Fontanelli, Alfonso

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Fontanelli, Alfonso

Fontanelli, Alfonso, eminent Italian composer; b. Reggio Emilia, Feb. 15, 1557; d. Rome, Feb. 11, 1622. He entered the service of Cesare d’Este, a nephew of Duke Alfonso II d’Este in Ferrara, in 1586, then was in the service of the latter (1588–97). In 1598 re-entered the service of Cesare d’Este, who had become the Duke of Modena in the interim. He remained in his service until Nov. 1601, when he was found guilty of murdering a man, punished, and banned from the ducal states; was pardoned in 1602. He then was in the service of Cardinal Alessandro in Rome (1602–8), and subsequently active at the court in Florence (1608–10). He later was an emissary for Duke Cesare (1611–14), traveling as far as Spain. He returned to Rome in 1620 and took Holy Orders. He was greatly esteemed as a composer of madrigals. He publ. Primo libro de’ madrigali senza nome for 5 voices (Ferrara, 1595; reprint, Venice, 1603) and Secondo libro de’ madrigali senza nome for 5 voices (Venice, 1604; reprints 1609 and 1619).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire