1562 to 1564 he was in the service of Queen Elizabeth I in England; was again in England from 1572 to 1578. He entered the service of the Duke of Savoy in Turin (1582), accompanying him to Spain; he died while on a visit to his native city. His influence on the English court as a representative of the Italian style was considerable. Of his sacred works, 79 compositions are extant; many are housed in MS collections in English and American libraries. They include 110 Italian madrigals, 73 motets, 4 Lamentations, an anthem, 5 French chansons, 3 English songs, 2 secular Latin songs, 17 pieces for solo lute, 2 fantasias for keyboard, and a pavan for a mixed consort. A number of his madrigals were publ. in anthologies of his time. R. Charteris ed. Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder (1543–1588): Opera omnia in Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae, XCVI/1–9 (1984–88).


J. Cockshoot, The Sacred Music of A. R, Father (1543–88), with Critical Commentary (diss., Oxford Univ., 1963);R. Charteris, A. F. the Elder (1543–1588): A Thematic Catalogue of His Music with a Biographical Calendar (N.Y., 1984).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire